New Years is fast approaching, and I am reflecting on some things – My 2015 “Bucket List.”
First, if I CAN’T win the lottery, then I want to win a $5,000 gift certificate to Walmart. I know, we constantly laugh and poke fun at the many different silly pics of women shopping in Walmart, but I am one of them! I love Walmart and shopping there – they have so much to choose from and are so reasonably priced. I could load up on all kinds of shampoo, razors, food, electronics, large women’s clothes, and so much more! (Of course, I would have to rent a storage unit to stock it full, but it would be worth it!)
Next, I want to be able to eat lots of Italian food: stuffed shells, eggplant parmesan, cannoli’s, crumb cake, and lots and lots of ice cream. And I want to eat it all, and NOT GAIN A POUND! No, better yet, for every “fattening” meal I indulge in, I want to take a POUND OFF – but wait, then I would be in the “negative” weight range!
Another item on my “bucket list” would be to earn enough money on my income that my husband, Mike, could be a “house husband”!!!!!! He’s so good at it (I must not let him read this blog as he would be a little embarrassed about it – and I am tempted to SNAP a pic of his mopping the kitchen floor – but he’d kill me!) But I mean, he goes grocery shopping, and he often cooks. He helps me with the heavier part of housecleaning like vacuuming, mopping and other “fix it” household projects. I mean, wow, if I could “work him like a dog” Monday through Friday, I would be set for life! It would be great! He would have meals prepared by 6:00 p.m. during the weekdays, have all the errands run, the list goes on and on!
I really want an unlimited supply of “Bath and Body” candles – my favorites are lemon, citrus and ocean scents and “Scentsy” air fresheners and plug ins throughout the house!!!!! I mean, I work from home and my nose happens to be too good – so is that too much to ask for?
Another item on my bucket list is an all-expenses paid trip to Puerto Rico where I met my husband years ago. I want it complete with a resort hotel with a beautiful pool, close to San Juan and overlooking the ocean.
Second place I’d really like to visit is Costa Rica where my daughter met her husband. I would like an all-inclusive, expenses paid trip to Costa, with a gorgeous pool overlooking the ocean. 10 days please!
I would like an oceanfront home with a balcony overlooking the sea. How wonderful to go for long strolls and hunt for shells in the mornings and spend the nights sitting outside on the balcony sipping a cold brewskie as the waves crash into the shore and the stars sparkle down like diamonds.
Okay, now I guess I have to get more realistic for 2015 … I mean above is the “dream stuff” but here are some true wishes:
DAILY GRATITUDE: I want to be “grateful” every day for my health. I don’t want to use and abuse my health and take it for granted. I believe good health is a gift, and I want to start walking again – getting back to the gym and eating clean. As I age, I am more and more conscious of my health and want to remind myself to be grateful that I can get up every morning and walk, talk, hear and see.
DAILY DEVOTIONS: I want to get up every day and read the Word and have my “quiet time” with the Lord every morning. I currently do, but not every morning, and certainly not enough. I want to get up early with a good strong cup of coffee, before the hustle and bustle of the day and spend at least 30 minutes with the most important person in my life – The Lord.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105 KJV)
REVISIT MY ROOTS: I want to visit my small town (New Providence) New Jersey with my two daughters again. I want to see my closest friends and relatives who are still living there. I haven’t been there in years, and I want to be able to show my youngest daughter, Caitlin, who has never seen where I grew up, my small town. And I want us to go down to the Jersey shore and also go to New York City for at least a day.
GROW BEAUTIFUL THINGS: I want to have more plants in the house and beautiful flower gardens outside. Yes, I am the inevitable “plant killer” but I really want to learn how NOT to kill them! And, I don’t want to be the one “weeding” the flower gardens!!!!!!
HIRE HELP: I wish I could afford a weekly housekeeper. (I know YOU LOVE this one as well!!!!) That would be a dream come true! Unfortunately, I get up every Saturday morning and houseclean, and then I have no energy left to do anything “fun” the rest of the day or sometimes the rest of the weekend.
HAVE WONDERFUL WEEKENDS: I want to have more fun weekends that aren’t just filled with chores. I want to enjoy a girls’ lunch with my two daughters and then some shopping afterwards. I also want go with Michial on some outings, the movies, day trips to Fernandina Beach and St. Augustine. I would really like to drive up to Jekyll Island, stroll around town and the beach.
SNAP SOME AMAZING PICTURES: I want to learn simple photography. (Okay, when my girls read this one they are going to laugh and laugh!) No one takes WORSE pictures than me and I admit it; hence, I recognize the need to buy a better camera and a new I-Phone. And, I guess it would be wise to find someone to teach me how to take pictures… amazingly good pictures!
BEAT A DRUM: I want to play percussion again. I want to get a drum set, timbales or congas and take lessons to “relearn”. I played the drums a little bit as a teenager and surprisingly, I really miss it.
REST AND REFRESH: And I want a day totally free to be able to relax and have restorative time. This is so important to us as we get older and are overwhelmed with our work and other responsibilities. I want to be able to do NOTHING, if that means to lay around like a “slug” and watch Lifetime movies, or sit outside reading a book – but I want a day to do NOTHING at least every other week, with no cares, no responsibilities, and no obligations to anyone!
Now, enough about me. What’s on your “2015 Bucket List”? Many of us struggle with the pace of daily life with all of the burdens and responsibilities, but hope is really what keeps us afloat… so what are you going to put on your “must-do-for-you” list this year?
As this year draws to a close, and we each reflect on 2014, what do YOU want to see happen in your life next year? Maybe it is taking a special trip. Maybe it is just having a family night at least once a month. Maybe it is a day set aside each week with your spouse or significant other? Maybe you are hoping for a better, easier tomorrow.
Although we all have dreams that most likely will never happen, we also need dreams that can happen… we all need HOPE for tomorrow, and hope for every day after that. Hope that if we are experiencing very difficult days now, that we have HOPE for tomorrow.
Writer John Maxwell (2010) shared the following in his book titled, “Think On These Things: Meditations for Leaders”:
“Hope shines brightest when the hour is darkest. Hope motivates when discouragement comes. Hope energizes when the body is tired. Hope sweetens while bitterness bites. Hope sings when all melodies are gone.”
“Hope believes when evidence is eliminated. Hope listens for answers when no one is talking. Hope climbs over obstacles when no one is helping. Hope endures hardship when no one is caring. Hope smiles confidently when no one is laughing?
“Hope reaches for answers when no one is asking. Hope presses towards victory when no one is encouraging. Hope dares to give when no one is sharing. Hope brings the victory when no one is winning.”
A couple of simple reminders:
- Treat each day like a gift. Get up, get dressed and show up. Look at each day like a “fresh opportunity” for something new.
- Give of yourself to others. Whether that means to visit with an ailing, elderly person, comforting a friend that just went through a marital breakup, or treating a good friend to lunch. Don’t expect anything in return. You are giving of YOURSELF and therefore it “feeds” you, as well.
- Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. I mean, obviously, it’s not always possible in a work situation and other similar situations, but get together often with positive, encouraging people.
- Take a break. Take a break each day somehow, somewhere. Relax and refresh. Go get a pedicure, or take a break and rent a funny movie. Get some fresh air. When we are worn down and overwrought, that’s when the troubles of life usually overwhelm us.
- Remember, tomorrow is another day. Thank goodness, we can wake up and have a “fresh start”. I love this Bible verse: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV).
- Give thanks. I try to remind myself that whatever it is, it could ALWAYS be worse. I am looking forward to 2015 and all that the New Year brings to each and every one of us!
“The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Allan K. Chalmers
Happy New Year! I am looking forward to hearing from you in 2015!