I recently read Newton Neighbors by Suzy Duffy. I really enjoyed this book and am honored to have a Suzy’s guest post today about tending to your bucket list. With my own list of over 100 things I plan to accomplish, I’m fully behind this idea. Enjoy! 🙂
How’s your bucket list looking these days? Do you still have a wish-list of things you want to do?
Or did you dump it along the way with work, family and funding pressure? As autumn rolls in and kids head back to school, I think it’s a great time to remind you how precious your list really is. Haul it out and let’s think about this.
Ask any seven year old worth their salt about their wish-list and they’ll happily regale you with their plans to become a pop star, then an astronaut – maybe a spell in the white house before curing cancer and achieving world peace. While they’re a tad over-optimistic, I think as we get older we become a bit over-pessimistic. Somewhere in the middle is a good flight path.
Here’s my suggestion. Get a pen and paper and list ten things you’d like to do in your life. It isn’t as easy as it sounds because we’ve become so darn good at building excuses – reasons why things can’t be done. For now try to ignore all those excuses and write down the top ten things you really want. When you’ve got that done, list them in order of priority – one being your top ambition and ten, the least important. If we don’t have goals, how are we ever going to reach them? Here’s the funny thing, sometimes when we’re aiming for one thing, we get a totally unexpected bonus that wasn’t even on our radar.
Top of my list for the last five years has been to get to No. 1 in the New York Times bestseller list. This is practically unheard of for a new writer. I don’t know any mothers-of-five who have done it (except Debbie Macomber, and she has a thirty year head start on me) but that’s not the point. The point is the mountain is there and I want to climb it, page by page and book by book. Wellesley Wives got into the top one hundred in the Amazon Bestsellers list so I’m hopeful Newton Neighbors will climb even higher and so far so good, because reviews are excellent. Nowhere on my wish-list did I have plans to visit Australia. That didn’t even enter my mind but thanks to the success of Wellesley Wives in the USA, my publisher, The Writers Coffee Shop flew me to Australia – to speak at The Sydney Writers Festival on how to write romantic comedy. That was four months ago and I’m still flying high on the endorphins. Sydney was everything I imagined it to be and more. I was familiar with the landmarks of the city but to see them up close was just amazing. Sydney was an unbelievable fringe benefit of aiming for No. 1 in the bestsellers list. The same could happen to you. Aiming for goals puts you in the way of other fantastic adventures and experiences that might never have come your way if you ignore that bucket list.
I’ve been a huge fan of Ruby Wax for years. She’s American, living in the UK and did a hilarious TV series a few years back – interviewing some of the most colorful characters on the planet; Imelda Marcos, Pamela Anderson and the like. There was nothing Ruby wouldn’t say. She was wildly inappropriate and even wildlier funny! Imagine my thrill when I discovered she was staying at the same hotel as us in Sydney. She was Down-under to promote her new book too. I was rubbing shoulders with my idols. Another major celeb who checked in was Molly Ringwald. Yep, she has a book out too.
It kinda makes me wonder how in the heck I’m ever going to get to the top of the bestsellers list with so many people writing books. Then again look at the fun I’m having along the way.
This is a really good time of year to get your list back out and think about what you want. I’m sure your days are already full with family and work but we’ve got to squeeze as much fun into life as we can. Don’t ignore your bucket list – you owe it to yourself and who knows, it might be you I meet in Sydney next time. Wishing you good luck with your list and get connected through the links below to let me know how you’re doing.
Lots of love,