I am a list maker. I make a TO DO list almost every day. If I don’t make a TO DO list, I usually don’t accomplish much. Sometimes, even when I do make a list for the day, I still don’t accomplish much.
Without a list, I often lose focus and accomplish nothing other than phoning my friends, eating nachos from Taco Bell, and watching Dr. Phil. Those activities aren’t exactly challenging.
I even go so far as to make a list of what I want to accomplish for the week, the month, and the season…so making a Bucket List for the whole year is a natural extension of those plans.
You could call me obsessive-compulsive, but please don’t. I’m not OCD. I just like to mark things off the list.
I’ve found that making a Bucket List for each year keeps me in focus. I write down the things I want to do…I add activities for each year of my age. That way, I have even more things to accomplish as I grow older.
My 2012 Bucket List numbered 56 items; the 2013 version will number 57. I haven’t finished my 2013 list yet, but I know that it will include walking on the Appalachian Trail, somewhere…somehow. It’s a long trail, surely I can find a place to walk on it!
If I don’t write a Bucket List, I waste time with a lot of shouldas, couldas, wouldas, and damn,IwishIhads. I like to live with few regrets.
Some years I do everything on the list. Some years I don’t. But writing the list puts things in perspective. I examine each activity on the list and sometimes find that just looking at it and thinking about it helps me decide if it’s even worth doing or if I still desire to do it.
Here’s a review of a few of the activities I checked off my 2012 Bucket List:
- Write a newspaper column. (http://pioneer-sentinel.com)
- Publish a book. (Fifty Odd: Viewing Life after 50 through Rose-Colored Bifocals…available on Amazon and Create Space.)
- Rock my new granddaughter to sleep. (And sing a lullabye)
- Take a trip somewhere. (Made several)
- Pay bills off. (Hallelujah!)
- Ride a “real” train with my grandson and granddaughter. (More fun than a barrel of monkeys.)
- Dress up and go somewhere nice. (Attended a friend’s beautiful wedding.)
- Write some good feature stories. (Again…http://pioneer-sentinel.com)
- Go to a play. (Chorus Line)
- Go to a concert. (Michael Martin Murphy)
- Read 10 good books. (More than 10, of course…but 10 is a good place to start)
- Be still and be calm. (Ohm….what else can I say?)
- Learn something new. (Attended the 13 week Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Academy.)
- Be frugal. (Always.)
- Grow a vegetable garden. (Fresh potatoes and squash out of my backyard were delicious.)
- Work in my yard. (Made a beautiful, pleasant flower garden grown mostly from seed.)
- Make every car payment on time. (Yep.)
- Build something with my grandchildren. (A bird house and a hammock stand.)
- Do something special for someone. (It’s a secret.)
Here’s what I DIDN’T accomplish from the 2012 Bucket List :
- Learn to make a good coconut cream pie. (But I ate a delicious slice at a café in Holliday, Texas.)
- Put my photographs in albums. (Still in multiple boxes.)
- Lose 25 lbs. (Oh, well.)
- Stop being so gripy and intolerant. (Working on it.)
- Go to a college basketball game. (There’s still March Madness…)
So…I did more than I didn’t do…even though I didn’t do everything on the Bucket List.
I learned a lot. I did a lot. I read a lot. I meditated a lot. I laughed a lot.
I have few regrets for the year of 2012. I started a couple of projects that I didn’t finish…but at least I tried….
If there’s anything the Mayans have taught us, it’s this : If you don’t finish every project you start, it’s not the end of the world.
But don’t let that stop you from trying….