It’s become popular vernacular, an everyday reference whose origins may be, “What I want to do before I kick the bucket.” Like many things, it has new meaning since our introduction to COVID-19. We’ve always known that life on the planet is finite. We understand that some of us cross the 100-year mark, and some go far too young. Whatever our lot, the notion of The Bucket List has new meaning for me, and maybe for you too.
This past year, we’ve taken inventory of what matters and have uncovered lots of things that don’t. We have discovered how precious the addition of spandex is to our clothing, how many kinds of take-out food there are, and how lovely fresh air smells without the barrier of a mask. Maybe our bucket list included a Viking River Cruise. Mine did. Perhaps it still does. My bucket list also includes getting to the beach, especially NOT on weekends of summer. The off-season was always my favorite time and continues to be.
Have our priorities changed? Has our bucket list?
We will do ourselves a terrible disservice if we do not take advantage of the lessons that COVID had to teach. I would suggest that we resist the temptation to rush back to the pre-COVID pace: cramming as much into every 24 hours as we possibly can.
Maybe we stay awhile in this slightly slowed-down pace. Frantic is not my pace of choice; it never was but seemed necessary. Why are we in such a rush to get as much done as possible … in the shortest amount of time? The proverbial, “beat the clock.” Maybe it is more efficient, but is there a cost?
Our friends, who teach and live in mindfulness, have much to offer: we’ve learned to be present. We all longed for the future when—when the numbers were down, when the vaccine would be available, when Main Street would open, when masks became optional, and when we weren’t so afraid anymore. The danger is to lose the lesson and ignore what was borne of struggle.
One of those lessons might be that we are only in the present. We can long for the past, yearn for the future, but here we are. The lessons were learned at a cost. It would be a shame to waste them. I am so relieved that I am ready to distance myself from COVID. I imagine you are too. Let’s be “done” with it. There may be a temptation to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
As we emerge out of COVID, where are we? What is different? Honestly, I feel torn. I want to be satisfied with dinner in a restaurant, unworried about breathing. I also want to take a trip. I want the life I used to have and to feel the freedom I used to feel. I do appreciate health differently. I appreciate breath anew. I appreciate looking at my vaccinated friends and family and not worrying about what lurks in their bodies.
How do the changes that have occurred inside of us change our Bucket List?
Think about what it was pre-COVID, what it is, and what has changed. If your list includes loving those you love more, sharing more, appreciating more, living in an attitude of gratitude, and being kinder to yourself and others, then, like me, your bucket list has changed.
However, I still want to go back to Paris. As is always the case … it’s not either/or, it’s both/and.
Hmmm, I wonder how many airline points I have?