Buckets of Lists


Yesterday I glanced down at my day time planner and a scary fact jumped right out and punched me in the throat. (I swear that's what happened.)

Up in the left-hand corner, (the menace) in small, bold font: 166 days left.

166? Days left of..? OF THE YEAR?!

I freaked out a little (silently and privately, of course) because all of a sudden over half of 2016 has come and gone and there I was, head spinning, unconsciously thinking, it’s only April, riiiiight? Typical adult moment, I know, I know.

Something you should know about me: I keep two bucket/goal lists. One is a big-thought list of everything I would love to do or see by the time I leave earth like write a memoir and stay with/learn from Mimi Thorisson for several weeks in Médoc, France. The other list changes every year and contains smaller items like learn how to make almond milk and publish a poem.

When I saw that dauntingly small number of 166, I scrambled for my 2016 goal list to see if I had even gotten anywhere near halfway through it. I haven’t. Cue real tears and onset of slow-rising panic.

Some people scoff at bucket lists, resolutions, goals (whatever you wanna call it), but as a person who easily and often gets stuck in day-to-day tasks and to-do lists (wash clothes tomorrow, cook leftover chicken tonight), I need something, ANYTHING to keep me awake, passionate, and aware.

So, I have devised to live by goals and dreams and wishes and resolutions. If I don’t, I get to Christmas time and throw up my eggnog after revisiting the year and finding that nothing extraordinary has been achieved, seen, or done. (Actually I don’t drink eggnog, but you get the idea.)

I don’t want my gravestone to read:

She ate.
She worked.
She loved.
She slept.
She lived.

How terrible is that? Imagine the guests at my funeral:

“Oh you know that Angelina chick, she could really put down three meals a day and go to bed on time. What a stand-up gal.”

I’m telling you, no one talks like that.

At the bare minimum, I at least want some adverbs tacked on to those rather common, boring verbs.

She ate well.
She worked hard.
She loved deeply.
She slept often.
She lived freely.

Ahh, that’s a little better (I think).

Really though, friends. Who will we be when our lives are over and done? It’s entirely up to us, so let's stop with the excuses.

Meanwhile I’m sitting over here, now thinking through my excuses and fears, and simultaneously realizing they are all complete and utter crap.  

I’m too busy. (I watch a lot of Netflix.)
I’m not talented/smart enough. (I’m really just scared.)
I don’t have enough money. (I spend too much money on food and clothes and happy hour.)

The end of July is obnoxiously close, but I still have a few more places I’d like to see the sun set over, a few more books to read, a few more dishes to cook and savor long into the night, a few more people to love, a few more memories to restore and write. What about you?

165 days left. Better get going.