Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A dream is a wish your heart makes.

So I've written about how we shop, and why we shop. I've just barely scratched the crusty surface when it comes to why some of us surround ourselves with way too much stuff. But there's another very compelling chapter to this stream of entries about acquisition.

Retailapalooza has kicked in. Christmas is coming, and that means it's officially okay to go shopping. In fact it's kind of weird to most people if you don't choose to darken the door of a store between now and December 25.

What better time ask yourself what you really want? If you could do anything - anything - what would it be?

I'm speaking of the things that don't fit in a cart. You can't shove these things in a bag. This brand of product has no maker, other than you. Of course I'm referring to the conscious accumulation of experiences.

So let's replace the shopping list with a bucket list, shall we?

A bucket list is a list of wishes, really. I've got one that's now on paper. Until recently, these savory dreams were nothing but passing thoughts; whimsical wishes.

Most lists of this nature are not unlike mine. Mine is an outline of things I'd like to do; not stuff I want to get. They're potential accomplishments, experiences, events that ideally will be achieved before I take my seat in the alto section of the Choir Invisible. It's essentially a list of stuff I want to do before I die.

I'm not the only one who has a list like this.

In addition to the Bucket List movie, which I must honestly say I never saw, there's a tee vee show called The Buried Life. The show follows the exploits of four young men who have compiled a list of 100 things they want to do before they die, and collectively they go about trying to accomplish what's on their list. Get married in Vegas. Make a million dollars. Get in a fight. Learn to fly.

Self-indulgent? Sure.

Experientially cool? Completely.

The redemptive element to the concept these four people have created is that they're givers, too. For every item they cross off their list, they also help a stranger accomplish something on their list. Today I watched as the lads reunited a man with his estranged family. I did a bit of boo-hooing at the episode's conclusion.

It wasn't just because they'd been instrumental in changing the lives of a vagrant father and a hopeful, receptive daughter. It was also because they care enough, are aware enough, to see that this crazy Game of Life isn't all about what we get out of it; it's also about what we give back to it.

And their tasty experiment has very little to do with procurement. It's about participating in life. It's about making a list, checking it twice, jumping into the moment regardless of the outcome.

So what's on your list? What would you love to do/see/accomplish/experience/fill-in-the-blank before you leave this lovely planet?

I asked a bunch of people what was on their list.

Bucket. Not shopping.

Travel. Learn a different language. Climb every 14er. There are so many wishes, so many dreams that so many people are quietly contemplating every day.


I want to travel. I'd like to take my kids to New York City, and introduce them to the places I visited when New York was a frequent destination. I'd like to show them San Francisco. I'd like to take them to France. Just because France is so beautiful and old. Perspective is everywhere there.

I'd like to take a trip by myself. I'd start in South Dakota and see Christine. Then I'd visit Mark in Hollywood, make a stop in Portland so I could spend some time with Miriam and Sage. I'd swing up to Seattle and drop in on Scott, scoot over to Minnesota and gab with Dave, head over to New Jersey and chat with Jane, go across the pond to London and have some face time with Mike. I'd see people I love, in their elements. I can't think of a better vacation.

I'd get a book published. And a fabulous, whirlwind book tour would follow.

I'd make a record. Of the album variety. I don't care if it goes platinum.

I'd be part of a flash mob.

I'd hire someone to clean my house.

I'd go to the world's largest yard sale. It begins in Michigan and ends in Alabama, and it takes place every August.

There are so many more items on my list. Too numerous to mention.

Are any of these goals, these wishes, these dreams unattainable?


Nothing's stopping me. Nothing, with the exception of my other lists.



Integration. That's what I'm aiming for - I'd love to pour my To-Do list into my bucket list and see what happens.

A dream is a wish my heart makes, in the form of a list. None of the items on any of my lists are impossible.

I'd love to accomplish a few more of the items on my wish list than I seem to regularly complete on my To-Do list.

I guess I have something to add to my wish list.

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