Your New Bucket List

7/30/2023 s. k. watts

There’s been a lot of talk over the years about creating bucket lists, and it isn’t just those of us who have been around for a time who have been tweaking ours throughout the years. The thirty something’s are compiling their own as well, doing what we did once upon a time and writing downs their wishes and dreams for their futures. We, the baby boomers and those just behind us are living in our futures now, and now is the time revisit the myriad of list we made about our ‘happy ever afters’ and dust off those items on our lists that we believe we can still make happen.

We are all grown up now and able to differentiate which of our hopes might actually still come to be with a bit of work; which ones should still be kept close for a time, and which are ready to be released like butterflies to become something else entirely. As the whole idea of a bucket list is about prioritizing the things you wish to know or accomplish, sorting our desires into three categories is a very good place to begin mapping out our happily ever after. And after you have the beginnings of the map that points to your destination, remind yourself that it is the journey every single day that really matters.

Our generation has had a whole lot of practice writing bucket lists in our time even if we didn’t recognize that is what we were doing. We thought of them as our New Year’s Resolutions, “Things To Do,” When I Grow Up, My Goals and Wish Lists and many more. We purchased yearly planners that came up with even more ways in which to document what we wanted to see and do in life. And we probably spent more time writing down what we wanted and dreaming about things happening in the future than we actually spent working on bringing our dreams to fruition.

It seems that the world is moving quite swiftly these days and those of us still working well into our sixties and seventies are reshaping the definition of retirement and the definition our parents knew as the golden years. Our demographic is weaving a whole new paradigm for ourselves amid the advances in science that have us living longer, the acceptance that we can start new businesses in our sixties and buy homes with mortgages in our seventies. The time has come to reweave our bucket lists as well.

Instead of a buying my usual planner this last New Year’s Eve, I bought a three-ring notebook and some old-fashioned college ruled notebook paper instead. As tradition would have it, the first few pages would have been all my ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ that I now think of as my lifetime bucket list. I broke tradition by writing out only nine wishes/goals to fulfill this year. Nine resolutions the grown up me believed I could accomplish on this trip around the sun. And these were nine commitments as well. For I am the one who is ultimately responsible for my own destiny and happy ever after.

One of my resolutions was to live like I am the retired I used to dream about at least two hours a day. This is probably the one I’ve put most of my efforts into to date, because we really are living our ‘retirements’ even if we are still working. It is important to carve out the time to do the things we would be doing if we had the time to do it in. In my case, making sure I have time each day to do those things that bring me joy. Painting, writing, talking with my friends, adding to my stone collection, playing with my pets. I have had to rearrange the way in which I accomplish things in order to make this time, but I go to bed at night with the knowledge that my parents would be proud that I have figured out live my best life in the 128 hours a week that are mine to do with as I will.

Whether you are fully retired or working part or full time, it would serve you well to spend some time deciding what you wish to accomplish, see or do that you have yet to make happen. And you can begin anytime during the year. You can begin now. Keep your notes in a ringed binder where you can add paper or clippings or art wherever you want. Decide to chart the map to your future. We all have a future until we don’t, so view every day as a gift and keep on keeping on. It’s how we have always rolled…

Your Bucket List

Make a note on your next day off to list the things that are part of your own bucket list. Plan some quiet time on your own, sit out on the porch or put on some favorite music and make yourself a cup of tea. Create a place to think that feels void of all interruption and thoughts of work. Maybe meditate a bit and imagine your world as you would like it to be.

Keep your list simple. Unless fame, fortune or some extraordinary circumstance makes an appearance, consider what you might actually be able to bring to fruition over the next few years. What can you make happen this year? Do this by prioritizing your list and picking one or two things you can visualize happening in the coming months and writing down a plan to make that come to be.

After you have decided what is possible this year, stay right where you are and enjoy the space you are in. This will become your little corner of the world where you will go when you need to rearrange your goals and plans, think about what you enjoy doing, decide where you will continue to add things to the time that is yours in these years that we will make golden despite the challenges of the world around us.

Check on your progress on a day you are not working each week. Tweak your plan when needed. Reward you progress. Keep on believing that even the smallest of hopes and dreams and goals is worth working towards. You got this!

It’s Just a Thought

I will throw out a couple of my own bucketed goals for this year. One of them was to create this blog. And you should know that I consider myself technologically dyslexic. It was a huge fear for me, but one I knew would bring me joy should it be accomplished. My blog isn’t perfect yet. That will be on next year’s list of “Things to do.”

Another very simple goal on my personal bucket list (and one we should all to our own) was to enjoy the time I wasn’t working like I wasn’t working anymore. It’s a daily readjustment of my mindset. Some days I fail. Some days I win and make time to enjoy doing those things I would be doing if I weren’t working. Like painting or writing. And I go to bed knowing that I am living my retirement years as well as may be and dream beautiful dreams of my life yet to come.

I wish you all the best in your years to come and bid you all the happiest of trails on your own paths in this lifetime. May you find the golden moments in your days and weeks to come, and may they become precious memories over the years and decades to come. Remember to remember all the little moments of good things throughout the day. And remember that life is a gift. Something to be grateful for each and every day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay up to date with our newsletter.