I’ve never made a bucket list. Up until now that has been the only thing on my bucket list.
I know lots of people who have them and I marvel at their ability to focus and to plan ahead, but to be honest the things they come up with usually don’t seem all that pressing or critical or urgent to me.
But that’s for them to decide for them.
As for me, I’ve decided to build myself a better bucket list.
Here are some things I really want to do before I die:
I want to stop being afraid—of failure or the future or death or spiders.
I want to make peace with the aging person I see in the mirror.
I want to let myself off the hook for the mistakes I made when I didn’t know what I know now.
I want to drive in traffic and not lose my religion.
I want to stop worrying about whether or not people are talking about me when I’m not around.
I want to stop comparing myself with friends or peers or strangers, but simply to who I was yesterday.
I want to take out the kitchen garbage, instead of cramming another banana peel in and shamefully tiptoeing away.
I want to remember when I feel like a total screw-up in this life, that I’m probably in really good company.
I want to greet my family every day the way I greet my dog.
I want to say no to things that I normally say yes to only to feel important and valuable.
I want to be okay not being right.
I want to trust that the people who say they love and appreciate me, really do mean it.
I want to be better at tolerating small talk, remembering that some people really need it.
I want to feel less compelled to broadcast the good and loving things I do, content just to quietly do them.
I want to believe that my best days are still ahead of me.
I want to stop feeling as though the person in front of me at the checkout line is intentionally trying to ruin my day.
I want to stop making the little sh*t so massive: popularity, material success, rock hard abs, nicer kitchen countertops.
I want to be a spouse still worth choosing.
I want to talk to people in the elevator, looking into their eyes instead of at their feet or the numbers on the wall.
I want to have the person I am at home, and the person I want people outside my home to think I am—to be the same person.
I want one day where I feel I have enough and make enough and am doing enough.
I want to be able to turn off my phone and shut off my computer and stop feeling so darn indispensable.
I want my kids to know that they don’t have to be perfect or even excellent to be loved.
I want to stop thinking I know people because of their politics or religion or the house they live in.
I want to be okay letting someone else control the radio in the car.
I want a faith that is louder than all my words about that faith.
I want to really love my enemies.
I want to see the best in people.
I want to apologize first.
I want to be more in today, than I am in yesterday or tomorrow.
I want the world to be a slightly more loving, compassionate, decent place than when I arrived.
(I want to be totally fine if no one reads or shares this post.)
Yes, skydiving, sitting at the edge of the Grand Canyon, seeing Paris, and having dinner with Bono would all be pretty great, but if those things never happen I can still feel like I’ve really lived before I die.
Here’s hoping that on the day I do finally kick the bucket, I will have become a better version of me than I was the day before.
That will have been a life fully lived.
(I’d love to hear what might be on your list. Drop them in the comments section. – John)
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