Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bucket Lists

I remember my first To-Do List. Before I had even started high school I knew I wanted to be a cheerleader, date a jock, be the President of Student Council, and an Editor on Yearbook.

I'm not sure where my proclivity to track things came from but I can't remember a time when I did not have a running log of things to do inside my head.

And as fate/life/planning would have it I managed to check off everything off what could be dubbed my "Sweet Valley High"  list.

By the time I got to graduation I knew I wanted to go to a good school far away, but I had not formulated a To-Do List for college. Which may explain me bailing on the whole higher-ed enterprise once I experienced a curve ball, also known as my oldest son.

Next, was an extended period of No Lists. I had a spouse and children, but I was lost on what I wanted/could accomplish as an adult. Previously I had ideas on what I wanted to be, but since my route to adulthood was decidedly different than my dreams I felt sort of stuck. Like To-Do Lists would no longer be relevant because I hadn't followed a certain path.

Thinking back to my high school self, I recall a vague adult To-Do List that contained running a marathon, marrying and having children, writing books, becoming a newscaster, and owning a large house where my whole family could visit.

Only my definition of things to do has changed so radically since then.

While I still have concrete goals like writing books and owning land, there's no longer a running log in my head. My current To-Do List is more like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book.

There are definitely turns I want to take, but I am now more open to the unexpected plot twists than I once was.

I find more value in acknowledging various experiences/goals I'd eventually like to accomplish versus planning out an elaborate road map for my life.

Life happens. Shit happens. Our lives need not follow a "Sweet Valley High" storyline to be well-lived.

I guess you could say this post is really me reminding myself to just live, because the bucket will fill itself.