Bucket listBy loreen sarmiento
Cebu Daily News
The sudden demise of Secretary Jesse Robredo in a plane crash is another tap on the shoulder to remind us how short life is and how death can truly come like a thief in the night.
In an interview, his eldest daughter Icah said she believes that her father’s death was a perfect ending to a life lived to the fullest. The late secretary’s wife Leni shared that Jesse told her there was nothing more he could ask for because he had fulfilled all his dreams.
What about us? Have we lived our dreams? Or are there still things we want to do before we die? What is on our bucket list?
Last week, while having a foot spa, I read the bucket lists of some celebrities in a newspaper section and I was inspired to check my own. I realized that having a foot spa was one check in my list. With so much work and travelling in recent weeks I promised myself I would get my body relaxed and pampered. At the end of three hours, I had my face treated and my body massaged, too!
A bucket list is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you desire before you die.
In my research to know where that term came from, I learned that the movie “The Bucket List” had Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson play two terminally ill men who went on a road trip to do the things they wanted to do before they died or “kicked the bucket”.
Others define a bucket list as the 101 Things To Do Before You Die. I don’t want to sound morbid but it’s good to keep track of goals and plans of anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to do, whether it’s big, small or random and then work towards doing them.
Our stay on earth is temporary so we might as well fulfill the good things we want to do for ourselves and for others.
Perfect that chicken recipe? Finish a 40k-run? Visit all the historical spots in the country? Date a movie star? Silly or real, a bucket list is your own and no one can dispute its contents.
Why have a bucket list? Sometimes we go through days without something interesting to talk about. We get caught up in the rush of daily activities that we forget about our personal goals and plans.
Six years ago I started filling my bucket list: Learn to pay the violin, visit the Holy Land, go horseback riding in a prairie or farm, celebrate my birthday with the less fortunate, publish a book, and produce original songs.
2009: I brought three chafing dishes to a remote mountain barangay in the south and with the help of a friend lay minister surprised residents there one Sunday with a sumptuous lunch because it was my birthday.
2010: God answered my prayer to reach the land where He walked. I pleaded for God to grant me this before death claims me. It was a 10-day life-changing sojourn to the Holy Land.
Last year, I bought a violin and learned how to play —not masterfully but just enough to know the basics.
Though I have a cervical spine oppression and horseback riding may be a risk, I know I can still find a way to get on a horse’s back and feel the wind whip my face as we trot along.
I have soft copies of my writings including this column enough to fill a book but I still have to push the button to publish this. A writer friend once suggested that all my writings were good ingredients for a “soup for the soul”-like book.
And I have cassette tapes (yes that old) of originally written songs which I know can be good sounds to hear. Once I told myself, if these can just be professionally arranged and recorded on discs, it will be a dream come true even if only family and friends get to hear them.
I continue to add more items in my bucket list and I find it purposeful doing this. It is becoming an incredibly insightful exercise.. There is a whole layer of new enthusiasm in looking forward to what more is in store ahead! And for me, that’s how life can be lived.
Life is not a race. It is savoring every moment of our existence. Keeping a bucket list is a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here, so that instead of bumming around aimlessly with pointless activities, we are moving our life towards what matters most to us.
John Lennon once wrote: “Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.”
Sometimes, I have doubts that my dreams can ever be fulfilled or if I can bring out everything in my bucket list. And I do worry and get discouraged.
But you know, if God is part of our bucket list, nothing can be impossible. Some dreams may not come true, but He always makes sure something better is in store for us. He is in control of my life. So why fret? Isn’t sleeping at night putting my life in His hands?
I like how Msgr. Albert Venus encourages us to let go and let God handle our bucket list. He wrote: “Our night’s rest is God’s way of saying: Leave everything to me. You have done your part. Let me do mine and I will take care of you.”