I live by lists. I’m not at all apologetic since actually, I’ve never been quite comfortable without one. In fact, my lists — have lists. Filing systems for the mind, mine can be found on random index cards, scraps of paper or, if I’m really conscienious, my handy phone list app. Whatever works.
I’m pretty sure, that at least once, you’ve raced into a store just to realize you left that scribbled note of ‘things to get’ at home. And even though we would never be so un-cool as to write things down before we went into the garage, none of us wants to admit just how many times we came back inside empty handed. Whether it’s years catching up or just having too much on our minds, the fact remains, lists are handy creatures.
“What’s on my to-do list today? Oh, right – everything“.
My husband no longer holds my power of Attorney. In fact, since he’s no longer on terra firma, his only power is on my heart where he still has a firm grip. Still, it felt like nails on a blackboard to remove his name from those legal papers. It kinda went in the same bag with all the ‘hard’ things I had to do since he died and this deletion was yet another painful pause. This was one of the last items on the legal to-do list to be erased, but I felt no happy about this clean slate. My list was as empty as I felt.
As days went on I began to think there should be another list. This one would not be for groceries, Christmas, or household fixits, though there’s always running lists for each. No, this list would be a total leap of faith. My thoughts and energies were always spent on ‘stuff’ a mom and wife needed to do and be. I couldn’t quite justify a wistful list for just ‘me’ especially when there was still a ‘we’. Obviously, that designation has changed so I figured it was time to write a list for Moi.
“Remember the to-do list but don’t forget the ‘to-be’ list.” Richard Branson
I began to think maybe it really is now — or never. Apparently I’m not getting any younger. Duh! Byrd Baggett said, “Look at life through the windshield – not the rearview” and that sounds like a plan. I started a stream of consciousness list of things that I always wanted to do and didn’t. Obviously, it’s a pretty long list.
Some things I may never get to do; some I’ll never afford to but each are a good starting point to life redefined. Learning Italian is in my bucket and, so far, I’ve got a few lessons (read 3 or 4) from Babbel nailed down. Not much but least I take a stab at it. (What self-respecting Italian girl doesn’t want to learn the language?) Taking up my artwork again is another line on my list. They say that when your passion becomes your work, it’s no longer your passion which pretty much explains why, as a professional illustrator, drawing hasn’t seemed like fun anymore. I do suspect, however, that a bad neck that screams when I lean over a drawing board, hasn’t added to my enthusiasm. I may never pick up another colored pencil or paint brush but, as they say – it’s on the list.
“You can and you should and if you’re brave enough to start – you will.” Stephen King
Mastering my darned camera is another line item on the bucket list. I’ve whined for years now about wanting to learn F-stops and settings but all those configurations all fly over my head. but it’s the intention that counts, right?
My bucket list is completely editable. Sometimes it just lists one thing – breathe. (I can do that) The list can change as my life does but it’s there, staring me in the face, as I open my computer each day. It’s in the back of my mind and it’s my belief that as long as there’s a list, there’s life ahead.
Maybe a list is just a stepping off point. But, as Lois Lowry wisely said, “Making lists of reasons is sometimes a good way to figure things out”. So write your list and take the first step. What else do you have to lose? Besides, there’s no better time to live your bucket list than now.
It just might be your mike-drop moment.