I am a list maker. A doer. I thrive on progress and accomplishments. I put my head down and push through until I reach a goal. Reaching that goal feels amazing! But… how much life did I miss in the meantime? I am so focused on the goal I miss the journey. I’ve heard it before, but I’m just now starting to truly understand.
A little (more) about me; I had my first child at 16. – Yes 16. I had always dreamed of becoming a mother, but the actualization of that dream rushed at me a little quicker than I had expected. From there, I tucked that head down and graduated high school 3 days before my 17th birthday. I put my everything into becoming the best mother I could be. I would not let my age define me. I married my then boyfriend and son’s dad, and we had 2 more children. We bought a house. We bought cars. We went on vacations. We did everything we were ‘supposed to’ do. I reached all those goals.
It was wonderful! Life is grand. I was proud of myself. BUT, that was my entire life. Checking things off a checklist that I didnt even write myself. The years ticked by. Some of the things I was ‘supposed to’ do made me so happy, and some only made me proud because I finished it. And, accomplishing all of those things so young, while certainly something I was proud of, gave me little to work towards.
My husband encouraged me to write a bucket list and take charge of my own goals, but I argued that I was too young to have a bucket list. I wasn’t ‘supposed to’ feel this way. I wasn’t ‘supposed to’ feel unfulfilled when I was this blessed. And most of all I wasn’t ‘supposed to’ focus on my own wants or dreams while I was busy being the best mother I could be.
Then, he took me on a helicopter ride for my birthday. That experience was so exhilarating. I came home wanting to learn to fly a helicopter. I decided to go ahead and write that list. I dislike the term ‘bucket list’, though. I was not going to complete a list just to feel at peace with death. I put my own positive spin on it and dubbed it my Lifetime List.
My first goal was to write down 101 things I WANTED to accomplish without any influence from what I was ‘supposed to’ do. Even after I jotted them down, I continued to put them off. I’ll wait until the kids are older, I’ll wait until we have more money, I’ll wait until we have more time. Somewhere along the way it hit me that the only person setting those obstacles was myself. So, I began checking them off. Slowly. I promised myself I would not rush through this list just to get it done. I would enjoy every moment.
I am currently in the process of checking off my list. I am constantly reminding myself to remove the obstacles and HAVE FUN. It’s a process, but one I thoroughly enjoy. I started this blog to document it, but also to reach out to others along the way. If I can help others cross of THEIR items, or at the very least motivate someone to try it themselves, it will make this journey so much more fulfilling.