Kick the Bucket: Start a Mirror List

A woman holds a mirror to nature, and sees herself.
What if you are already living your bucket list?
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

What’s on Your Bucket List?

Visiting an exotic destination, meeting your hero, testing your physical limits? Winning the lottery? Many of us keep a “bucket list.” Maybe you started one even before the term was coined, in the 2007 movie of the same name.

I have one: several items on it – visiting Japan and the Galapagos, and seeing Stephane Grappelli in concert – are checked “done.” All memorable experiences, which I feel happy (and privileged) to have had. The rest of the list is filled with travel destinations, saved for retirement.

But is there another way to consider what’s in the bucket?

Making a Mirror List

I was running errands today and thought about the many things in my life for which I’m grateful. Some of those things might be considered traditional “bucket list” items: our eight years in Manhattan, for example, or owning a convertible for a time.

But others are not the type of items you’d typically put on a bucket list. Having a wonderful life partner in Mark. Watching the hummingbirds drink from our feeder. Being able to learn. Experiencing the joy in laughing at a hilarious message from my older brother. Knowing that my work team is blazingly talented, fun, and supportive.

The idea of practicing gratitude is not new. But I’m contrasting it with a bucket list because – by filling the bucket with symbols of accomplishment – we consider it something other than ourselves. And we may diminish our own worth as a result. By making a mirror list, reflecting on the unique journeys that are our own lives and seeing deeply into the joy there, the need to hold a separate bucket of wishes seems less important.

What in the World…?

Why am I writing about gratitude in an environmental blog? For once, the environment is not my main focus.

My younger brother died 18 years ago this weekend. Invariably the anniversary of David’s death brings a mix of thoughts and emotions. I could say a lot more about that… but I do feel immensely grateful for many things today, and my “mirror list” is full.

For Sustainability Talk

If you missed my last post, you can read it here.

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