I brought my heart to work today and showed it to people. Many told me that they had always wanted to try glass work. Some asked where I did it and how to get started. One commented that I was scratching items off of my bucket list.
That got me thinking.
Do I even have a bucket list? I have always said that I do not. I tend to do things as soon as I find an opportunity. Want to learn to juggle? Check! Want to busk across the country? Check! Want to learn to unicycle? Check. Want to learn to fly on the trapeze? Check. Want to take a trip to Vancouver or Mexico City? Check (on both.) Want to learn to play banjo? Check. Want to learn to cook/bake? Check.
There are always things that I have wanted to do. And there always will be. I have never really made a list of them. I have just figured that I am alive and as long as I am able, I should take opportunities to gain new experiences, try new things, see new places, etc.
But if I have always wanted to do them, isn’t that a bucket list of sorts? Haven’t I just kept the list in the back of my head or the hollow of my heart … awaiting opportunity to re-awaken the desire?
I don’t know. To me at least, the term conjures images of someone putting things off until the last minute. Someone has said, “gee! I’d like to do these things before I die” and then misses opportunities to try them. The bucket list gets put aside until something shocks a person into realizing that time is limited.
I do not like that idea. I prefer one that I saw in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal many months ago. It is about multiple lifetimes. I disagree with the “two years until I die” person though. I do not think that the lives should be that clearly defined. In my lives, there is overlap. And to me, that is the point. I do not think that we should worry about being good any any one thing. We should keep trying things all the time.
Specialization is for insects. Humans are generalists. That is our strength. We are multitools like Swiss Army Knives and Leathermen. We are not the greatest at running, climbing, or swimming. For any physical task that you can imagine, there is an animal that can beat us (and often it is an insect whose physical design optimizes the function.)
But we can do it. Sometimes we need to be clever and design a tool to do it, but we can do it.
If I take opportunities as they come, I will not have to worry about regret. If I remember that I am not an insect, I will not worry about being the best. And if I live each day seeking to be the best me that I can be for whatever situation I am in, then I think that the first two sentences in this paragraph have a better chance of being true.