A bucket list is not always about doing. It can also be about being.
It doesn’t have to be about the future; it can be about right now. Don’t limit yourself to living as a human doing; allow yourself to live as a human being.
As I reflect on my week and the people I’ve encountered, I’d like to share a few practical ideas of what living as a human being looks like.
Identify who you are and share. I have an adventurous, explorer spirit and am full of joy. So, I share. It’s that simple. It happened to me today. As I was having breakfast with one of our city leaders, he motioned for me to turn around and look behind me. When I did, I saw an elderly gentleman with his cowboy hat in his hand saying grace over his breakfast at the restaurant.
We were both so moved that my friend covertly paid for this gentleman’s breakfast. When he left, I went and sat down with this gentleman and explained to him how he touched my heart. Through the conversation, he began to cry, and so did I.
He told me that he will be 93 years old next month and that I brought joy to him as well (although his eggs were getting cold), because I took time to sit with him and talk. He misses his wife. So that was my bucket list for today. I met a gentleman who adored his late wife, prays with cowboy hat in hand, and allowed a stranger to interrupt his meal. He singlehandedly changed the course of my day. He was on my bucket list, written in invisible ink.
Yes, it truly is that simple.
To understand, we must first figure out what exactly a bucket list is. A bucket list is defined as “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.” For many years people have believed that a list of dreams is for “somewhere in the future, before I die.” The 2007 film The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, supports that notion. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do when you find out your life on earth has been given an expiration date. Here’s the thing: You don’t have to be dying to make a list of dreams. The term bucket list originates from the phrase “before you kick the bucket.” This is why people think of making one if they’re terminally ill.
We have been fed the propaganda that a bucket list is for those wild, hard-to-catch, inspirational yet somewhat unrealistic, and fantastic dreams. So you make a list and measure them with a yes or no, and if you’re doing it right, the things on your list shouldn’t be too easy to achieve. Well, my friends, the Bible says, that hope deferred makes the heart sick. I wonder whether this idea of a bucket list is just part of the enemy’s scheme to keep us sick!
I say NO MORE DEFERRING! I only say yes. I said yes today when rescuing this sweet pup who was running down the freeway!
We live in a world where we are forced to be divided, competitive, judgmental, and fearful. We live hesitant lives, trying to protect ourselves, our reputation, and our image (or what others might think of us on social media).
In the days ahead, I have a sneaking suspicion we won’t be moved by simple circumstance or emotion.
All year we’ve been beat down by social isolation. We’ve heard gloom and doom in the newspaper and on the news. It has forced us to live our lives on social media, where we consistently feel insecure, insufficient, and irrelevant based on whether or not we are liked. And those “likes” are run by artificial intelligence—an algorithm that may or may not put you before those who truly like you. I can say that some of my best friends and even my family post on social media, and I RARELY see it unless I go searching for them, which most of us don’t do, because we are looking for mindless activities when scrolling through social media. Where does it all end?
We end it by living our so-called bucket list in the here and now. This should include adventure, the impossible, the invisible, and the wishful. Be strong and courageous now. Joshua 1:9, in the Bible, implies that you have the option to not be strong and not be courageous. It’s simply a choice. So, before you say yes or no, remember that you don’t have to be strong in your own strength. You’re strong because you’re empowered by someone a whole lot bigger than you. You’re strong because you surround yourself with many who will get on your side of the rope and help you pull.
So what if we set aside eating pizza in Italy, drinking fresh coffee in the rainforest, diving in the great barrier reef, and bungee jumping off Bloukrans bridge? What if we start with being and stop just doing right here right now? Be your list. Dance in the rain. Dance in a field of flowers. Talk to the 93-year-old gentleman eating alone in the café. Instead of griping about pot holes, jump in one and take your picture. You get the idea.
Allow this season of spring renewal, the rebirth of the earth, to rebirth your spirit. Embrace adventure, be an explorer, live in the here and now, and stop making lists and just doing.
Few of us will take the time to do it, but if you do, share your achievements. Take it from a girl who didn’t exist two years ago (that’s a whole other blog)—it is more blessed to give than to receive. When you give of your time, your smiles, your adventures—the hope is no longer deferred. You have brightened someone else’s day, given someone else hope, built up someone else, cheered up the sad, fed the hungry, and watered the dry and thirsty soul. That, my friend, is the bucket list I want you to make.
That is why I co-founded an organization called Fierce Fearless Females. The goal is that we no longer live in jealousy, comparison, and tearing down, but instead, we support each other, embrace our unique superpowers, build each other up, and cheer one another on. BeOne today!