Bucket List Life

Do you have clothes in your closet that you are saving for a special occasion? A piece of jewelry that you have never worn because you are waiting for a perfect event? Are you waiting for the perfect time to tell someone you love them, or complete a college degree, or apply for a new job, or take a bucket list trip?

I used to save and wait and postpone, but now I embrace. The first big shift happened after my third emergency surgery. I looked in the closet and threw out everything I did not love and started wearing everything I did. Sequins to a business meeting? Why not. Black pearls to a friend’s house? Of course. I became completely committed to living a bucket list life after the death of my mother and husband two months apart, followed one year later by an unexpected and unjustified end to my career.

After my mother died I cleaned out her closet and found several outfits with the store tags still on them. Because she had been saving them she never had a chance to enjoy them. She had special candles she never burned, perfume no one ever smelled, and amazing skin creams hardened in jars.  I cleaned out my husband’s many closets, garage, and basement and found art supplies he never got around to using, fishing gear still waiting for a perfect weekend, boots that had never seen a dance floor, and empty sketchbooks still waiting for inspiration.

And then I realized how many irretrievable vacation days I had left on the shelf and how many days I should have rested at home instead of attending a supposedly important meaning. Stop waiting. If you love someone call them now and tell them. If you have always wanted to take a trip to the ocean, book it. If you want to change careers, return to college, learn how to sail, or adopt a child, start that process today. Do you know what will happen if you wear sequins to a business meeting, or put blue streaks in your hair, pick up a paintbrush or learn to play the bagpipes? Your soul will sing.

3 thoughts on “Bucket List Life

  1. Interesting. I have found myself as an artist awaiting usage of “optimum art materials” , stored for decades in my studio, awaiting integration into the perfect art project of the future, that are now becoming demystified. I am using them in a casual but applied manner ….whether or not it is the “ultimate” artistic statement. Otherwise one day they will just be flotsam for my grown children to wonder why I left them on the ground all those years, never COMMITING to using them. This thought Elisa writes is clear…this is a time of commitment as age has spoken with vivid urgency to each of us, just with more urgency to some than others..

  2. I love this blog. I am going to check for tags in my closet!

  3. I absolutely loved this blog. It is so true and so poignant. In fact, I let go of 35 items of clothing last week. It felt quite liberating.

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