When we were young and spring began to chase away the frost of winter, we made wish lists. We would see the summer holidays creeping towards us and we would make a mental or physical list of all the things we would do during our precious time away from school, college or university.
We dreamed of sunny days, lying on the beach, travelling and experiencing new things. Yet, as it always seemed to do, the summer flew by. As the end of August rolled around, our thoughts turned to new pencil cases, text books and stuffy classrooms. We would be filled with regret at the things we didn’t do with our free time, and we vowed the we would definitely be more pro-active the following year.
Now that we are in our midlife years, a lot of us have started to make bucket lists. And some of us are finding that many of the things that we swore we would experience in our teenage years are migrating to those lists. But what are the chances of achieving the things we have pledged to do?
Are we really going to push ourselves to try new things, taste new foods or travel the world simply because we have written a list? I would say probably not, just like those dreamy summer promises.
The big difference between the summer hopes of our younger selves and the bucket lists we are making now is time. Youth is blissfully ignorant of the sand trickling through the hourglass of life. They see an endless stretch of summertimes to fill with dreams. With age comes the rather unpleasant knowledge that our time on this earth is certainly not finite.
By filling our tomorrows with wish lists are we putting off experiencing the glory that each and every day may hold? Are we placing too much emphasis on the things we want to do rather than the things we can do?
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming, hoping or planning. In fact, having a deep desire to achieve or experience something new can make our futures shine brighter. But don’t fill your whole life with hopes; fill it with the wonder that is the here and now. Fill it with the small things that make you smile. Fill it with new experiences that you CAN achieve. Fill it with a life lived so completely it makes you happier than anything written on a bucket list ever could.
The are no ‘do overs’, no next life to try again. So let’s live for today, make every moment count and enjoy our lives. Maybe it’s time to kick the bucket – the bucket list that is?