I’ve been hit with a serious case of gratitude lately.
I love my life, I love my husband, I love my job, I love my city, I love my body, I love the food we eat, I love the clothes we wear, I love the springtime sunshine, I love the delicate fragrance of cherry blossoms in the air– there’s really not a whole lot I don’t love and feel thankful for these days!
Watch out, dear readers: I’m pretty sure this condition is highly contagious. You’d better be careful, lest you suddenly break into song whilst reading this post at your cubicle. (It’s like a computer virus– you can catch it from the Internet, especially if you’re reading infected posts like this one!) Spontaneous dance routines are also a noted side effect of 3rd-Degree Thankfulness, just so you know. I wouldn’t want you to become alarmed by your involuntary toe-tapping or anything. Don’t worry: The uncontrollable urges to get your groove on can all be explained by Extreme Happiness and an Abundance of Gratitude. Dr. Dana to the rescue! (You’re welcome.)
Strangely, all this thankfulness has got me thinking about pastures lately– you know, those patches of greener-seeming grass on the other side. Hint, hint. It struck me that I am smack-dab in the middle of where I’ve always wanted to be: I have a fabulous partner and neither of us are tethered to a desk in some random, soul-sucking Office Job. We’re both healthy (aside from Marty’s stubborn case of bronchitis and my pesky affliction with gratitude). I get to work out and run errands (or blog!) at times when other people are at work. I can cook all day in my galley kitchen if I so choose. I make excellent food that renders my body fit and happy (sketchy experiments with almond milk aside). We live in the most gorgeous, oceanside city and are blessed to call the amazing country of Canada ‘home‘. In sum, we have the greatest existences and we have already been granted nearly everything we’ve ever asked for!
That’s when I came to the unnerving realization that my Bucket (List) is full of holes.
I’ve become so comfortable in this cushy lifestyle of mine that I’ve neglected to keep my canister of dreams and lofty ambitions topped up. My Bucket List has leaked considerably! My plans to travel the world have slipped out of my rusty bucket and have formed a puddle just out of reach. I’ll tend to that puddle when I have more time and money. My dreams of writing a book (or two, or three, or four) have been washed away by my familiar, busy routines. Who needs to write a book when everything is great already? My goals to master entire new languages have all but evaporated out of my bucket, leaving a more modest sediment sloshing around near the bottom: I will learn a handful of new Czech words. If I feel like it or get around to it. Jsem líný. (<– I am lazy.)
How did this happen? When did I resign myself to a Bucket List filled with sludgy, mediocre dreams? Everything is so wonderful in my life right now that I will never need to Dream Big or Have Grand Ambitions ever again. Goodbye, Bucket List– I won’t be needing you anymore!
I don’t think so.
It’s time to amp up my dreams again and fill up Ye Olde Bucket List once more! After all, how horrible would it be to somehow end up back in an Office Job in the future, without having traveled for long stretches of time when I had the chance? And what’s the point of only setting knee-high type goals– the easily, embarrassingly attainable ones– when you can set that proverbial bar way higher? Come on, everyone– let’s fix that hole!
Number One on my new and improved Bucket List is to travel. There is so much to see in this wonderful world of ours, from far-off places like India, New Zealand, and Malaysia to the distant corners of my own country: Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and let’s not forget Quebec. I would love to do a Lighthouse trip and travel around North America in search of beacons, and despite my considerable fear of bears, I would love to visit Alaska again. (This time, we will make it to Mount Denali.)
All this travel will require at least a working knowledge of some other world languages. It embarrasses me that I can only speak my native English, and having to pronounce the few French words I do know out loud is like bludgeoning all ear drums in the vicinity with a dull razor blade. I’m way better at Spanish– No comprende— or even Czech– Nemluvim Česky. My new Bucket List will have a much more international flavour. It will be like the U.N. of Bucket Lists.
Then there’s the issue of Those Books. I love to write. I love to have people reading what I write. I love books. I love bookstores. And I would love love love to write and publish a book (for the bookstore!) Then I’d love to write and publish another book. And possibly even another book after that. So my revised Bucket List will be like the U.N. Library of Bucket Lists. 😉
There are a ton of other things that I can put into my U.N. Library Bucket List. Some of them seem a little far-fetched (like becoming a nutritionist, almost-vegan chef, or having my own, low-budget cooking show); some of them will require some serious work on my part (six pack abs, baby!); and some of them are a wee bit personal to be broadcasting over the World Wide Web. It’s an important realization, though: knowing that it’s possible to be both grateful/comfortable in your current life -AND- hopeful and ambitious for your future. ‘Feeling thankful’ does not preclude ‘Still dreaming’, right? The Bucket List will always have a place!
Is your Bucket List well-maintained, or have you let it develop leaks and holes?
What are you thankful for?
What would you still like to accomplish?