A new year, a fresh start. It’s like opening a new notebook and making your first list or drawing on the first clean sheet of paper (for those of us who are paper nerds). I have an organization-loving heart. I love lists and plans and note taking. I always have since I was a kid. Some of us are just wired that way. My daughter was from a young age and my son is definitely not. But he is a dreamer, like me, and likes to dream of places to go, things to do, experiences to have. Sometimes they pan out and dreams turn into plans and plans turn into reality. But sometimes they don’t and they stay in the realm of dreams and wishes.
When it is the start of a new year I am always thinking ahead and planning and dreaming of what I’d like to do, goals to accomplish, places to travel to. It becomes my bucket list for the year. When my kids were little we would come up with a bucket list of ideas of things we wanted to do that summer. It was literally a bucket or jar of individual ideas written on pieces of paper, so when they said the magic words, “I’m bored”, I would tell them to go to the bucket and see what we were going to do that day.
Now that my kids are older, usually some time over Christmas break while we are spending more time actually in the same room, we ask what things they would like to do in the year ahead. Where should we vacation, spend a weekend, what new things do we want to try as a family? Some times we only get a shoulder shrug, but sometimes it gets them thinking and…dreaming.
I want to dream and help my kids not be afraid to dream and possibly fail or not see that dream happen when they’d like it to. I want them to continue to try new things, go new places, meet new people, and enjoy new cultures. I don’t want them (or myself) to plod through life. I have thought much lately about something a pastor and civil right leader Howard Thurman said, "Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
I believe we are all created with specific talents and abilities. I didn’t fully discover some of my talents until midway through my life. That has caused me to quit my day job as an engineer and focus on being creative, making things, and helping others have meaningful and helpful employment in my little company. What’s on my bucket list this year? Things that will make me come alive. I’m going to be creative in a new way for me by creating my own designs on fabrics, branch out into making different items, and finding more people locally who need good employment and a creative outlet. I am going to explore more places, even if they are close to home and encourage my kids to do the same.
What is on your bucket list this year? How will you come alive in the year ahead?