I have recently been talking a lot about my “Bucket List.” This is a common term used to describe a list of things one wants to accomplish in their life. Lists are located throughout my house. There’s a note pad for my ever-evolving list next to my bed. If you don’t have a notepad next to your bed, then you must not wake up in the middle of the night overwhelmed with the next day’s priorities riddling your brain. Lucky… There’s a note pad in my top bathroom drawer (just in case, there’s an “aha” moment while brushing my teeth or putting on makeup)! There are numerous note pads of various shapes and sizes in our family office and in my study.
Notes, Notes, Everywhere!
One of my scandalous habits when I travel is to swipe the hotel rooms free pen and note pad. Each day. They always bring you a new one when cleaning the room. So, sometimes, I can walk away with 4-5 new (free) notepads! The cool thing about that habit is that the hotel name is always printed on the notepad. So, it also serves as a really cheap souvenir. You can be reminded of the trip someday in the future when you need to pull out a new notepad. Besides, as my grandfather would often say, “you paid for it!” This man would force the mini jelly’s and syrup bottles into my purse whenever we would meet for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Rest in peace Grandaddy, every time people look at me funny while swiping the single serve bottles in my coat pockets, I’m thinking of you!! :)
Not only are there paper note pads but I’m equipped with notepad app’s on my iPhone, each iPad and MacBook. And they all sync!!! How is it possible for me to forget anything?!?! And yet, it happens. Grrrrr.
Am I OCD?
Huge fan of lists. As I’m writing this, I turn to my right and spot 5 paper lists on my desk. A white board list on the floor and a cling dry erase list on my wall. Houston, do we have a problem…?
Lists can change your life. Don’t believe me? There is one list that completely changed mine recently. My official, documented “Bucket List” dated 1999. This list has been filed away in a file boldly labeled (I might have a labeling problem as well) “VITALS/MISC.” The title of this file seems like a complete oxymoron. How can it be vital AND miscellaneous? Miscellaneous is what you label anything that you really can’t fully describe or encompass or you just completely run out of ideas.
The Benefits of Organization
In 1999, my first son was born. This must have inspired me to get more organized and be proactive in my life planning. Can you say “nesting?” I hate being stereotypical but obviously, I succumbed. Thank goodness! What a gem this has been to stumble upon occasionally. Every couple of years, the filing cabinets would need a good reorganization and I would find this buried list; each time reviewing it and being able to cross a few things off that had been accomplished since the last time it had been discovered. It was always so satisfying to have some sort of PROOF that something significant had truly been accomplished while going about the day-to-day of life. My list has 26 items on it. Of those, 80% are some type of exotic, foreign travel destination or a risky adventure (motorcycles, white-water rafting, etc.). The other 20% are rather boring, but lofty: own a home, create children’s college savings account…You know, RESPONSIBLE things.
What Happened To Me?
Unusual, atypical experiences have always intrigued me. A few years ago, my life had become buried with repetitive things that brought me little satisfaction and were absolutely killing my desire to challenge myself and experience new things! It was during this time, that my bucket list from 1999 spoke to me.
Interestingly, the things many of us want to accomplish: savings, the accumulation of material things, were not satisfying Natalie, the adventure lover. Maybe this is the epitome of a mid-life crisis. Or maybe it was just a kick in the rear end to pursue the things that made me, ME. I believe that moms, wives, women have a more difficult time speaking up for themselves when it comes to pursuing their own interests. My breaking point came at the same time my “bucket list” resurfaced. Earning my pilots license was listed as #8. The next day, I called a local flight school and signed up. Ever since that first discovery flight, Natalie was back. Everything in me has been reawakened. My priorities have aligned. My to-do lists are so much shorter now. Things that don’t bring me joy are eliminated. They never make it on a piece of paper. My life has completely changed. There’s never been more focus or more personal satisfaction.
Using Lists To Prioritize Your Life
If you don’t have a bucket list, make one. If you can sit down and reflect on the things that you dreamed of as a child, do it and write these things down. Figure out a way to pursue your interests. If you’re a mom, do it for your kids. They need to see an example of someone being authentic, learning to prioritize, working towards a goal no matter your age. The flyGIRL mission is not just about encouraging women to pursue aviation. It’s about encouraging women to pursue their dreams.