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WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

Wishes

42 comments | December 6th, 2011

(story by Mir, from WouldaCouldaShoulda, a Chestist)

I've got something a little different to talk about today. It's been on my mind, lately, and I'm wondering if I'm weird. (Well, okay; we all know I'm weird. I mean… weirder than usual.)

I grew up making a wish on my birthday candles every year. I grew up searching the sky at dusk for the first star, then breathlessly reciting "Star light, star bright / First star I see tonight / I wish I may, I wish I might / Have this wish I wish tonight" to myself before wishing for whatever it was I wanted.

The things I wished for varied, of course. I wished for friends. I wished for particular toys. Once I became a young teen, I wished for designer jeans and for that boy I swore up and down I absolutely was NOT interested in to look my way and smile. As an older teen, I wished to get out, get away, go to college, start over, remake myself into someone more whole, more lovable.

In my first marriage, we wanted babies—lots and lots of babies—and it became clear that wasn't in the cards for us. I wished to get pregnant, constantly. Then I did and I miscarried and I wished never to go through that again. Eventually, I wished for pregnancy again, then wished for the pregnancy not to end early. Once my daughter was born, it seemed greedy to want more, but we did; I wished for luck a second time and, impossibly, along came my son.

When things got bad and the marriage fell apart, I wished mostly for the kids to be okay. I wished for life to be peaceful again. I wished not to hurt all the time. I wished for a way to support my family both financially and emotionally, which for a long time seemed impossible. I wished for stability and calm and the knowledge that we would be okay. It was a long time before I even dared to wish for happiness. It seemed too big and too selfish. In the beginning I could only frame it in terms of what it would mean for my children, how much better off they would be if I was happier.

Life is complicated, of course. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to put one over on you. Now that I'm older and hopefully wiser, I realize that the elusive "happiness" we all strive towards is a moving, amorphous target. It's not something you achieve, like climbing Mount Everest, and then you're done and get to claim it for the rest of your life. So if someone asks me, now, if I'm happy, I say yes. Does that mean I'm chirpy-happy-smiling every minute of the day, or that I don't worry about stuff, or that I'm not stressed out? No. But I am blessed in many ways, and I totally believe that, even on the hard days. I have a family I love, a career I enjoy, a roof over my head, food on the table, and yes, I consider myself lucky.

Here's where the (possible) weirdness comes in: I have all but stopped wishing. You know how the big thing these days is to have a Life List or a Bucket List—things you want to accomplish because you'll find them inherently fulfilling? I don't have one of those. I never have, actually. And while Oprah and the Internet and everyone else is talking about how it's a growth experience and totally transformative, all I can think is…

… but I already have so much.

(And then, the silent corollary: The things I would still wish for aren't things I can put on a list and later check off. They will either happen or they won't, as most of my unfulfilled desires at this point hinge on other people's behavior. And years of therapy have taught me that I don't get to control that, no matter how right I think I am. Ha!)

For a while I thought my aversion to wishing was me being my typical Eeyore-esque self—no, no, that's fine, I don't need anything, life is so very depressing—but recently I've come to believe that whatever challenges come my way really do serve to highlight how extraordinarily lucky I truly am. And wishing, when I already have so much, feels… wrong. Unappreciative, and selfish. Trite, even, in the face of all I already have.

I'm genuinely curious how other people handle this. Do you have one of those Lists? Do you find yourself wanting for things as much as you used to? (I figure I'm either more spiritually evolved than I realize or possibly more depressed than I realize. It's a little unsettling that I'm not sure which one.) I need to know if the whole world is on this "make a list of the things you want" bandwagon and I'm the only one over here going, "Actually, I'm good, thanks."

(read more Mir here)
 

42 comments

  • Mama's Tantrum

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I completely relate to this post. It took me back to when I felt desperate for pretty much everything. Money. Things. People. Experiences. If I wasn’t out right wishing for something, the yearning was ever present.

    Today’s feelings of want/desire/need couldn’t be more different. And this is the third year I’ve noticed this feeling when my wife has asked me what I want for Christmas and I come up with a big ole fat nothing. And I mean it. I feel like I have it all. A healthy marriage. A daughter who I adore and love every moment I get to with her. A modest and cozy home. A good job. Health. Good friends. What’s to want?

    I can agree with Oprah that to some extent a bucket list can help you grow, but the implicit message is that you’re otherwise emotionally stuck. Also, I can’t help but to think about our culture’s constant need for more, more, more, and more. We consume everything. Big toys. Big food. Big drinks. Big events. Big plans. I think I bought into that at one time, but now it feels soul sucking.

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  • el-e-e

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I don’t feel like it’s wrong to wish for things, and was recently reminded that the Bible says, “Ask, and you shall receive.” It’s been a bit of a spiritual growth point for me this year, actually, to feel OKAY praying for things that I essentially “want.” (More happiness at work (or different work), more joyful experiences for our kids, my little bitty boy to GROW so he won’t get picked on…) I’m trying to learn that there’s no need to feel guilt for wanting them. But I do see your point, as well. We’re so abundantly blessed.

    The Bucket List is too overwhelming for me. I think people put too many unattainable things on them (world travel! jumping out of planes! winning the lottery!) and set themselves up to be disappointed. Mine would likely be very short if I ever made one.

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  • Leandra

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    No, I don’t wish for anything. In fact, I don’t even like the word. I’m not sure I can adequately explain it but wishing feels very passive and pointless to me. And I’m not even saying that because I have this great life list and there is no wish, only do (Yes, I’m channeling Yoda). Maybe this makes ME weird but I just feel like there’s no point in it. My wishing it is not going to make it happen. In fact, I recently had a conversation with my daughter about wishing. Often, after I’ve told her no about something, she’ll continue to say, “I wish I could do x…” or whatever it is I’ve said no about. Recently, after I said “I said NO” after her “I wish” statement, she said “Mommy, I’m not asking for it, I’m just WISHING I could have it.” I finally got what she’s saying, but to me, that’s totally alien.

    Is this making any kind of sense?

    And it’s not like there aren’t things that I want, but I don’t wish for them. Maybe it’s all semantics, because I do pray, but I don’t wish for anything.

    GAH! This is not coming out right, but it’s the best I can do. :)

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  • Mary

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    Other than wishing I’d gone to college right after high school or at least finished my degree when I returned in the early ’90s, I don’t wish for much for me. I WILL get that degree in this lifetime if.it.kills.me.

    If anything, I find myself wishing for others. I wish my mother-in-law’s Parkinsons would leave her alone. I wish my niece’s 21 year old boyfriend wasn’t fighting pancreatic cancer. I wish people weren’t hungry, cold, lonely. I wish I could make all that better for them.

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  • Leanne

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    Nope – I’m with you, Mir.

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  • Aimee

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    “The things I would still wish for aren’t things I can put on a list and later check off. They will either happen or they won’t, as most of my unfulfilled desires at this point hinge on other people’s behavior. And years of therapy have taught me that I don’t get to control that, no matter how right I think I am. Ha!” <– THIS

    I tend less to WISH for things (except the part I quoted above) so much as to WORK for them. I have a job that I hate, and a career that I want. I am working on the career. I see signs that the work might pay off soon, and so I keep working. It's not that I don't sometimes stop and think, "Oh, please… pretty please… make this happen" but I don't think wishing is going to make it happen. Working is going to make it happen.

    In terms of a bucket list, I don't have one either. There are things I'd like to do, and if I can do them, I will. I don't feel, though, that I *need* to do them in order to be fulfilled. Maybe that does make me weird 😉

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  • Arnebya @whatnowandwhy

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    One of the reasons I don’t wish for things is because I believe I’m the one doing/getting the things I want, so why wish for myself to do something? I faked a wish when blowing out candles as a child b/c it just didn’t make sense to me. Why wouldn’t I just tell my parents what I wanted so that they could get it? But those were tangible things I was thinking of. When my parents would fight, I would wish they would stop. When they divorced, I wished I didn’t have to live with my mother or that at least one of my sisters would stay to keep me company. I don’t have a vision board to keep me motivated toward things I want to happen for myself or a written bucket list (but I have things I still want to do). I think putting a “do this before you die” on it lessens its worth. I “want” financial security. I “want” a better job. I “want” to live a long life, see my kids as adults, not lose my home to foreclosure. But I don’t think wishing for any of it will make it more likely to happen the way I want.

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  • Sharon

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    Huh…interesting…it seems, once again, that we share a brain. I wished and wished and wished as a kid. Did the star light, star bright thing and believed it but now not so much. I have a great life and got it through a combination of luck, work and positive thinking. I save wishing for the bad times actually…I’m not wasting a wish on something I want until I REALLY want it.

    I never taught my son the star light, star bright wish…and we don’t go to church…I wonder what he does when he really wants something…dinner table discussion for tonight!!

    Thanks!

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  • dad

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    The secret is to derive pleasure from what you have not to lust after that which you do not.

    You should watch the movie “Save the Tiger” with Jack Lemmon as an aging apparel entrepeneur. At a peak of his angst, when vigorously badgered to explain what it is he wants, the best he can come up with is: “another season.”

    Not as sad as it sounds.

    Now who’s weird?

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  • Jan

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I think there’s goal-setting and then there’s wishing. Bucket lists and such are about not just stagnating in where you are now, about realizing that life is finite and if you want it, now is the time.

    To me, wishing/yearning/wanting is something that takes you out of the present. I do it, but when I do it, it’s an escape from what I’m dealing with right now.

    So I don’t know. The old saying about accepting the things I cannot change and changing the things I can comes to mind. To me, that’s the difference — when you talk here about wishes, you’re talking about things you cannot changes. I think a lot of the hype about Life Goals and Bucket Lists is more about the things you can change. (And, of course, the last bit of that is about the wisdom to know the difference, which I have personally always thought was the hard part.)

    I disagree that you don’t have goals and wants. I can tell because you’re very clearly working hard at them. It’s just that they are maybe more about process (which you can control) than outcome (which you can’t). You obviously work at parenting. What drives that, if not the wish to do it well? (or better, or well enough even!) And I can’t believe that you don’t wish for them to look back and know that you loved them, that you did the best you could with hard situations, that you did what you did to keep them safe and teach them well. It’s just that you’ve found that wisdom to know the difference — you’re wise enough to know that the outcome is one of those things you cannot change. But that doesn’t mean you don’t wish for it.

    So maybe all I’m talking about is semantics? Or maybe I haven’t had my coffee yet and I’m simply rambling. Possibly both. :)

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  • AKD

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    What this made me think of was envy — how when I feel that “wishing” feeling it’s usually attached to looking at something that someone else has and wishing I had it. A nearby large family for support. A husband who takes amazing photos. The means to travel. The interest, time and money for redecorating/home improvement projects. I try to tell myself that the people I’m envying are probably looking at me and wishing they had something I have — a good relationship with my parents? A hilarious husband? Tall and thin genes? Self confidence?
    It’s tough. I think it’s good to have a list of things we’d like to work on about ourselves, but the envy about what others have isn’t doing me a lot of good.

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  • Frank

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I have one of those lists… but it is different for me. I have a list of things I want to do because I think they are cool. They dont make me any happier if I do them… or any more sad if I dont. though I suppose just the idea of being able to do some of them is a happy thought…

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  • Lucinda

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I only have one deep wish but it’s beyond my control. I wish I had better health. I wish I didn’t have chronic illnesses. It makes me sad. But even that wish isn’t that fervent because if I didn’t have these illnesses, I would be such a different person. I have learned so much from them about acceptance and empathy and patience.

    I think not wishing simply means you have reached a level of acceptance and I think that is a good thing. It can also reflect a deep level of contentment which I certainly have. Like you, I feel so blessed with my life. I have so much I never imagined having. How could I really wish for more?

    As for a bucket list, I don’t have one. I sometimes wonder if that means I’m settling for less but I think it’s more that the things that make me truly happy are such small acts. I don’t need much these days to be content. Bucket lists are great for some but I don’t think they are necessary for all. So if you are weird, so am I. I’ll happily join your club.

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  • Katie

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    No list here either. When pill paying time comes around, I wouldn’t turn away people at my door with one of those giant sweepstakes checks (do they still do those?), but in my heart, I know we have what we need right now. We may be 5 people in a small space, but we are 5 healthy people and none of us smell bad (well, the teenage boy has his moments), so the small space is enough. I am surrounded by people with more ‘stuff’, and truly, none of them seems any happier than I am.

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  • Alix D

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    “The things I would still wish for aren’t things I can put on a list and later check off. They will either happen or they won’t, as most of my unfulfilled desires at this point hinge on other people’s behavior.”

    I think this is the right realm for wishes. As Leandra said, wishing is passive. I wish for things to happen that I can’t exercise control over. I wish the economy as better, I wish things were easier, I wish my computer keyboard behaved better, etc.

    But life lists, bucket lists whatever, are – or, at least in my opinion should be – goals. These are things I want to do, say, be, that require me to work for them. Wishing happens to me, goals happen because I make them happen for myself. Maybe not right away — I guess to be specific I have to say that these are lists of things that will *become* goals someday.

    That said, my list of goals is a little more… short term, shall we say. My goal is for my family to recover from the year+ I was unemployed. My goal is to get myself in a better mental/emotional place. I don’t keep a bucket list because I can’t think about that yet. When I’m in the right place to have those kinds of goals, my priorities will be different than they are now. If it’s still important, in that future, to go to X place and and do Y thing, I’ll want to do it then, too. For now, I’m a little busy :)

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  • Jamie

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I feel a bit of unnecessary pressure from creating a bucket list. Like if I have something on the list, I HAVE to do it, and seemingly quickly, which is pressure that I don’t need right now. And the bucket list items don’t necessarily have to be done rightnow, but I would feel a pressure that if I didn’t tackle/complete/enjoy some of those things on a regular basis, I’d be stagnant or the items would begin to be unattainable. Sure, I’d like to do some things, I want to do some things, I want some things, but in general, I’m feeling pretty content with life right now. I’m working on making change in a job that’s driving me crazy, but beyond that, the home-life is good and I’ve got a lot for which to be thankful.

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  • Christine

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I have also grown out of wishing, and don’t see it as a bad thing. I do have a bucket list though, but these aren’t wishes, they are achievable goals and the list serves to remind me of certain priorities (mostly to live a little!). If I don’t have control over it happening it isn’t on the list, because I think that would be foolish and depressing!

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  • Becky

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    My wishes as a child were always very carefully phrased. Way too many cautionary tales were read where if you weren’t very exact and cautious, then the wish would come true in an undesired and unexpected way. That said, I most frequently wished for a kitten. It was also at the top of my Christmas list every single year. Now that I own two cats, I tend not exactly make wishes. The closest I come is just hoping that everything would be all right.

    I don’t have a bucket list or a life one. There are things I hope to do in the future, such as travel, and there are things that I would like to own, such as a desk, and then, there are the vague, blurry hopes for a home and a family.

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  • Jackie

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    No list here. I’m fine where I am. Do I wish for more? Sure, who doesn’t. But, over all I’m content where I am.

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  • Anna

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I spent many years wishing for something different. Wishing for better parents. Wishing time would hurry up so that I could leave home. Wishing for a husband. Wishing for kids. Wishing away the kids. 😉 Wishing for more time for myself.

    I just celebrated a birthday, specifically 32. In the last two years, nothing major has changed. No job changes, no new babies, no moving. I think this is the first time in my whole life that things have ever been so stable and unchanging. And yes, I had a hard time making a wish. What else is there to wish for?

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  • Em

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I agree with those who see the difference between wishing and goal setting. I don’t really have a bucket list. I have a wish that I would like running but I don’t. That particular wish has not come true so I will not be setting any marathon goals. My only real wish (and it is selfish and frivolous and lazy) is a huge lottery win. I sit around thinking about having a life very similar to the one I have now but with much less worry, more opportunities for fun and learning for my kids, broken things that are fixed and some silly fantasies about making friends’ dreams come true and doing spendy good deeds that would be fun to plan and exciting to pull off. Thing is, even after a lottery win, my kids would still back talk and my dog would still poop on the floor when we weren’t home. You must to leave something to wish for after the big one comes true.

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  • Hope

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I’ve been reading a lot of books about success lately, and they often stress this idea of wishing/desiring/planting intentions. I recently posted about my difficulties with this. They boil down to reverse magical thinking. If you have a minute to check out my post it’s here:http://unmappedcountry.blogspot.com/2011/11/navel-gazing-to-find-success.html

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  • Zudie

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    For 2 years my only wish was that my boyfriend would get off drugs and be there for me and his children. He recently came out of rehab and my only wish now is that he stays the way he is right now and we’ll grow old together like that.
    Other wishes are that the kids grow up to become happy adults without severe problems.
    For myself: nothing. I’m happy enough.

    I’m old enough to have done most of the things I really really wanted to do. Also old enough to realize that you can keep on wishing and wishing. But you can also be content with the little things in life.

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  • Nancy R

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I agree with Jan that my list is more goals…or even a grand ‘to-do’ list…like, someday, I’d like to ____. To me, putting it on the list is an acknowledgment, so that when the opportunity arises to take the next step, I’ve already got it in my mind that – hey, I want to try that. Instead of always thinking, “Someday, when I’ve got the time…” – because when do we ever find more time? – it’s a reminder to look for the opportunities.

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  • Edd Fear

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I used to have lists. Then I was diagnosed with a potentially life-ending medical condition. Once I got over the shock of that, and then later found out that I wasn’t going to die TOMORROW, I really don’t list things, and I try not to wish for things. I do make plans, with the caveat that life (disability, kids, the economy, really stupid people at the school parking lot) gets in the way. So if my plans work out, great; and if they don’t, well, at least I’m still alive and my family’s going to be ok for another day.

    But if you’ve got the skinny on any winning lottery numbers….

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  • Lisa

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I’m not into the whole Life List thing either. I don’t know what more I need–I have a safe, sturdy roof over my head. I’m healthy, the husband is healthy, the boy is healthy. There’s nutritious food in the fridge and the cupboards. We’re not rich, but we can buy what we need without (much) worry and save for the bigger things we want. My wishes are for things I can’t completely control–that my son grow up safely, secure in my and his dad’s love for him, and that he have a life and career that are meaningful to him.
    Sure, there’s stuff I’d like to do and see while I’m alive. But it all pales in comparison to my wishes for my son. Either I’ll do and see those things before I die or I won’t but they won’t make or break my life. And what’s more, those things change. I never knew I’d like to go to Venice during Carnaval until I saw a display of different pre-Lent celebrations at the UW Burke Museum this past weekend!
    Maybe I’m a little late to the party and maybe this has been noted and commented on, but it’s been my observation that many of the better-known Life Lister bloggers are ones that have ended up letting advertisers make some of their List items happen. And then that changes their writing…it ends up being more about attracting readers than sharing themselves. So, to me, there’s kind of this icky association with Life Lists.
    You know, Mir, I had to go back and take a look at your blog to see if you were even doing advertisements. I’d never noticed. I don’t know what kind of deal you’ve struck…I don’t know the first thing about making money from a blog…but I have to say, your voice has not changed one bit in the years that I’ve been a regular reader. I mean, *you’ve* changed, just as we all do over time, but you’re still *you.* I’m grateful for that!

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    • Mir

      Posted on December 6, 2011

      You’re pretty, Lisa. 😉

      I do run advertising on my personal blog, but it doesn’t affect the content. That’s just not what my blog is about.

      And even aside from people who make a list and then make it part of their “brand” and their writing through partnering with a company, I do kind of feel like Oprah and everybody made this ultimate list-making a “thing” that truly enlightened people all do. I guess I started feeling like… is it possible that those of us who DON’T wish are enlightened enough…?

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  • Mit

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I don’t wish because I don’t want to be disappointed.

    I don’t make lists, because I don’t want to have some proof that I didn’t work hard enough, sacrifice enough, or take enough risks. And I CERTAINLY don’t want someone looking at my list and judging what’s on it – and/or my progress or lack there of.

    My, aren’t I a gloomy gus?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    Hmmmm. I don’t equate “bucket list” types of things and wishing as one in the same. No, I don’t wish for things. However, I do think about how I’d like to grow as a person, experiences I think would be enriching, positive contributions I’d like to make, etc, etc. Perhaps it’s where I am in my life — empty nester, approaching 60, closed chapter as corporate worker bee, energetic and able to contribute, not ready to stop learning. (Think kid in candy store.) While I’m not an Oprah groupie (though admire her and her work; comment not meant to be derogatory), I do think it’s important to consciously evaluate/re-evaluate and choose how we want to live our lives — some might say wishes related to playng out my future.

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  • Bob

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    So, there is absolutely nothing that you ever want to do other than what you have already done?

    When I first started reading your blog *mumblemumble* years ago you were newly divorced, hopping from job to job trying to support yourself and your kids and trying to build a new normal for yourself. (And trying to find some companionship along the way.) I remember when you finally decided to take the plunge and write for a living instead of just blogging at night. I would say that being a writer was on your bucket list then. I would say that finding a life companion was on your bucket list. Not that you wouldn’t have made a happy life as an engineer and a single mother. But can you imagine, having what you have now, being that single office-working mom?

    A bucket list isn’t about being incomplete. It doesn’t mean you aren’t completely happy now. It is about experiencing life and maybe pushing a few boundaries to see if there isn’t something else in the world that you can’t imagine not having done. For some, it is a checklist – done that, got the t-shirt. For others, it is about having new experiences and through them finding out something new about themselves.

    And for others, it is about making life a richer experience. I am not knocking what you have or implying that it isn’t the most fulfilling thing you could ever do, but how do you know that there isn’t something else as fulfilling? For me, my “bucket list”, such as it is, is about travel. I love seeing new places, immersing myself in different cultures – eating the food, mingling with the people, seeing the wonders of the world. It doesn’t mean I don’t like where I live or that it is plain and uninteresting, it means that there is more to the world than the corner I live in. I am curious to see how the other 7 billion people on this planet experience life. A national geographic special isn’t and end – it is merely an appetite whetter. I am a different person for having seen – and lived – in other parts of the world.

    So. For me it is travel. Do you really have absolutely nothing you want to do during the rest of your life? While being a mom lasts forever, raising children doesn’t. Writing is your fulfillment – but you can’t do it 24/7/365. Have you never read a book or an article and thought – I wonder what [insert topic here] is like?

    Bucket lists are just a mechanism to help us get off our butts and experience life, a means to focus our energy and to decide what is it we really want to do. It doesn’t have to be grand – a visit to the pyramids, say; maybe it can be a visit the syrup-sopping fest in Loachapoka next year. And making this list doesn’t mean that your life isn’t busy and fulfilled. But the one thing you can count on in life is change. The kids will grow older and your job raising them will be done. You’ll win the Pulitzer. Goals get achieved. You might want to have new ones. A bucket list can help with that.

    Or it can be merely – catch a greased pig, try fried rattlesnake, learn to pronounce Loachapoka. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that.

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  • meredith

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    I don’t have much of a bucket list anymore. It seems that as I get older my wishing is changing from “material things” to things like wanting to be around to watch my daughters grow up happy and healthy, wanting to get in better shape myself to be sure that happens…I wish to learn new things and be happy every day. Some days, I just wish over so that we can try again tomorrow.

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  • Reb

    Posted on December 6, 2011

    Problem is, a bucket list doesn’t help me get off my butt, it just makes me feel guilty that I haven’t.

    I’ve got things I wish for, sure. I wish I could have a career as a novelist. Well, get off your butt and write. I wish I was fit enough to spend a month scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. So get off your butt and go swimming. I wish I was fluent in German. Get off your butt and study.

    Oh wait, I’m actually doing that last one. Yay, me. One out of three.

    Even for the things I’m doing, the thought of a bucket list’s depressing.

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  • Brigitte

    Posted on December 7, 2011

    A list just sounds like too much work. And one of my wishes is NOT to work, so there’s that. 😉
    I have vague, amorphous wishes all the time, but they’re generally for things I’ll never get, like omnipotence and world domination, so I don’t put much effort into the wishing.

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  • Gwen

    Posted on December 7, 2011

    I make a practice of wishing…literally defining and writing down some wishes each week. I don’t have a life list, but this shorter term list keeps me in touch with what I want and need, and helps me practice being ok with wanting things. I have a hard time asking for help. Sometimes, what I wish for makes me realize that I cannot have it unless I ask. And knowing that makes it easier for me to pracice asking and relying on others.

    This week my wishes are for finding the stillness in the craziness of the holiday season, and to spend one on one time with each of my teenage and very busy children.

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  • Sarah

    Posted on December 7, 2011

    I personally think that those who believe you must have a life list to be enlighten are still searching for their own self contentment and inner peace. Why else have a list of things to do before you die? You have found contentment because you have lived though enough bad things to be content when your life is good. You have found what is truely important and that is having those you love and love you in return..

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  • Bethany

    Posted on December 7, 2011

    I am a compulsive list maker in my daily life–they hang everywhere in my house and classroom, by magnet, tape, or pushpin–but I don’t make a list about my goals in life or my wishes. I pray about those things. I lift them up to my Lord, and I say, “The pagans run after these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (fulfillment, contentment, peace) will be added to you as well.” Matthew 6:32,33

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  • Liza

    Posted on December 8, 2011

    I like lists.

    Like you, I feel generally very blessed and like I have a pretty damn amazing life. BUT at the same time, there are things I want to try that I haven’t tried yet, and places I want to visit that I haven’t visited yet, and things that I am working on — or plan to work on at some point in the future — that I want to accomplish. For me having some of those things on a list is kind of fun, kind of encouraging, and an entertaining form of procrastination.

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  • Nancy

    Posted on December 9, 2011

    For many years I wished for peace in my home – and it did not seem that would ever happen. I finally worked my way into enough courage and broke away from an abusive husband. No matter how hard that was, I have never wanted to go back. And now I have peace. I don’t let anyone even yell in my home.

    So, feeling that my biggest wish has been granted, it seems greedy to ask for more. I do love to travel, I’d like to own a bed and breakfast someday, but if they don’t happen I’m perfectly happy to live on day to day with the wonderful man I wished for – and got.

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  1. If wishes were horses, I’d be walking | Woulda Coulda Shoulda - [...] Partially inspired by Otto’s birthday (and subsequent match-stuck-in-the-cake), I’m thinking about wishing, today. And wondering if I’m [...]
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