To be honest I never heard of a bucket list until I saw the movie. As I watched that movie it got me thinking what are the things I really want to do. I dreamed of places to go, family events, book deals, and people I desired to meet. I have had fun creating a list and doing some of those actions. But at times I stop and wonder, what are my core essences?
Well today I discovered someone (Jay Smith) who taught me a great lesson on my bucket list. I will not change a word. His top three items say it all.
1. Accepting myself. The most decent of humans can't help but want to improve. If you're anything like I used to be, you've probably fallen short of your own goals and expectations. You've probably got more successful friends, more attractive siblings. When you're facing death, you learn to be pretty forgiving without any effort. There's nothing like a terminal illness to make you wish you could enjoy the most wonderful and disappointing experiences again, that you could revel in pain and guilt, love and joy. That you could feel it all again -- this crazy, messy life. I love it all. I love me. Even in my most stupid moments, of which there are many.
2. Giving good love. We've all got tons of people we love. Kind of. We've got a crazy neighbor. An annoying, old friend. A too-talkative aunt. And often, when we are around these people, we forget to love them. We get mentally caught up in the adjectives and our love gets filtered. When you stop filtering love, it gets warmer, brighter. And the people around you, they get warmer and brighter too.
3. Looking all around. Since being diagnosed with ALS, my view of the world sometimes feels like that of a stoned, college student. I see beauty and love all around me, from my daughters' crying, to my wife's smile, to the long, hot Texas summer. I experience each moment in slow motion, noting every detail, creating space for it to linger in my memory. Just today, a dragon fly landed on my arm and since I can no longer easily shoo it away, I watched it sit on my arm and stare its big eyes back at mine. What a beautifully strange creature.
If you want to read his story here is the url.
Much joy and love to you and yours