We are a society totally consumed with consumption. We are somehow programmed that more is better. We cram as much stuff into our twenty-four hour day as we possibly can until our unfinished business from yesterday spills over into our todays twenty-four hours. We are starved for just a little more time in our day to get more done.
We skimp on much needed sleep that is necessary to heal, restore and repair our bodies, we trade sitting down for a dinner with family all gathered to eat a balanced meal, we go for the quick drive-thru or convenience store pre-packaged junk and eat on the run in the car as we hurry to our next appointment, we realize at the end of our day we haven’t eaten at all much less drank our eight required glasses of water. We miss out on our kids ball games or recitals because our bosses demand our over-time, we rush out the door without a kiss or hug to our kids or spouse because we are already running late for the day at 7 am, we don’t take the phone call from our Mom because we just don’t have time to talk to her now.
We are hurried, rushed, pressed and pulled in all directions; depriving ourselves, punishing our bodies, neglecting our loved ones and then feeling guilty and regretting the lost time we thought we were saving and storing up.
We are time-starved, time-obsessed people, trying to get as much done and accomplished in our day as possible. If we could magically add a few more minutes to our busy schedules, maybe, just maybe we could please everybody and get it all done.
Add to our daily list of things to do and many of us have created a long “bucket list” of things to do and places to go and people to meet before we take our last breath. Our “bucket list”, our “wish list” are those things we have yet to do! I have to ask is the “bucket list” really part of our purpose on earth, is “it” really something we want to do, does the list consist of “those things” that really matter and will “they” really work for us, will we really be happy “then”, will our life really be fulfilled “then” only when we get to do “that”?
Does our “bucket list” only create frustration and a sense of deprivation and represent an unfulfilled life if we don’t get around to them all? Did we create our “bucket list” because everyone else was doing it? Why can’t we be pleased with our life thus far, is there really something of greater importance missing from our lives now that we can’t find pleasure and joy in the present?
I am purging my bucket list, I am re-examining and re-evaluating my list and placing priority on what really brings me pleasure and joy. My list is quite a bit shorter now, I feel lighter, I feel freer, I feel a sense of peace, a knowing that I have not put undo pressure upon myself to do the impossible, the irrelevant, the things that really don’t matter in the end. I can do what I can do, what I have been equipped to do and if I finally get to have the kind of relationship with that loved one that seems intent on destroying themselves with endless addictions and a lifestyle of bad choices or not; it is all ok. I cannot control anyone persons life, I can’t make enough money to bail them out of their financial troubles, but I can love them, I can pray for them, but it is their life, only they can live it. God has not equipped me to live their life, only mine and that is a big job!
My life is full, it is good, I am complete and I am content. If I get to climb Mt Everest, sail the Greek Isles or run through a field of poppy flowers in Tuscany or watch the migrating hummingbirds gather in Ecuador from a porch swing, or witness the Aurora Boleros, sky dive from a plane or write my memoirs and have them published in a book not, it doesn’t matter, my life is complete anyway!
I am loved, I have loved, no regrets for me. It is all good! I said what I wanted to say, did what I wanted to do, gave what I intended to give and lived a life of love and forgiveness.
Letting go of things we have no control of is liberating and sets us free from a lot of self-imposed frustration and disappointments and stress.
I am not implying to give up on your dream, that which God has placed within your heart. What I am suggesting is to realize that it is ok to release the pressure upon yourself to not have to do everything. To not wait until you check off one of your entries on your list before you can allow yourself to be happy and enjoy your life, because you somehow have the idea that happiness is “there”, when you get to to do “that”. I am encouraging you to embrace the “here”, the “now”, this very moment, that which you are doing that you enjoy, the people you love being around and the life you have created for yourself. Embrace it all, wrap your arms around yourself, your life, your world happening around you and allow yourself to be loved, there are people waiting to love you, so let go of the ones that font, don’t wait, suddenly a miracle happens. You will find that love and happiness is already in your face, it is now!
Written From My Heart,
Tonya F. Henshaw
November 20, 2013