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Two Bucket Lists
by Lori B.

     Do you have a bucket list? I never had one until today … and now I have two. 

     I have to give Celeste Davidson of Join Our Story all the credit. After all, she told us to write about bucket lists, right? And even though I’d never had a bucket list to call my own, I do love a challenge, so I started drafting a couple of bucket list stories right away.

     My stories were falling flat, though, and I think I know why. My bucket had a big, fat hole in it. I had no idea what I was writing about.

     It was just like my recurring dream, the one where I’m trying to find my math class so I can take the final exam, the one I need to pass in order to graduate. But I can’t find the classroom, because I’ve never been to class before. Plus, I’ve never even opened the math book.

     And there I was, trying to write, and flunking Bucket List 101. I’d never seen the syllabus, never opened the book. I had a general idea of what a bucket list was (similar to the general idea I have about calculus – that is to say, no idea whatsoever). I’d even thought about some things I’d like to do, places I’d like to go … someday. All pretty vague, and never in writing.

     That’s ironic, because I have to write everything down lately. The other day I wrote myself a note that said “read your to-do list.” It was just sheer coincidence that I happened to see the note as I was rushing out the door without my to-do list. So I guess something as important as a to-do list of my life goals should probably be written down as well.

     But I have a theory about my lack of bucket-list-writing experience. I call it the Theory of Why I Never Previously Elaborated About Kicking Buckets (TWINPEAKB).

     According to TWINPEAKB, I’ve never created a bucket list because I’ve never seen a need for one. My goals have been modest. Go to school, get a job, fall in love, raise a family, be happy. I didn’t strive to travel, be famous, or save the world. My aspirations were humble. Plus, I didn’t especially like thinking about death.

     Also, there is the fact that I may be a bit of a wimp. My temperament tends toward HBO (Hanging Back and Observing) rather than MTV (Moving To Velocity). I was an introvert long before it became cool. 

     But lately, I’ve been seeking out new challenges, setting goals, working on projects, and generally driving myself crazy. Why not go a little crazier and give myself some extra chores to do before I actually kick the bucket?

     Thus, I opened a new document and titled it “My Bucket List.” A minute passed. The keyboard was silent. My bucket apparently had a very large hole. Something was wrong. Why couldn’t I think of a single thing? And then I knew what the problem was. I was just new at this. I needed to be kinder to myself.

     And as I forgave myself for stalling, a new thought, or maybe just a feeling, kicked in. I realized that the most important goal on my bucket list had to do with what is for me the true meaning of life: LOVE.

     After that, the hole in my bucket disappeared and the rest came easily. In fact, I wrote not one but two bucket lists. The first one is my ideal list. I call it Lori’s Overachiever List (LOL). The second one is more realistic. That one’s called A Bit Less Extreme (ABLE).

     So now, spurred on by Celeste’s call to action, here are my two bucket lists. Note: I've accomplished a few of the things on my ABLE list already. I'll try tackling my LOL list soon. (I've put it on my to-do list.)

Bucket List #1: Lori’s Overachiever List (LOL)

  • Be loving and kind to everyone
  • Be grateful every day
  • Write a profound and moving best-selling novel
  • Write a profound and beautiful hit song
  • Travel the world (at least 10 countries)
  • Take my family on a luxurious vacation
  • Have a photography show
  • Join a good band
  • Do something scary
  • Do something important
  • Do something heroic
  • Make a positive difference in the world
  • Be remembered with love and affection by one and all, and not just for the hit song, best-selling novel, or family vacation I paid for

Bucket List #2: A Bit Less Extreme (ABLE)

  • Be more loving and kind
  • Keep friendships alive
  • Self-publish the book in progress
  • Write songs that people enjoy listening to
  • Travel at least once a year
  • Rent a cabin, invite the family
  • Get some likes on Instagram
  • Jam with friends
  • Zip line in a rainforest
  • No need to do something important. As they say, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice
  • Hopefully, I will never have to be a hero
  • Make a positive difference in someone’s life
  • Be remembered with love and affection by family and friends

    What’s on YOUR bucket list?

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