Recently, a group of friends was discussing "bucket lists". Some women wanted to travel, others wanted to run marathons. What was even more exciting was seeing what these women (we're all moms) had already accomplished and checked off their lists! I'm beyond glad to be surrounded by inspirational woman. I joked that my bucket list had only one item: make a bucket list. My quip got a few chuckles. Still, I felt a little uncomfortable. You see, I don't have a bucket list. I've never had one. I wouldn't even know where to start.
In case you're new here - hi, I'm a hot mess! My lack of organization means that my bucket list would probably end up written on backs of envelopes and napkin scraps, eventually tossed once they made their way inexplicably to the center car console. I can't imagine that I'd be very good at checking anything off of a list I can't seem to find. Plus, I'm so right-brained! My spirit thrives on freedom and spontaneity - it can't be confined to a checklist!
Deep down, I knew the real reason I haven't created a bucket list.
Back in college, I won a few trophies doing a little thing called "speech", It was fun for me - a challenge, but one I was up for. Mostly, speech was a safe space for me to take risks, push my limitations, and land on my feet if I fell. The Bradley University Speech Team has a phrase we live by: "Dare To Fail Gloriously". If you're going to go down, you might as well go down in flames. And even though everyone in speech says it's a metaphor for life, I haven't carried over quite as much bravado into this outside world.
The stakes are higher out here, in the real world. In speech, going down in flames meant you traveled again the next weekend. But out here? It might mean my kids' college fund disappears, or I drop a baby. I don't know, I'm just sayin'. My fear of failure is keeping me from making that list. Not because I'm afraid I might lose it - or that I won't know what to put on it. But because I am scared I won't be able to live with myself if I don't or can't do those things.
This shouldn't be so difficult! Life changes - this list doesn't need to be set in stone. It can be fluid, changing and growing as my life evolves into new places and spaces. So what if I don't finish it before I die?!? Is there a bucket list police that won't let me through the Pearly Gates? More importantly, I want my kids to know that their mom wasn't afraid to dream. And not just dream, but to put those dreams out there - to speak them into existence. To accept the vulnerability and use the fear as fuel. They will live as I teach them, right? I want to teach them to aspire to greatness. I guess that means I need to, too.
Without further ado: The Beginning Of My Bucket List
- Grow a garden
- Build a chair
- Guest vocals on a song
- Act in a movie, TV show, and play
- Go on a solo walkabout
- Hike the Appalachian Trail (even if I do it in chunks)
- Plant a tree for every year I've lived
- Take my kids to Disney
- Go on vacation with just my husband
- See my kids achieve their own dreams
- Hold a grandbaby
- Celebrate 50 years of marriage
- Win a pie baking contest
- Be an influence in policy change that positively impacts maternal healthcare in the U.S
The best is yet to come!
How have you chased after your dreams? Do you have a bucket list? What have you already checked off the list? Inspire me on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3