July 7, 2015
After we defeated a level on his video game, my five-year-old jumped up and down, thrilled. “Woo hoo Mom!” He high-fived me. “I can check something off my bucket list.”
The phrase took me aback. “Bucket list?”
“Yes, Mom. You know, my goals.”
I didn’t point out the full import of the words “bucket list.” A hero on one of his shows used the term, and my five-year-old adopted it as a part of his vernacular. (It is amazing what kids pick up.)
“What else is on your bucket list?” I asked.
He tapped his chubby cheek with an impatient finger, staring at a ceiling corner. “Well, trips to Disney, and riding on a horse and going in a space ship.”
“Disney. I could live there, if they’d allow it, and I want to ride an elephant some time. Always have,” I thought.
He continued. “I want to meet Austin and Ally and Stan from “Dog With a Blog.” (Disney Channel talents he admires.)
I nodded, thinking, “I’d like to meet J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and Stephen King.”
His list continued, the hopes of an optimistic kid with the world before him. I filed them in my memory for later exploration, and considered how much our dreams change as we age.
And how much they remain the same.
I refuse to give up on my dreams. Publishing, travelling the world, and putting my kids through school top my list at the moment. I work toward these goals daily and try to look beyond the many set-backs life hurls my way.
In a country song that my husband likes, the singer goes “sky diving, Rocky Mountain Climbing” and more. If I received word tomorrow that I had only a few days to live, though, such dreams are outside of my financial reach. Perhaps when such a pronouncement is delivered by the medical community, a windfall should be required. It seems only right. Alas, that’s not how it works. Instead, we muddle through trying to attend to matters and experience the pleasures of a life well-lived. I guess the lesson is to constantly refill our buckets with aspirations, to strive ever to complete what will lead to our dream fulfillment and self-actualization. Instead of a list we hope to complete before we kick the proverbial bucket, I pray to fulfill potential and experience a life worth living.
Here’s to setting and achieving goals.
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