You cannot wait forever

About a year ago, a few of us were discussing both the concept of Bucket Lists as well as the specifics of our own such list. Because it’s my nature to encourage people to make and meet goals, I sent out a note to about a dozen folks inviting them to share their own Bucket Lists.

Before we were too far along, someone suggested we needed a more positive name. These people felt that “Bucket List” was morbid, as in “These are the things I want to do before I kick the bucket.” Although this hadn’t occurred to me (and I still don’t have a particularly negative connotation for the phrase, we were all fine to change the name to Life List.

The first interesting outcome was that some shared their list and some didn’t. Of course, those who didn’t might have felt this was something to keep private. My sense, though, was that they didn’t want to make it a priority. This is, of course, a matter of personal choice. Selfishly, I would like to know what goals others have, but it’s not my call.

Of those who did share their lists, the mix was fascinating in its breadth. Some involved attending particular sports games in particular venues, like going to see the Ohio State-Michigan game in Columbus.

Many of the Life Lists included an element of travel, whether to Australia, Spain, or Canada.

Some were easily attainable, like driving a Corvette or a tractor, or reading a particular book, or practicing meditation.

When the notion of Life Lists first sprung up, a group of us compared ours and we realized that seeing the Aurora Borealis was common among six. Five of us ended up going to Iceland recently and managed to see it and check it off our lists.

Why do we postpone those things that would bring us joy? I can only assume it’s because we don’t fully realize the value of time. Perhaps we don’t want to confront our own mortality, so we watch others do what we want. We become spectators.

It is not my place to tell others how to live their lives. At my age, though, I do feel qualified to remind people that time passes quickly. You will never be a day younger, nor will these things happen unless we are intentional about it. (And if we want to do something with someone else, then the lives of multiple people become involved and it’s all the more important to take action.)

As William Shed said, “A ship is safe in harbor but ships were not meant to stay in harbor.” We were not meant to watch others. We are the captains of our ships. Let us steer them away from the shore and see where we can explore. When we reach the distant shore, we will find that we have discovered ourselves.

Addendum: I have a running-related list which I will also pursue with great vigor!

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