There’s A Hole In My Bucket List, Dear Liza

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!

I can't take credit for actually making these sprout wraps-- a farm on Salt Spring is responsible-- but I CAN take credit for slicing it up like sushi and arranging it so artfully on a plate!

But.

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 lΓ­nΓ½. (<– I am lazy.)

Inadvertently stumbling upon a pilgrimage route in the Czech Republic.

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. πŸ˜‰

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!

Oh, travel! How I miss thee!

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?

25 responses

  1. I don’t even have a bucket list. Hummm, I have to think about it. I alway thought about my life as being in phases- career(check) , kids (in process) , retirement- included in that phase would be travel wherever I wanted, maybe another career…. broader sweeps with the brush I think.

    • Broader strokes are just fine, too– it’s the giant, empty canvas that worries me! (My canvas, not yours– I should clarify that I’m not overly preoccupied with your Bucket List!) πŸ˜‰

  2. I don’t really have a Bucket List either–though my number one challenge at the moment is writing a memoir.

    I’m most grateful for my health, my beautiful partner, another birthday, and blogs like yours that remind me to share–to pass along the loveliness!

    Great post, my friend!

    • Thanks! My Bucket List isn’t written in stone, either (or written down at all, actually). I just think it’s important to think of my goals and dreams every now and then, and to make sure I’m not becoming too complacent or lazy about them!

    • Hmm… I have no idea how to garner more blog traffic. Get Freshly Pressed?? I would love to learn the Cyrillic alphabet (and Russian and Ukrainian!), but that’s even more intimidating than learning French, Spanish, or Czech. So many languages, so little time! πŸ™‚

  3. This was an awesome reminder that you can be content and work to shake yourself up and remember your other dreams. More importantly for me, it was great reminder that as painful as life may seem right now, I am in fact doing something that was on my bucket list and am grateful for it. Really.

    I feel like a copy cat, but the ever-feared book is also on my list, as is an actual drive across Canada, hiking a small hill in the Azores, seeing Russia, a multi-day kayak trip, and refusing an award for political reasons.

    • “Refusing an award for political reasons”… best Bucket List item EVER!! πŸ™‚ I want to copy that one.

      I’m glad I could help you appreciate the hell you’re going through right now, even a little bit. (I know it’s difficult.) You’re welcome. πŸ˜‰

  4. I’m totally reading this from my cubicle. Does that mean I’m your target audience???

    I actually find it easier to have big goals when things are generally going well… it seems like an impossible leap if you’re going from “everything sucks and I am depressed” to “I will travel the world and become a best-selling author!”

    I have lots of things on my list, but I don’t write any of them down… visit more of the Northwest Territories and Labrador, go on another long bike trip, keep honeybees, learn how to identify edible wild plants and mushrooms, have an art career… possibly not in that order.

    • I love the specific items on your list! Mine is still in the “Grand & Overambitious” phase, but I too would like to identify wild plants and mushrooms! Marty’s family is really into wild mushroom foraging, and I’d love to tag along without accidentally poisoning anybody.

      Nothing wrong with cubicles. Especially if you’re catching my Gratitude disease in it as we speak! πŸ˜‰

  5. I started a bucket list last year, after completing something I thought was cool enough to go on a bucket list, just so I could cross it off (singing @ Carnegie Hall)–there are a few other things on my list…

    time to go take a look at that thing, and make some movement toward my dreams.

    beautiful post–exuberant and joyous–like you.
    blessings
    jane

    • You’re too sweet! I would have made an Inaugural Bucket List if I sang at Carnegie Hall, too. As it stands, I can barely carry a tune but occasionally pretend to be a pop star when nobody’s listening. πŸ˜‰

  6. I am grateful to be earning my living as an artist, and my bucket-list includes contributing to greater ability for not just artists, but all humanity anywhere to achieve increased freedom of expression without fear of reprisal.
    As an example, I’d say Julian Assange of wikileaks.org fame deserves a Nobel Prize. What he has done has sparked an historic social revolution now unfolding in the Middle-East.
    Think globally, act locally.

  7. You are contagious –I think I caught your bug! I noticed my toes tapping and I’m snapping and dancing for no reason. You have a good attitude and becuase of that more wonderful things will come your way!

    • Sometimes I find myself getting needlessly caught up in drama or experiencing anxiety over nothing in particular, but a good attitude seems to CONQUER ALL. Here’s to more great things coming BOTH of our ways!

  8. I enjoyed reading your positive and encouraging post. I think more than healthy eating habits and daily exercise, a positive outlook is what makes a person beautiful and healthy. Your post is refreshing.

    Speaking of travel, I’ll be enjoying Victoria come this July. I’m coming back to Canada to study for a while.

    Speaking of Czech, I purchased a wonderfull Czech movie online entitled Zelary. Worth watching.

    • Thanks for the comment! Victoria is a beautiful city in July (well, it’s beautiful all year round, but it’s particularly nice in the summer). And I have seen Zelary– worth watching, indeed! Stay positive! πŸ™‚

  9. First of all, thanks for visiting my site yesterday when Tori Nelson dropped by to guest post. It’s so cool to meet new bloggers who are readers of one of my favorites. I hope you enjoyed what you saw and will come back again. This post of yours struck me because, to a lesser extent, it is the theme of my blog. I am turning 30 in less than a year and am working to completion of my 30 before 30 list. Having only a year to complete it, and not a lot of resources, I have compiled a list of some very doable (and some possibly not so doable) things. I’m trying to get the word out about my journey in hopes of meeting some people who might be able to assist in some of the not-so-doable items. Anyway, loved your post here and just wanted to say thanks!

    • Thanks very much! The theme of your blog is very interesting and inspiring! Sometimes I forget to include the smaller, everyday goals on my Gigantic Bucket List, but it’s those doable goals that provide the motivation and momentum to tackle the larger ones! I’ll be subscribing to your blog and following your journey– good luck and thanks for stopping by!

  10. Thank you so much for writing! I feel inspired by your joy and zest for life! Meanwhile, I seem to have misplaced my bucket. Time to start soul searching again. Sincerely,
    Justine B.

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