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I wish I woulda coulda shoulda done this or that. If I had more time, I would have…. Phrases like these dog the tracks of those who postpone and put off doing or experiencing life as they’ve envisioned it. But why? Why do we sometimes resign ourselves to living life on the sidelines? Why don’t we just jump in and experience those moments that fill our bulging bucket list? Many of us have constructed a bucket list. Bucket lists inspire us to dream, to hope, so why does the bucket list sit idle?

  • Too young
  • Too busy
  • Too expensive
  • Too old

Then, suddenly, too dead.


What’s on your bucket list? How does your bucket list support the vision for your life? Most times, people create a grand scale bucket list, but I promote the idea of a bargain-bucket list, featured-bucket list, and grande-bucket list. The bargain-bucket list carries those goals and moments we want to explore within a day or week. The bargain-bucket list fits comfortably with our budget and time frame. It offers immediate and short-term gratification. For example, a bargain-bucket list item might be to visit a coffee house that you heard served a great cup-of-joe with a hip vibe. Why not mark a date to visit? Go ahead.

Now, featured-bucket list items may solicit a bit more preparation. This bucket holds items that we want to experience over a couple of days or require more money. Maybe, this list becomes an adventure set for a month or two down the road. Where will you go? What will you do there? Will you take anyone with you? Is this featured-bucket list item a ‘me venture’ or an ‘us venture’? Whatever your venture, remind yourself that the preparation is worth your time. Build memories. That’s the whole purpose of a bucket list: Create moments and experiences that warm our hearts when days become dark and difficult. Reminiscing over a bucket list venture and mentally prepping for another one fills us with wondrous anticipation as we gear up for the next featured-bucket list excursion. 


Most everyone is well acquainted with the grande-bucket list. Those “before I die…” list empowers us with tremendous possibilities. I think it’s just as much fun creating this list as it is living it. However, these lifetime quests must, at some point, leave the safe haven of the grande-bucket. What’s holding you back? REMINDER–DEAD is final. Again, I ask. What’s on your bucket list?


 During this year of Covid, so many felt trapped and depressed because they couldn’t move about at will. Bucket lists collected dust on shelves. But why? Covid prompted us to tweak our perspectives on how to enjoy ourselves within the confines of our dwellings. These restrictions fostered new and intriguing ways to build bargain and featured bucket lists. Tik Tok took over–daddy-daughter and grandparent-grand performances, at an all-time high. I’m pretty certain that some of the older generations had a passing thought of Tik Toking but dismissed it as kids’ play. However, the pandemic resurrected playtime in many of us. I joined in with my little folks too. I had so much fun. However, we didn’t publish it.


In all seriousness, Covid reminded us that life seems short in the larger scope of matters. Regardless, how many or few days we’re afforded, we want to look back on them and smile. Keep filling our bargain-buckets and featured-buckets, but make every effort to empty the buckets too. I heard Miles Monroe, an evangelical motivational speaker, share a wealth of truth that resonates with me: “Don’t die old, die empty. Go to the cemetery and disappoint the graveyard” This principle changed my view on living. It charged me to pursue life and give and do all that I’m destined to do and deposit into humanity. Two other principles helped shape how I view life: My sister-in-law’s grandson prayed, “Lord, help my Grandpa live, until he die.” That little guy’s sincere prayer compelled me to do just that. I take advantage of this life that I have. I engage in filling my bargain-bucket and emptying it out as often as possible. What about you? 


Lastly, several years ago, I read a book entitled Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom. Morrie shared, “The truth is once you learn how to die, then you learn how to live.” For me, these nuggets of truth inspired me to move beyond the grande-bucket list. Since I don’t know when my tick-tock timer will grant its last second to me, I take comfort in the joy of living and filling my days visiting my bargain and featured buckets often. What about you? How will you spend your days?


Live Long and Prosper

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