*Yesterday’s post experienced technical difficulties. I apologize for the duplicate, yet corrected, posting.*
Living in the present, most of us face stress of some kind. I’ve found I can give my brain a break from that. Imagining our personal future ambitions, adventures, and accomplishments can be a fun exercise for our mental health.
Thinking about my personal bucket list makes me happy and gives me something to plan. These ideas motivate me. Now, it doesn’t motivate me to fold my laundry or wash my dishes. That list is my to-do list. Blech.
My definition of a bucket-list is mentally picturing the places that I want to go, or adventures Matt and I could take. I even hope to pursue a couple of hobbies along the way. These dreams are not must-dos. I enjoy fantasizing about most of them.
Here are some of my own ambitions that I’d love to experience in the future:
Return to Ireland and complete a long, self-driving adventure around the island. I especially want to visit the city of Galway again. We were there in 2004 for seven days with Matt’s rugby team. We covered many important, historical sites and cities on the tour bus. There’s just so much more that we’d love to do at our own pace.
Move to Florida and live there. I was born here in Southwest PA. After college, Matt and I lived in Georgia, Maryland and Gettysburg. We returned to the area in 1998. It has been a great place to live and to raise our kids. I’m restless now. And COLD. I visited Mom and Dad in Venice in February. It’s warm. There’s beach. When it’s too hot, the AC kicks in. This dream is way down the road for us.
Zipline over the Grand Canyon. Technically, the zipline is over a western side-canyon. The ride is 500 feet over the floor of the canyon at 40 MPH. Technically, this is a two-for-one trip. I want to zipline, and Matt would see the Grand Canyon for the first time.
Scrapbook the most important family pictures into albums. Years ago, Matt set up a scrapbooking area for me complete with a table, chair, floor lamp, and crafting organizers. I have not progressed beyond the Teenager’s pictures from 2008-ish. I know that life got busy. We made great memories all those years, and I wouldn’t exchange those for any completed scrapbook. However, I can envision some quiet time in my future to put a few more books together.
Write a book. I enjoy writing. I think I’m pretty good at it. Initially, I imagined writing a memoir type collection of stories. Now, after putting together our family trees on www.ancestry.com, I changed my mind. I believe I’m going to write a genealogy book for our family. I love the detailed research and information I have found on our earliest recorded ancestors. I’ll write a post or two about them down the road.
For me, this list is meant to be an exercise in relaxation and self-care. It is not a list of must-dos. I consider it a small list of like-to-dos. If I never complete a thing on this list, I will still be ok and content.
What do you hope to experience down the road? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
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“Remember, hate is always foolish, and love is always wise. Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.”
-The Doctor (S10EX, Twice Upon a Time, 25 December 2017)
Finding the good in other people can be a much simpler task than finding the good in ourselves.
Typically, I can identify the good in the folks around me. It’s always easiest when they are family. It’s not difficult if they are close friends. I find it not too hard when they’re new friends. This is not to be mistaken for wearing rose colored glasses. “There’s good and bad in everyone,” sing Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney in Ebony and Ivory.
When we notice that wonderful aspect of another somebody, sharing that compliment feels good to the giver and the receiver. It’s an exchange that is welcome. It’s easy.
Now, consider examining the good traits in oneself. I believe I have good qualities. Identifying and appreciating those traits? Now, that is the challenge.
Our parents taught us to avoid boasting. This is an important life skill. Yet, this rule can be taken to an extreme. For example, a woman speaking positively about herself is labeled stuck-up. So, next time, she keeps quiet. Even a man can qualify as conceited when conversing about his accomplishment. So, we save it to ourselves; self-conscious and careful with our self-descriptions. Unfortunately, we also avoid the internal dialog, “I am a thoughtful person.” “I am creative as an artist.” “I love my dog and take great care of him.”
I’m not advocating for an arrogant attitude. I believe, instead, we should intentionally consider our strengths. Our own positive traits should be recognized. We should regularly find the good in ourselves. After all, we are people, too.
Take the time now to ponder and come up with a few positive traits inside you. Use these few moments to appreciate and cherish the good in you.
I’ll do the same.
Take care of yourselves and each other,