The closest I’ve ever gotten to making a bucket list was a list I made in 7th grade of dream dates I wanted to go on with cute boys one day — 90% of which I’m sure were pulled directly from “A Walk to Remember.” I’m not sure where that list is now, but I would say there’s a pretty good chance I did most of them (knowing me and my continued efforts to do as many cute things as physically possible).
Anyway, a few weeks ago, my friend Chrissy told me she made a bucket list. I’m not sure if it was the fact that she had a bucket list at all or the fact that one of the things on the list was to see a NFL game at every stadium in the country, but by the time she was done reading, I had decided that I wanted one too.
It’s not that I need a list to do awesome things in my life, but the list just helps me remember all the awesome things that I want to do so that I can plan accordingly. Plus, once I commit to something, I have a really hard time quitting it. (I’d like to draw your attention to my days in the school band, which lasted four years longer than I actually enjoyed playing the clarinet.) So if I write down that I will do something, there’s a good (at least much better) chance that I will do it.
I haven’t actually made my bucket list yet, and for a few reasons. The first is that I want it to be on a pretty, preferably sparkly, sheet of scrapbook paper, and I don’t have that yet. The second is that I don’t want my list to be too extreme that I’ll never accomplish it, but I don’t want it to be so easy that I’ll finish it next year. That’s a hard balance!
What I do have right now is an InnerVision file. What is my InnerVision file? It’s a plain manilla folder that sits in my floral file holder box under my desk.
Inside though, it’s my dreams, ambitions and passions. Some are written nicely on colorful notecards, some are magazine articles, pictures or other memorabilia, but each thing is a reminder of what I want my life to be. Everything in my folder is something I want to do with my life or something I want to keep doing. I have everything from “Start a blog” (check!) to a book I got from Bloomberg (my ultimate career goal).
This idea was brought to me by a very incredible family. A family that values life, love and the pursuit of happiness. This family is not my own, but for several defining years of my life, they easily could have been.
I would like to thank Mr. Melgreen for this inspiration, and his daughter/my friend Ms. Melgreen (since she’s an elementary school teacher now!) for passing it on to me. I just re-read the original email that inspired me to start my InnerVersion folder several years ago. My folder is a little different than the original inspiration, but I think the spirit of it holds strong. I took a lot away from that one email, but this part really explains why I wanted and needed an InnerVision file.
Life has a way of getting in the way of our dreams … You are just living, but you’re not living the life you dreamed of. So every now and then you pull out your InnerVision file and glance through it and you realize …. I always intended to add cute little pictures of children at play on the hallway wall, but I haven’t yet. I haven’t had coffee on a Saturday morning for months anywhere but home. You will also be reminded of things you are doing that were a part of the dream.
The thing that is amazing is how thoughts and dreams you have when your younger stay valid almost your whole life — even if you dont always do them.
Every once in a while, I go through my folder. Looking at the contents reminds me of what I want out of life. It’s a little different than a bucket list, in that a lot of the things can’t be checked off. I use it as a life guide, to be sure that I keep making time for the things I love no matter how crazy life gets. It helps remind me why I love the things I love, and every time I open it, it re-inspires me to accomplish my goals.
[I hope I got it right, Mr. Melgreen! =) Thanks, again!]
So whether it’s a bucket list, an InnerVision folder, a notebook or a Word doc., I hope that you keep a list of your hopes and dreams so you can always remember where your heart lies.
So get after it!