Love deeply. Laugh. Cry. Talk to God. Be realistic about the to-do list. Stay in touch. Hug. Dream. Smile. Break Bread often with Family. Spend Time with your Girlfriends. Shop til you Drop! Extend Grace. Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Anger. Walk. Breathe. Sing. Dance. Read. Eat Chocolate. Savor a Good Glass of Wine. Wiggle your Toes. Sleep well. Life is Good!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better,
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Bucket List

Do you have one?   I'll be 55 this year and I'd never made a Bucket List.  I suppose it's because I never thought I'd have the time to do those things I'd put on the list while our girls were growing up.  And I further delayed it because I want to be present and available in the lives of our grandchildren.   During some late night reading I came across the suggestion to start a list of what I want my life to look like in five years.  At first I thought ... Why?  What on earth is there I'd still like to do?  I mean .. all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother ... and have a garden and chickens like my grandparents had when I was growing up; to be the woman behind that awesome guy; to raise children that would honor their parents and their future spouses and raise children of their own ~ our grandchildren.  Then, I considered the things I'd still like to learn how to do; the places I'd still like to visit; the people I'd still like to meet.  And, Voila!   My list was beginning to form.  I was blown away as I started writing the first things that came to my head ... things that I remembered having said at one time or another that I'd like to one day do, accomplish or learn ... and still haven't.

This morning, while watching the news, I remembered the list and picked it up.  There are 109 things on that list.  One Hundred and Nine.  I wrote that list near midnight last night over a half hour period.   There is nothing on there about being famous or recognized for this and that.  Probably the most lofty thing is to ride in a hot air balloon.  Ya know what?   I've never had the desire to ride in a hot air balloon.  Or at least, I never thought I did because of my gut wrenching fear of heights.  But, it came to the forefront of my mind, so it went on the list.  That list entertains ideas such as 'run a marathon' ... a goal I likely won't accomplish (barring an orthopedic miracle), but it's there, nonetheless, because it came to mind when I considered first 'where I don't want to be in twenty years' .... I don't want to be in a nursing home, unable to walk or do for myself.  So the opposite was, of course, run a marathon!

I've always been a list maker, but a written Bucket List was never something I wanted to do, because  ... well, I had responsibilities.  It seemed selfish to want to do things my family wasn't included in or had the same aspirations for.  Well, if they want to bungee jump or ride roller coasters, who am I to stand in their way?   I'll be right there cheering them on and fervently praying.   Note:  Neither of those activities are on MY list!  So, getting on with it ... whether it be real or virtual, onward march!  If I live to be 104, I figure I still have a little over 49 years left to mark some things off this new list of mine: part To Do List, part goals, part dreams!

  What are you waiting for?  Grab a pencil and paper and write down at least five things you want to do before you draw your last breath ~ or call it 'What I want my life to be like ten years from now' or just make up a title !!!  Do it now!  Even if the list has to start with things you've already accomplished ... Begin!

                                                                                                Learn to swim  
                 East Coast Road Trip              Milk a cow      
                 publish a book          Learn French        Sushi
      Visit all 50 states                Knit a pair of socks

            live           Spend a month in Europe        Make Cheese           
           in the                                  Open a homeless shelter
           country        travel first class                Ride a horse
                   use a chainsaw
         Run a marathon   Raise Chickens & goats  

Visualize what your life would look like if nothing stood in the your way.   It's not enough to have a vision in your head ....   It's not enough to have some vague semblance or hazy daydream of what you'd like to accomplish someday.  You have to actually take the time - whether it be five minutes or five hours - to write it down.  Taking the time to write down your vision of the future not only forces you to self-evaluate and to decide what is most important, but it also motivates you to act on those dreams.  Writing them down makes them real.  And once they are real, you can't ignore them.
Ruth Soukup ~ Living Well Spending Less