My Bucket List

 On the way home from the Chesapeake Bay this past weekend, Jack and I had a philosophical discussion. He read me an article written by a young woman with terminal cancer.  She talked about how she was counseled to make a bucket list and spend her remaining days trying to complete it.


It seems "the thing to do" these days, in our society that values quantity over quality, to make a bucket list... even for those not considering their own mortality.  And so, lists of personal goals, travel destinations and experiential opportunities are made - and along with these lists, an ever-growing pressure to achieve.

When I arrived at my 50th birthday, I was suddenly aware of my own mortality - a thought I had kept pretty much stored away in a box in the very back of my mind throughout my first 50 years.  But, somehow, on that particular birthday, the box opened and the reality of my mortality dropped into my lap... staring me square in the face. 

I thought long and hard about my own philosophy and what I wanted from the second half of my life.   What hit me first is that I don't have a bucket list, and never had.  Now, don't get me wrong - I have had wonderful experiences and traveled to lovely places, but I never felt like any of it would somehow make my life feel "complete."  They were merely bonuses that life gifted to me. (And for which, I am ever-so-grateful.)  Still, there remained no burning urge to compile and complete a grand list of not-yet-seen or done activities.

My life was already complete. 

 I have done the things I wanted to do.  I had a career that I loved; and I felt like I made a small difference in the lives of those for whom I cared - that's the thing about being a nurse - it is inherently fulfilling.  I had the good fortune of being able to watch my children grow into happy adults - which is what I wanted more than anything out of life.  I have had the privilege of loving my grandchildren and enjoying sweet times with them.  Life has been good to me.

Now, as I enter the winter of my life, I want nothing more than to be present in every moment of every day...

to notice the little things around me - the ordinary miracles...

to watch the sun rise and set on days filled with tiny moments of magic...

to be enthralled by the opening of a blossom, the ripening of fruit,  the hovering of a hummingbird, the sound of crickets,  the smell of my horses, the gentle vibration of a kitten purring in my arms.  These are the things that delight me.  These are the things that would be on my bucket list if I had one.  To that I would also add spending time with those whom I love... making sweet, simple memories together.


Life's precious moments were meant to be savored slowly.... and that can only happen when one's mind is free to muse on the here and now... without longing for all that is beyond our grasp.  We spend so much time lamenting yesterday or planning for tomorrow, that we forget to enjoy today.

May your bucket list be filled, dear friend, with lots of tiny magical moments - ones that are easily attained by simply paying attention.  The photos of this blog post were simple moments in a single day... things that made me smile... the best of what my life has to offer, in my humble opinion.

************************

PS... last evening was our four-year-old Easton's first T-ball game.

How hysterically precious these little ones are.  Notice the intense look on his face as he swings at the ball! (click on the photo to enlarge it)

 Yesterday, Mackenzie started first grade...

And Tyler started Middle School...

I love my Little people... they are my true bucket list!

Then, of course there is precious Elijah and Wren... who are both just starting to walk!


And with that we say goodbye to August!!  I am happy that September is here... Autumn is just around the corner, and with it comes so much that I love!  I cannot wait to share it with you....

Comments

jaz@octoberfarm said…
i've never had a bucket list either. i live in the moment. kids really do grow so fast don't they? i think Mackenzie has an old soul. she seems so much older than she is.
Jeannie said…
Beautiful post. Thank you.
Thank you for this post. I have never had a bucket list. One of the things I struggle with though is getting pictures of the little ones. I feel like I'm missing being in the moment if I spend birthday parties and such getting all the pictures. But then if I don't I won't have photos to remember these things.
I love living in the small moments. Enjoying sunrises and sunsets, flowers and hearing my name called when the littles come over. Living each moment.
Judy said…
Fantastic post. Really got me thinking. Love all your pictures
This N That said…
Well said! Making an unattainable list of things to accomplish never made much sense to me. These days “it’s the little things“Hugs
Karla said…
I loved this post, Bev. It struck a nerve. I enjoy my life, which may look boring to others. I enjoy watching birds, riding my bike, walking with friends, cooking, working in the yard, caring for others' animals. I don't have wanderlust like some, haven't traveled the world, and don't know that I will. I am content. That's my bucket list - to remain content in my life.
Junebug said…
Your post today made me smile! I've never had a real bucket list, just a few things I'd like to do. I tend to enjoy the little things like you. My family is truly my list to make as many memories as possible. Those grands, your and mine grow so fast to keep my bucket full!
Unknown said…
I love this blog (well, actually I like 'em all!) but it reinforces my belief that I am in this life (84 years) exactly where God wants me to be and I am so grateful...I have an awesome family, a home that makes me happy and a garden that gives me much pleasure just looking at it (I have no gardening skills but found an outstanding gardener to care for it!). I am blessed.
Marcia LaRue said…
I believe your bucket is full to overflowing!
I do believe my bucket has some holes in it ... LOL At 78, I am content with where I am in my life ... happy, reasonably healthy even though I am too fluffy aka "fat" ... and trying not to get too excited about things that I have no control over!!
Love & hugs from CO.
littlemancat said…
Living in harmony with nature,loved ones,and feeling gratitude for it - the perfect bucket list.
Wonderful post, and it feels like many of us are in total agreement.
Love the feather patterns on the hens!
Mary
Boni said…
Beautiful; Well said! Love all the pics!❤️
Anonymous said…
I couldn't agree with you more. Life as we age becomes about the small and simple blessings which are the best, the rising of the sun, the beauty and wonder of trees and birds and flowers . . . Thank you for the positivity of your blog, something I know you do with great success and deliberation. I live in northern NM with a canyon at the back of my yard. Our visitors are deer, coyotes, bobcats and bears and lots of birds, squirrels and chipmunks. Nature is a refuge and wildlife a wonder. Becky
phyllis Schmitz said…
I read every word and savored it.
THE BEARDED ONE said…
SUCH A GREAT HEART WARMING POST...PLUS AWESOME PICTURES OF GRAND KIDS AND LIFE ON THE FARM...WA WE AGE OUR THOUGHTS TURN TO WHAT WE WANT TO DO W/THE REST OF OUR DAYS...I WILL BE 79 9-14-42 AND I JUST WANT TO BE HAPPY...MAKE OTHERS HAPPY AND GIVE GOD THE GLORY...KEEP SMILING AND THANK YOU SOOOOOOV ERY MUCH FOR THESE AMAZING POSTS...I SURE LOOK FORWARD TO THEM AND ENJOY THEM MUCH !!! HAVE A SUPER DAY AND WEEK !~!~


EDGAR C. BEARD
leslye said…
Thank you, thank you, thank you make everything seem happy and bright!!!!!
deodar said…
I couldn't agree more. I try to keep the idea that dwelling on yesterday and/or worrying about tomorrow steals the peace from today.
Aww Bev, that was a marvelous post today. I agree with everything you said. I too, don't have a bucket list but enjoy each day as it comes. I loved all the pictures you posted today and how wonderful to wrap it all up with pics of your littles who are certainly getting bigger! I can't believe that Easton is four already and looks very determined playing T-ball. Mackenzie seems to have grown up so fast too. I'm so glad you share your sweet grands with all of us. Time must be flying to see everybody getting so big so fast. My own grandkids are in college and high school now. How did that happen so fast? Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog! Love you guys!