This is such a cliche blog topic it almost makes me want to vomit just thinking about it. But, here I am, writing about it again anyway.
See here’s the thing, everyone goes through these periods where they become acutely aware of their own mortality – as skydivers, this has a tendency to creep up on us from time to time.
I’ve written pseudo bucket lists before – participated in blogger challenges like the “30 before 30″ list and all the jazz – but to me, those things are a bit self-centered (yes, I realize that, at it’s core, blogging is pretty self-centered, but bear with me here if you could).
This time of the year I have a tendency to get pretty reflective – to look back at the year, what I’ve accomplished vs. what I set out to do. I’m not one for “new year’s resolutions,” but I do like to set goals for myself just to keep me going. At the beginning of the year, I’m not going to lie, I was struggling with a lot. My heart and soul was focused on fixing what was wrong inside me and in the environment surrounding me, and I have to admit, as the end of 2011 is bearing down, I came out on top. Take that 2011.
Along with the changes, the accomplishments and the overall happiness that surrounds my world, December has brought on reflections not of myself, but of others in need.
As you’re all very aware, one of the things I pride myself on is the yearly Jump for Diabetes event that helps raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation and support diabetes research. It’s a cause close to my heart, and given that my husband is the founder of this wonderful event, it makes me even prouder that our little family is able to do something to give back every year.
(Small plug here, but if you want to continue to support our cause, you can do so throughout the year at http://jdrfillinois.org and when you click Donate Now, enter Jump for Diabetes in the special instructions. Help us get to our goal and find a cure for diabetes!)
With that, I’ve realized that a true bucket list is about more than what you want to accomplish, the places you want to visit and things you want to purchase by a set date, it’s about how you want to live your life and the ways you want to leave your mark on the world before you pass on.
I’m a firm believer that bucket lists are not set in stone, rather, they’re living, breathing documents that allow us to focus our energies on those things we want to accomplish in our lives. If thought through properly, a bucket list can set the tone for your adult life, provide a foundation for where you want to go, and give you motivation to achieve those goals. It’s not simply a list of to-dos, but a guide for who you want to become.
So below, in no particular order (hence, this list is not numbered) are a few of those things I see as bucket list material. Maybe one day I’ll sit down and draft my bucket list in full and post it here for all to see – but then, it’s seems rather “finalized,” and I like the idea of always being able to alter your path as changes occur in your life. For now, you get to see a few of my goals for living a positive, enjoyable life I can be proud to call mine.
Personally impact one person’s life in a positive way.
Give back in ways that life has provided for me (through mentorship, career and skydiving support, etc)
Spend one holiday season volunteering.
Establish a not-for-profit and spread the word (this one, though accomplished, will be ongoing throughout my life).
Appreciate. (My husband, my extended family, my career, my health, my friends – appreciate all the good life has to offer, even when times are tough)
Commit to health and fitness with green smoothies, limited processed foods, regular workouts, etc.
Give animals in need a home: always adopt from rescue organizations and foster homes.
Don’t miss out on great opportunities because of obligation. Carpe diem – live life to it’s fullest.
Spend every day as if it might be the last – with friends, family and love in my heart.
I have to be honest, I really wanted to put something on this list about living out my wedding vows, and loving my husband. But truth be told, I don’t need to put that on a list, it’s something that comes completely natural to me. Appreciate… even when times are tough, seemed more appropriate, as I, like many people, struggle with focusing on the bad, even when so many things are good and right in my life.
What are some things you’d put on your bucket list? They can be specific or broad, but how do you want to live your life? How do you see your future playing out?
Love and blue skies!