Most of us have a bucket list. That list we have been compiling for years, some of us since we were children, of places we would like to see, or experiences we would like to have. We all have good intentions of achieving these things in our lifetime but sometimes we end up getting a bit too comfortable with our day-to-day life and we think we have more than enough time to get everything done, one day. We just might not make as much of an effort to achieve these things as we could.
A few years ago I was out for dinner with a friend and part of our dinner discussion was of course travelling, seeing as that is actually how we met, but it was also of our bucket lists. My friend very wisely pointed out that seeing as we don’t always do things from our bucket lists, she has her complete bucket list as well as a yearly bucket list. The yearly bucket lists contain things she wants to achieve that year as well as a few things taken from her complete bucket list. It’s not always possible to achieve everything off the yearly bucket list every year but at least she is making an effort to achieve some things off her complete bucket before it’s too late.
Now either I needed to get out more or she was an absolute genius because I thought this was one of the best things I had heard of in a long time. I went home and thought about it and on January 1st I made my very first yearly bucket list. I don’t really remember everything I wanted to achieve that year but I do remember that not only did my life take on a more positive turn (I had gone through a 2 ½” year span of what I like to call being surrounded by negativity and death) but I also achieved 3 things off my complete bucket list. At this point I would like to mention that those three things were not on my yearly bucket list but one thing that happens when you start this path is you become more open to opportunities as they come along instead of making excuses. Those three things had sort of a positive domino effect in regards to achieving & changing things in my life.
Now don’t get me wrong, bad things have still happened in my life. They might not be as bad as that 2 ½” year time period but they are still happening. I still don’t feel I am utilized at my job, a friend and my Dad are both still fighting a battle with cancer, my best friend of over 20 years really hasn’t been part of my life, no matter what I do I just can’t get my health up to ‘normal’, I keep going further & further into debt because of my health which means I don’t have money to spend on having a life, I don’t have any single friends so it really means I don’t have friends to do things with anyway, I seem to always be interested in the wrong men, etc. While some of those have provided me with great stories to laugh at later (seriously, dating can give good entertainment), if we spend our time concentrating on the negative we forget all about the positive. I have had the chance to go to Morocco, White Water Rafting (even though one of my largest fears is water), Whale Watching, Paragliding, Zip Lining and I started doing Yoga, all since that dinner with my friend 3 ½ years ago, and all on my complete bucket list.
The positives got me thinking that I needed to make some big life changes (there’s that whole positive domino effect I was mentioning). Unfortunately no matter what I was trying, those changes weren’t happening. I could have given up but instead, with a wee tidbit of an odd idea and a conversation with a cousin; I have now even gone back to school part-time. I always hated school but apparently I got to a point in my life where higher education appealed to me. It was crazy hard to go back after 20-25 years and only previously going as far as high school, I’ve had to work harder than ever before & make some concessions in life, but Wow, is it ever satisfying to complete my first program in 3 semesters and now trying to work on my practicum. I’m meeting new people, making new friends & I was even able to find a great company to complete my practicum with.
No matter where we are in life, bad things are always happening but if we make a plan at the beginning of the year, we might just get to have some fun, adventure & enjoyment out of that life. Without making excuses.