Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Bucket-less Life

Well, summer is done.
I know, I know... some of you are screaming 'nuh-uh, nuh-uh, Meredith!' I get it - I mean, ooooffffficially, I understand that summer extends through some unknown (to me) date in the autumn. But, in my world, which seems correct on all accounts (to me), summer has packed up her bags, loaded her trunk and is rolling down the end of the driveway, waving a lazy good-bye through the back window at me. Once school starts, and the evenings grow dark by 7ish and I can wear my yoga pants and sneakers without sweating up a storm, I feel like autumn is right around the corner. I love autumn. In fact, I was going to make a list for you stating exactly what I loved about it but then I remembered that is pretty much everything, so a list would be tiring for both of us. But anyway, that's not really what this post is about.... cause seriously, who doesn't love autumn?
Since summer is nearly gone, it means one important thing. I am a year older. Yup, I turned thirty-one years old this summer. And that is huge. I mean, for those of you are reading this who are thirty, or maybe even younger than that (ugh, i am so jealous), it not a big deal. But for those of you who are thirty-two you feel my pain. See, turning 30 wasn't really a big deal to me. I said, 'it's just another birthday'. But, then I realized that after thirty I had to turn thirty-one and it suddenly was a very big deal.
I realized I haven't accomplished a lot (okay, most of) what I wanted to accomplish by this point in my life. Or, to be more precise, what I didn't want to accomplish but should have wanted to accomplish if I realized how I was going to feel at the age of thirty-one. And now, the sad fact is, I am just thirty-one years behind.
To quell my feelings of anxiety, I decided I would make a bucket list. I figured it was about time. So, I set out to wrote things on my list that were really exciting, really dramatic, really life-changing....
Item number 1 -  'keep my house clean'. Which, if you refer to the prior post here, you will see I am already successful in doing. Therefore, I felt very accomplished - I had already crossed off a bucket list item! So far this idea was going terrifically!
I added a few more:
 - 'have kids'. (Well, not in the near future because kids can be a screaming, messy, giant mess of a mess and I'm just not ready for that.)
 - 'go on vacation - somewhere romantic!'. (of course, not this year cause we didn't plan far enough ahead but maybe next year. Or the year after that. Or our ten year anniversary....)
 - 'make great financial decisions'. Hmm... I crossed that one off pretty quickly after I wrote it actually. Read here if you wonder why. Besides, who actually enjoys making financial decisions and aren't you supposed to be really excited about your bucket list?
Then, while I was mulling over what to add to the growing excitement of my list (parachuting? mountain climbing? auditioning for American Idol?), a thought struck me. Who needs a bucket list when you have life everyday? God has blessed me every morning for 31+ years by the fact that I wake up, put my feet on the floor, and stand up. I have more than enough to provide for a comfortable, happy life. I am healthy and I have wonderful family and friends.
So why am I trying to conjure up a list of big, grand-scale things I want to do? How about making the most of every moment I have and doing the little things that make life special everyday? Truthfully, at peoples funerals, how many times do you hear about vacations they took? Or how clean their house was? Never - and unless everyone in my family just had really dirty houses - what you do hear about is how they lived life fully. And that is bucket list worthy, in my eyes. 
So, I crumpled up my bucket list (lets admit it - it was only strolling down Lame-o Lane, anyhow) and threw it away. And I gave bucket-list-less life a try. I finally remembered to schedule a horseback trail ride with my favorite 9-year old whose been looking forward to it for weeks. I went to the market and stocked my freezer full of steaks and chicken and pork (and I didn't squawk about how expensive meat was) and every night this week made a home-cooked meal that Mr. 31 got excited about. Afterwards, when he wanted to snuggle on the couch I let the dishes sit on the table and didn't worry  about cleaning up right away. On Wednesday night I didn't open my books to study at all (hope my mom isn't reading this!) and instead I spent the evening taking a long walk with Mr. 31 and then we enjoyed a glass of wine on the porch swing and played a game of scrabble. It was delightful! Oh, and here's a really good one: I decided this weekend instead of scrubbing the hard water stains off the sides of my tub again, I am just going to leave them for another time. Maybe I'll leave them until they get so big they start to fuzzy my legs in the shower, who knows. But what I do know is I will be spending that time doing something I would be proud to write on my bucket list. If I had such a crazy thing.....  

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