New Experiences and Bucket Lists

During a recent dinner conversation, the topic moved to bucket lists. Not everyone (me included) has a bucket list. Bucket lists are about trying new experiences. Experiences that are important enough to try in our lifetime.

Sometimes we don’t want to make a list. (Just one more thing that feels like work or the potential to fail when we don’t accomplish something.)

Sometimes it is scary to write down these items. (What if I cannot do it, what if it requires me to overcome fear?)

Sometimes we think we are too [insert your own self-limiting description here] to make a list. (We are too old, scared, busy, etc.)

Sometimes we live through other people’s lists. (I can join them or not, but not create or plan for my own.)

Sometimes we think about these new experiences, but the distance between thinking and doing can be a very long journey. (Dreaming is great, but doing is so much work.)

One of my favorite bloggers/bucket list enthusiast is Christine Barba. I have enjoyed reading her list and it provided the right inspiration for my own list.

I have started my list. One of my goals this year is to finish the list.

One bucket list item has been to attend a TED and TEDx event.

TEDxPiscataquaRiver

Looks like I can cross this off my bucket list.

Bucket lists require risk. Bucket lists require us to stretch ourselves.

Do you have a bucket list? Maybe it is worth spending a few moments to write down a few today. Don’t wait. Feel free to share your top three items with us in the comments section?

“I am good as possible”

I live in New Hampshire. With the exception of my time in the Navy and a few years of grad school, I have lived here my whole life.

Every winter, it snows here…a lot. The world slows down, and we tend to hibernate and stay inside more.

I have a confession: I never learned to ski.

Combine this fact with the fact that I agreed to chaperone my daughter’s ski club helped prompt me to do something that I have been meaning to do for years: learn to ski.

At 44 years old, I decided to stop putting this off and start taking a lesson (the Sunday before a Wednesday ski club). Despite my initial fear, of falling and/or making a fool of myself, the lesson went well and I had enough skills to chaperone. Enough skills to get by. I stared to wonder if I needed additional lessons.

I told this story to a friend. This friend had a story for me. Years ago when their young child was learning to ski, their family would spend days on the slopes. Most of the day was spent in lessons, and occasionally they would “free ski” afterwards. Their child had good skills and some natural talent for skiing and could out-ski most of their peers. The lessons continued.

After lunch, most of the family was going to ski the slopes and the young child had to return to their lesson. The child wanted to ski with the rest of the family, but the lesson continued in the afternoon. A meltdown ensued with this youngster trying to find a reason why they didn’t need to continue the lesson.

“I don’t need another lesson. I am good as possible!” they screamed.

We laughed at the story, but those words remained. “I am good as possible.”

How often do we think we are good enough at something and fail to continue to learn and challenge ourselves? When does “good enough” satisfy us so that we stop refining our skills? Lessons can be boring, especially when compared to skiing down the slopes.

For me, I decided to continue with the lessons. But this story and those words caused me to look to at my own life to see where I have shouted “I am good as possible” instead of realizing that I could improve with just a few more lessons.

Learning to Ski

P.S. For anyone who thinks they are too old, tired, experienced, afraid, (insert word here) to try something new, my instructor told me about a 78 year-old grandfather who decided to learn to snowboard so he could go down the slopes at least once with his grandchildren. And he did!