1/17/2008

On the question of "bucket lists"

Jim brought in the USA Today that someone tossed outside our hotel room door when we were in North Caroliina visiting with Mama this week. I like USA Today for its quick, sometimes off-beat articles but, its not a regular read for me. So, when traveling its a treat.I waited until we were on the road before I took my turn with the paper.

This past Tuesday, Janaury 15, Cathy L. Grossman and Laura Bly wrote an interesting article "Jump On It Before You Kick" about the bucket list craze that's everywhere today. One wonders which came first, the movie or the list-making. I am sure the list making was always there in some form - so perhaps its the moniker - "the bucket list" that's new.

The article quotes Caroline Adams Miller, an author and motivational speaker who lives in Bethesda, MD, " It's not enough to react to life on a day-by-day basis. People need a road map. Life lists are one of the best ways to plumb the depths of the human psyche." The article goes on to tell you that Miller is also a Life Coach and that she encourages people to make a 100 item roster. Her website Your100things.com, posts goals and lets users see how their list stacks up.

In the introduction to this website Ms. Miller says, "One of the best ways to achieve your own goals is to create public accountability and support by sharing them with a wide audience."

Now wait a minute. I feel the pressure already.

First, I admit it, I have not written a "bucket list" with 20 things on it. I am thinking about it but I have not done it. Now, here is someone who is saying I need 100 things- or goals - on my list and then advising me to publish it so people can watch me struggle under the weight of the list I have created.

Here is where I draw the line.

The premise of this website strikes me as setting up a competition with your life's dreams and goals at the center. When we kick the bucket are we to go down screaming "I lived mine better than you did!" I thought a "bucket list" was about joy, happiness, satisfaction, dreams - this sounds like winning.

The truth is (for me) my day-to-day lists are so long in order to keep up with the goals I am already working on that I cannot bear to think about any other kind of list.

I think this all started twenty years ago when I read some books, or maybe a newspaper article, on achieving your dreams, on making a life-map - something like that. I have always been susceptible to hints and suggestions on how to work out my life. Often they have worn me out

Today Staying in the flow and following my bliss work for me.

Here are a few headliners to start my bucket list:

Hold on to my serenity

Sleep close and warm with Jim

Hug my family

Savor my friendships

Keep telling stories.



When I left home at 10:30 am to tell stories at a near-by pre-school a very light snow had begun to fall. An hour later the snow had changed to large fluffy clumps falling and the world had been covered with white. Everything looked magically beautiful. I stopped to take some photos - to hold the moment.