One month ago today, I turned 40. Since then, I’ve been doing some more thinking as to what that means. Every month on the 7th, I’ll have a little insight as to my discoveries now that I’m 40. This month, I’m putting together my bucket list. Maybe not a traditional bucket list (I have no desire to jump out of an airplane, or cross the Amazon, or take a selfie on the Great Wall). This bucket list is more of a mindfulness list. The things that I need to remember to focus on through the day to day distractions of life. The really important things. The things that actually matter.
put down the iPad and play with the dog
We don’t have children, but we have a dog that thinks she is human, and we treat her as such for the most part. She is very interactive, and wants to go where we go, do what we do, and be included in everything. We love her more than anything.
What I’ve tried to become mindful of is that we will only have a limited amount of time with her. And all she wants is a little love from us. So when I’m kicked back on the couch in the evening checking Facebook on the iPad after a busy day, and she is sitting at my feet staring at me, I stop. I put down the iPad. And I snuggle and play with the dog. Usually it’s only a few minutes before she is bored with me and goes back to napping, and I can get back to my important business of seeing who posted the coldest temperature of the day or found the funniest cat video.
And I feel better. I feel loved. And so does the dog.
(p.s. this philosophy also works with kids, other loved ones or pets, and those random people out in the world that could use a little kindness and attention)
never be to busy to visit with family and friends
You know how busy life can be. Work, taking care of the house, errands, soccer games, band practices, walking the dog. All of those things you need to get done during the day.
Then the phone rings. It’s your mom/best friend/someone else you love. You look at the phone. You want to talk to them, but you are in the middle of dishes/laundry/writing a blog post. What do you do?
I answer the phone.
I didn’t always. I just wanted to finish what I was doing, or I didn’t have much to talk about, or I was tired, or whatever. But these are the people that make up my life. Taking the time to connect with them is what gives my life depth. Spend too much time disconnected, it is that much harder to become reconnected.
Answer the phone. Go for drinks with the girls. Take your great aunt to lunch.
You’ll feel the love. I promise.
let the love of your life know you know how lucky you are
As I’ve mentioned before, it took me many, many years to find the man I would spend the rest of my life with. And he was worth the wait. And I am thankful for him every day.
Why is this on the bucket list? Because every day I want him to know that I am thankful for him. How lucky I am to have someone who works so hard, who makes me laugh, who supports me.
Does he do things that drive me nuts? Sure.
Do I do things that drive him nuts? Absolutely.
Do I think that those things should be the focus of our relationship? Nope.
Do the things that make him perfect for me outnumber the things that drive me nuts? By the thousands.
Remember and focus every day on the things that make your relationship great. Try really hard not to get sucked into the humdrum day-to-day of taking each other for granted.
I’m so lucky to have him. (And he’s lucky, too.)
be kind to yourself first
This might sound a little egocentric, but in reality, you can’t be of service to others with any sincerity without first taking care of yourself. This is also the most difficult item of this list for me (and probably for most people).
It is easier to beat ourselves up about not having the right job, not being the right weight, not having the right address or car or clothes, for saying the wrong thing. For not being “enough” (whatever that is).
But in order to accomplish all of the other things on this list, you must first realize that you are enough. That you are more than enough. This doesn’t mean that you are perfect. This means that you are perfectly flawed, that you are trying everyday to be the best you can be, and you love yourself anyway. Just the way you love all of the people in your life, even though they are not perfect.
The Golden Rule is “Treat others as you would want to be treated”. An important rule. Also important would be “Treat yourself as you would treat others”, don’t you think?
every day holds moments of grace
Sometimes, the best thing you can do is just stop and notice the good and happy little things that happen throughout the day (even the bad days), such as…
… the lost (insert item here) that appears out of nowhere
… the traffic light that stays green just long enough
… that first bite of something incredibly delicious
… the warm sun or cool breeze that pops out just when you need it
… that front parking spot at a busy store
… the smile or hug when you really need one
Our days travel by too quickly as it is. I find that pausing and being mindful and thankful for these little moments brightens my days.
So, there you have it. That’s my bucket list. Maybe not as sexy as some, but these are the things that fill my heart. And isn’t that what a bucket list should really be about?
What are you adding to your bucket list this year?