Last week the best thing happened. After writing about bucket lists, people started talking to me about their own bucket lists. I am inspired and love what they had to say. I was touched and inspired to do the same when my friend Alicen stated that she would like to take “a long trip around the world doing humanitarian aid and living like locals.” I completely relaxed when my friend Tammy said, “I want a year at a Buddhist monastery.” Namaste, Tammy! And I giggle-snorted when my friend Denise wrote, “add to my list the Annual Running of the Reindeer in Alaska. Registration is now open. Shall we do it?” Yes, we shall.
It was my friend Robert’s words that literally took my breath away. Somehow those words took my crazy awesome bucket list and gave it beautiful purpose. Thank you for that, Robert! Here is what he wrote:
“To sail the Caribbean for a year on a 40-45′ sailboat is what makes my heart beat everyday.”
At that moment, I believe my own heart skipped a beat, and yes, I think it also sang.
Fast forward to Saturday. As some folks now, Dave, the boys, and I decided to bed down in the more affordable Salt Lake City for the summer. We gypsies needed a little break. We also realize that bedding down here means Dave is commuting (once again) to San Francisco weekly. As cool as this summer respite has been, in our first-world-problems sort of way, we are still feeling unsettled and uncertain. As a result, I am sure you can imagine that Dave’s weekly family reengagement is not always smooth. And this additional task of weekly family reconfiguring sometimes feels like our breaking point.
Last week was one of those humpty-dumpty moments. Even though my bucket was feeling, well, very bucket-list full, Dave and I were a little out of sorts. We both knew it was time to pick up our pieces, reconfigure and reset. So we did what we do and we went on a walk. While the boys slaved away Cinderella-ing their chores, Dave and I made our way to our local Starbucks. I ordered. Walked over to Dave, who was sitting in a super comfy chair. A tall, clumsy bar stool was the only chair next to him. Instead of breaking, I readjusted,
“Hey, Dave, come sit at this table with me so we can sit together.”
Happily he moved. And we sat long enough so I could drink my first drink, and then get a refill of my green-tea-unsweetened-no-water-light(ish)-ice. Of course we talked about our current and long limbo. We both agreed that this not-knowing-stuff is becoming a broken record and has been going on well beyond any reasonable expectation. We vented, running through a list of what we missed while we were apart. I talked about school. Dave talked work.
And then out of nowhere I thought of Robert’s words:
“What makes your heart beat?”
Tears filled my most frustrated eyes, and thought that maybe those words might help break my mind of our current in-between. At that I looked across the tiny table into Dave’s kind, blue eyes and said,
“You know what I would really like to do? I would like to live overseas. Thinking about living in another country makes my heart beat. As frustrated as I am with all of this not knowing, thinking about living in another country is what gives me breath. Right now I need that.”
With thoughts of beating hearts and overseas-living-dreams, we let the vents go and let the excitement fill the air.
The next day as Dave and I were walking again, we landed once again on the topic of uncertainty.
“Hey, you totally connected, didn’t you?” I asked, and then connected. “You know what it is like to dream about something so much that it is what keeps you going?”
“Yes.” Dave said. Of course we both agreed that fact that our kids keep us going is just a given.
“You really would live overseas, because you know the idea of it makes my heart beat.”
“I would,” Dave responded.
Our full circle moment came this evening. Dave is back in San Francisco so Kyle offered to go on a walk with me. Tonight we took a different path. We walked and talked about tomorrow. He has his very first behind the wheel experience at driving school. I cannot believe my oldest son is about to drive. Wow! Pray for us!
“Mom, yes, I am both nervous and excited.” Kyle expressed.
“You will do great. I know you will.” I responded.
“I want to get enough sleep so I am ready.”
“You will.” I responded.
Our conversation carried on as we moved further down the path. Up ahead, and there on a sidewalk was a piece of dark orange chalk sitting next to the painted words:
“This is a community project. What makes you happy? Maybe it will inspire others?”
I wrote two words: my sons and travel. Kyle wrote one: Frisbee.
Yes, I am definitely inspired. And yes, life can seem limbo-y, and bucket lists can feel unfilled, but we all find ways of moving along.
My questions to you:
What makes you happy?
What makes your heart beat?
Speaking of bucket lists…
Here are some tips on making your own bucket list.
Here is an interesting article about the complications brought on by bucket lists.