For the last 10 years or so, I’ve had a bucket list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 30. Surprisingly enough, I was able to accomplish most of those items. It’s funny how we have this huge audacious goal that seems so far away and maybe even unrealistic, but then once it comes and goes, it is almost like a part of you is missing. I can only imagine this is how it is for a lot of people with major life events like weddings or once in a lifetime trips, etc.
For my bucket list before I turned 30, I had everything ranging from getting married, having kids, and buying a new house, to things like traveling to a different country (besides Canada and through a cruise), going on a 7-day and 30-day cruise, flying an airplane, jumping out of an airplane, going on a high, fast zipline and sailing. I even had things on my list like Lasix surgery, buying a king size bed and getting a pixie haircut.
Unfortunately, a few of these items didn’t happen and have since been moved to my bucket list of things I want to do before I turn 40. Going on a high, fast zipline, jumping out of a plane, sailing, Lasix and going on a 30-day cruise didn’t happen. I did do a few things that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do though, such as going to a different country (Mexico), flying an airplane, getting a pixie haircut and buying a new house. Funny enough, the one that I needed the most courage for was cutting my hair.
I have always had long hair, so it was a big step for me to cut off all of my hair to a super short style, but I did it anyway. What things are there in your life that you’ve told yourself you will do one day, but since it isn’t in your comfort zone, that day may never come? Step out and do something risky. Make plans to try something you have always wanted to do, even if it’s scary or maybe it’s just inconvenient to do it. We only live once, and it is these special memories of bold risks that we took that we will remember.
Some of these things do carry over from my 30’s list, but I have since added several more to my 40’s list. I figure I have 9 more years to fulfill them, so why not reach for the moon? Some of my new additions scare me to death, but it’s not truly living if we never take risks. I heard a quote once, “We can never discover new oceans if we aren’t willing to lose sight of the shore.” If we never change the routine, if we aren’t willing to get adventurous and try new things, we will never discover what is out there and who we truly are. The world is so much bigger than our little fishbowl.
It may seem odd to most, but jumping out of an airplane or riding the world largest rollercoaster doesn’t scare me. I’m actually super excited to have those opportunities one day. However, talking in front of hundreds or thousands of people, that scares me to the bone. BUT, that isn’t stopping me from putting it on my list. I’m looking forward to having some pivotal, life changing moments in my 30s and rediscovering myself all over again.
Alright, so I’m going to vent for a minute, but in love of course. Perhaps someone out there can relate to this, but I’m starting to think that listening is a lost art form. My family seems to have a genetic defect in their ability to truly listen. In my kids’ case, it isn’t just the listening, but also the “doing” that should follow the request. It is funny, but I used to think it was just because they didn’t want to do what I was asking them to do, but nope, that isn’t it. I could be asking them if they want ice cream, a movie, or even a new puppy and they would be completely clueless. They just flat out don’t hear me.
My husband, on the other hand, does something totally different. He will half listen and then try to fill in the blanks to what I said. He gets the blanks filled in correctly about 2% of the time (and I’m being generous here). Really!? Just pause what you’re doing or thinking about for a few seconds and just listen! It is almost comical to watch him squirm for a few minutes when I notice that he is being oddly agreeable but with no eye contact. The worst part though, is that he THINKS he is listening, so his 2% accuracy rate becomes his truth.
This is, of course, all tongue-in-cheek. Listening is something that is less about the ears and more about the ability to hear. Although my family may struggle with their “listening” skills, they do have the astounding ability to hear. They are always there supporting my passions, expressing their love, and encouraging me to become all that I can be. Sometimes I think that is the hardest thing for me to listen to. I struggle with hearing and accepting that I am unconditionally loved. I think if we were all completely honest with ourselves, the idea of being loved without merit seems to be a pipe dream, but that is what I am learning to listen to. Perhaps the problem with loving people around me at times is that I haven’t come to terms with loving myself unconditionally.
I found out something this week! One of my husband's bucket list items was to play music on a roof like the Beatles. He got the chance to do it yesterday for a couple songs, which was really cool to see. As he was up there living out that moment, it crossed my mind that ten years into our marriage I am still discovering little things about him. His dreams, his desires, the little things that make him who he is are still being discovered. He has never shared that with me, but I do love finding out new things about him!
I see that in my children as well. It seem like every day they do something, say something, or just surprise me in a way that I never see coming. It could be a little personality trait, or a thoughtful gift on my night table, whatever it may be it just adds to the wonder of life. It is true that we share life. Life is not a me thing, but a we thing.
It takes courage to truly share life though. I like to hide little parts of me, like fragile dreams, or parts of my personality, that have been bruised or broken in my past. I really want to learn to express some of those things to the people that truly love me. Sharing those inner things is not easy, but I know that it is healthy and imparts vibrant passion to the normalcy of life.
I guess what it comes down to is that I, like my husband, want to be up on that proverbial roof playing music. Although for me, it is more like jumping out of an airplane and zip-lining across a jungle. So, what are you hiding that is keeping you from sharing life with those you love? Whatever it is, make sure that you aren't losing out on a big moment in your life because you are too scared to share it. May you experience life to fullest and inspire others to do the same.
I have to admit, I am not a morning person. Not in the least. With school starting this week, I'm realizing it even more. Over the summer, I got to experience the wonder of my ideal day! The first part of my day would start around 8am, but that was actually just zombie mom until I really woke up around 10am or so and hit my stride about noon. (I really wish I liked coffee, but alas, I find it terribly disgusting.) I was then alert and awake until I finally gave in and crawled into bed at about 1 or 2 in the morning. Those late night hours while the kids were asleep, I liked to work on furthering my business (yay!), spend quality time with my husband, clean the house, or try to fold the mountain of laundry that threatens to overrun my couch.
When my husband and I finally do get to bed, the last thing I want to hear is that annoying alarm go off that signals the start of the day. But I do have a confession to make…sleeping is not always very restful for me. Perhaps you can relate? My brain is usually wound up, my body is tired, and then on a pretty regular basis actually, there is one of those interruptions that I secretly love; the little pitter patter of Logan's feet as he comes into the bedroom in the middle of the night.
At the initial point of when I am awakened by his little footsteps, touch or voice, I am startled and then completely blessed by the wonder of holding my precious little boy. Sometimes it could be a bad dream, or at other times it's just him, coming in to check on me and say "Mom, I love you." Those three words coming from him are so innocent, deliberate, and packed with meaning. It has really got me thinking about the concept of love.
Love has so many different meanings. I LOVE chocolate! I LOVE that one particular movie!! I LOVE that song, or actor, or sunset, or… fill in the blank. I love my husband, kids, extended family, and friends. But there is one area that I have struggled with loving for many years. Myself.
Loving myself was not easy for many years. Why? Because I didn't like the person I saw in the mirror and I really didn't like the person behind the face that lacked control. The Bible says to "love your neighbor as yourself," but how can you truly love yourself, if you don't even like yourself? Which then poses an even bigger question, how do I love others if I don't love myself? I'm not talking about narcissism here, but I am talking about a healthy view of ourselves. You and I are designed to appreciate life as a gift and to love it from within. Please hear this in love, whatever things are hanging you up, change them, or get over them. It is time for us all to truly love ourselves, because there are so many other people that desperately need us to truly love them.
My husband has a weekly email that he puts out for his team, and I really loved the idea of his last one. He was speaking about Winnie the Pooh and the deeper correlations it has with life, especially in terms of faith. It not only got me thinking about my spirituality, but it also got me reminiscing on some of my own favorite childhood stories. How many of you remember Babar? I really enjoyed reading about his adventures as the child “King of the Elephants.” It was funny to think of a child as a king, but really what child doesn’t want to be king (or rather a leader)? Follow the leader, ring around the rosie, hide and seek, or even games of tag. We all know how important it was to be the person that was “it.”I think there is something empowering about being a leader. I never really considered myself to be a leader by vocation or otherwise, but recently that has become extremely important to the success of my clients. I need to be confident in knowing how to get them from where they are to where they want to be.
Another one of my favorite book series was the Berenstain Bears. There was something special about how they interacted as a family on the various adventures they had, as well as the morals that they were reinforcing in me. It is funny, but I think I married Papa Bear! My husband is so goofy with the kids, and yet so in love with me, the Mama Bear. He is always trying to express his love for his family, yet he also has some of Papa Bear’s silly little idiosyncrasies. One of my laughable ones is what I refer to as Brant the Dropper. He can be holding something, perfectly fine, but then 2 seconds later its on the ground and we have a mess, lol! It is so funny, and he laughs about it too (but he never seems to drop a cup of coffee...go figure???).
But really the wonder of those bears was how they functioned as a family. There are so many things that shape our lives growing up and our perspective on how a family is supposed to function that is often not thought about, but rather instilled in us. In watching my family interact, I see these little personalities pull together to make a family unit. Watching my kids play is very much like reading about Brother Bear and Sister Bear (of course I do have my Logey Bear, which may add more meaning to this nostalgic moment). Yes they have their moments, but in general they get along really well. I guess the only scary part about being the overlay of that bear family is me... I don’t like bonnets or night caps and don’t even get me started on the muumuus that Mama Bear wore.
For some reason Mama Bear is not how I see myself. I hope I’m being that nurturing force inside the family, but really Mama Bear didn’t seem to be adventurous enough for me. I want to be the mom that goes sky diving, white water rafting, takes on the biggest roller coaster, and takes the big waves while surfing in Hawaii. No offense to Mama Bear, but I didn’t really see that in her. I saw other qualities that I wanted though: she always expressed her love for her cubs, she remained calm as the family was exploding over some meaningless thing, and her consistent patience with Papa Bear. She was an amazing mom, and that is the thing that I want to be for my family. I really want to be that mom that helps to encourage my family to be all that it can be... but without the muumuus and bonnets.