The “bucket list”. What do we want to do before we die? What do we want to see and experience? What do we want to eat or jump off of or ride in? I’ve always found a “bucket list” to be a little befuddling. It’s a good way to focus on the material of a fictional future, but what about what really determines the quality of our lives? Why set our sites on stuff in lieu of where we actually have power and providence?
I submit to thee, good reader, a suggestion that has actually made my life better in the real, every day. It’s a daily bucket list. It’s a bucket list with a focus not on the circumstantial but on the mighty pieces we can collect and give away throughout our days. It’s a shift from the entertainment of life to the being of one. Instead of what we want to do, it’s a continuous reflection on who we want to be.
The illusion of a bucket list is that there’s some possibility of a far-off or a “in good time” that awaits us. A daily bucket list is honest. It promises you no more than this moment. You don’t even get to the end of the day. You get now. There’s a reciprocity there - the honest truth for your honest acceptance of it. And then what? How will you be in this very moment? And if you get more than that, if you get to lay your sleepy head on your pillow this evening, will the thoughts that walk you to slumber be ones of satisfaction and gratitude? They will be as you’ve seen your day. How did you see your day?
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. - Annie Dillard
My daily intentions are thus:
Daily, I do the things to take care of my body. I eat well. I move. I spend as much of my days under the sky with the earth underfoot. Not because some program or person told me to, but because I am indebted to this wondrous creation I get to move through life within. I live in my physical body with delight. My time with this miraculous body is short. I will move on from it and it will go into the ground. Imagine that? The physical of what keeps me breathing, my powerful lungs, will collapse. My heart, strong and true, will become motionless. My thighs, the thighs that have moved me through all manner of adventure and pumped wildly to allow me to outrun danger, will be still. All of my body will end. It ends. It will have served its purpose and then it will end. I will go on, leave it. But my flesh will feed the worms and the universes in the soil and then the birds and the deer until, finally, my body becomes all that will ever be and ever was on this planet. I hold this truth in my bones. I let it bubble up and permeate my complaints of my imperfections. Imagine spending time on how our jeans fit when these incredible bodies of ours allow us this time here to smell and taste and laugh and jump and climb and make love and feast and hug?
Daily, I learn. I look to minds brighter than mine to teach me. That may come in the form of reading. That may come in the form of humbling my ego and listening. I take courses and classes regularly and study things from a diverse group of subjects. I am a student of life. I want to learn. I am a voracious wisdom seeker. Teach me. I am here to learn. In every day, I learn.
Daily, I pray. Daily I interact with God in meaningful and substantial ways. Daily I reinforce the tethers of my spirit to the mystical and unknown. I don’t want to be so sure. I don’t want to look for all of my answers in the measurable. I’m okay with questioning and uncertainty. I believe in the answers given to my heart. I have come to know myself through my Creator. In every day I make time and space to balance the scales of who I have been told I am with who I know myself to be. It is an unending, ever-evolving process. But I am not the physical and I am sure to stay close to this truth. It’s easy in this world that sees us as machines to start believing such nonsense. Every day, I commune with and lace my soul into, the sacred and the divine.
Daily, I love. Loving through kindness. Loving through selflessness. If in a day I found ways to bring sweetness in the smallest of moments, I have lived as the Tara I want to be. If I kissed and teased and made someone laugh. If I complimented the smallest of acts and reached out for a hand to kiss or hold. If I said I was sorry. If I was bigger than my ego. If I made time to connect. If I showed interest in the story of another. If I told my beloveds how they are such beautiful mothers, talented seamstresses, generous friends, skilled artists, wildly creative, dependable providers. If I have done these things, I have loved. Love in actions to show the love in my heart.
My daily bucket list is simple in concept, but potent in application. At night, I go to sleep next to my steadfast soulmate, my life’s partner, my man. We go to sleep together, side by side. Into an unknown world we go, one that takes us away while our bodies continue to work. How miraculous is that? I always fall into sleep with my hand on my husband’s chest. I can feel his powerful heart thumping steadily mere centimetres below my fingertips. I will do this every night until I will do it no more. I remember that, too. I keep that truth close.
It’s good. It’s all so good. Yes, good enough for me.
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p.s. I would love to hear how you craft your days to build your lives. I will be sending out a prompt in our chat today for everyone to share. Hope to see you in there.