It began as a personal push-back against “The Bucket List.” Not that I didn’t enjoy the movie when it was released a few years ago. What’s not to like about Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? 😉 And who among us at midpoint-and-more doesn’t recognize that time is growing shorter? It takes the loss of just one person our own age or younger to remind us our bodies are finite and life moves fast.
No, I think what buzzed my brain about the checklist theme and onslaught of “100 Places to Visit/Oceans to Cross/Meals to Devour” publications that followed was the imbalance. So much do more/move faster without a correlating thrilled at/simply survived. And until we claim something–good, bad, right, wrong, up, down sideways–we risk leaving treasures among the trash.
What if we peered into the bucket we’ve filled thus far and saw it neither as half full nor half empty, but with plenty and room for more?
Which is how the experiment began. I started listing, and asking my friends to list, things done that–looking back–we realize have made us us. Only rule of the game: start by writing I HAVE__________________ about 20 times on a sheet of paper. Then fill in the blanks with whatever comes to mind. Trust me: you will be surprised at what surfaces. A counselor friend relayed back she’d begun using it with her adolescent therapy group. Another pal reported she’d seen, for the first time, how the big and the small moments of life are often perfectly equal.
I reviewed my first list while writing this post and found some smiles, some tears and one that still brings both: I HAVE watched in a mirror as my premie daughter is delivered by C-section.
To paraphrase my mama: my bucket runneth over.
“As important as penciling in each day a new page of your life story is to go over some previous page in ink.”~ Robert Brault
Image: publicdomainphotos.net by Petr Kratochvil