My Bucket

My Bucket

For several years the trend has become all about the “bucket list.” Dare I say I am probably one of the few people to never complete such a list. The plans I have made for the future can fit into a Dixie cup at this point. When I was younger, I could have filled a dump truck with all the great plans I had for myself.

Then life happened.

Now, I never say, “never,” because that too means I have made plans. But, I know how quickly life changes things, and I think the better route is to appreciate the here and now, and all that happy-go-lucky stuff. Besides, it’s too overwhelming to try and keep up with the Jones. And to be quite honest, I don’t feel like setting myself up for disappointment.

For example, I think it would be super awesome to experience the Egyptian Pyramids up close and personal, but let’s be honest, the chances of me doing that while I am young enough to physically accomplish it are pretty slim – unless I hit the lottery (which I am not planning on doing anytime soon.)

And, even if I had a genie to grant me a few wishes, I have been to several places around the globe enough to know that it is probably a disappointment on some level. In real life it’s probably all touristy and roped off and looks nothing like the pictures in the textbooks I have seen my whole life. I can’t imagine doing that kind of thing alone. I also cannot imagine dragging two teenagers and a seven-year old…

In a book and through a documentary, I can see the Pyramids in the beautiful light which they were meant to be seen. I can see them with a bird’s eye view. I can go into the crawl spaces without wiping cobwebs out of my hair and enduring, what I can only imagine, is a ripe stink of a thousand year-old tomb. I can see what they may have looked like in the distant past with all the junk PhotoShop-ped out.

Of course, if the opportunity arises, you bet your sweet A$$ I will be there.

Facing a Bucket List is like writing a book where you are determining the ending. What’s wrong with calling them dreams or goals? I don’t want to get to the end of my life lugging around a bucket full of an unfulfilled to-do list. My dreams are vivid and alive. They are also temporary and fleeting. Once in while, you have one that keeps reoccurring. They are ever-changing, just like me. They are more beautiful than I could have concocted, just like life. Sometimes, they even come true.

My bucket makes a good planter. Perhaps I will throw some dirt in it and plant some seeds. It will keep me in control of what comes next. I will be looking out for the weeds. I will have to water and tend my dreams if I want them to blossom.

If anything, I know in the end, I will have some flowers for my grave instead of garbage pail full of “if onlys.”

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First say to yo…

Stages of Truth

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Epictetus

This quote would explain my life. At every turn, I have done exactly this. It has been a slow transformation, and one that I thought would have produced so much more.

Putting this into perspective: I am grateful for all that I have. I have much more than I should, perhaps. It is not the material things I am after. I am looking for the thing that defines me. My mark on this world. The place where I belong. It’s hard to believe that I was made to live out my days mopping the same floor, washing the same clothes, and staring out of the same windows.

In the beginning, the saying and doing was easy. It was a matter of survival. I worked hard, and did the things that I was supposed to do. Say it. Do it. Say…

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First say to yo…

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Epictetus

This quote would explain my life. At every turn, I have done exactly this. It has been a slow transformation, and one that I thought would have produced so much more.

Putting this into perspective: I am grateful for all that I have. I have much more than I should, perhaps. It is not the material things I am after. I am looking for the thing that defines me. My mark on this world. The place where I belong. It’s hard to believe that I was made to live out my days mopping the same floor, washing the same clothes, and staring out of the same windows.

In the beginning, the saying and doing was easy. It was a matter of survival. I worked hard, and did the things that I was supposed to do. Say it. Do it. Say it. Do it. I accomplished a lot, but in the end my life has not been my own. There is history. There were issues. There is no need for details, because everyone’s life is full of challenges and hardship. We re-evaluate and move on. We know, “this too shall pass.” We will eventually move on. Eventually.

I am at a plateau.   

What happens when you don’t know what you want to be anymore?

This is my dilemma.

There are things I need to do and things I want to do, and I am ready to DO them. I am just not able to SAY them. What is the thing that keeps me from feeling fulfilled? Where do I go from here? It’s this stage that paralyzes me. It drives me insane. My wheels are spinning. I am thinking and planning and searching and praying.

I need to be quiet.

I will not be here forever. Things will change. I am fighting to enjoy the calm waters until the wind picks up again.

I could write volumes about the joys and struggles and heartbreak of parenting, but it’s not about them right now. It’s about me. I need to be selfish in order to be a better mother – a better person – for my children. It is in these times of “selfishness” that I have found the courage and strength to find my voice. To SAY what I needed. To DO what we all needed.

In the cycle of struggle and reflection, regret is not an option. I can say that I did my best. I understand that I can not control other people. I can grieve and rebuild.

I am wishing right now that I could wrap this up with a happy ending, like a sitcom. Neat. Simple. An answer that I could have if I could only hear the audience at home yelling at their screens.

It’s only me. My writers are on strike right now… 

Stay tuned…