Thursday, April 2, 2009


In the movie The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman’s character is a middle income terminally ill patient sharing a room in the hospital with Jack Nicholson’s character who is wealthy and “owns” the hospital. Freeman’s character has a “bucket list” of things he wants to do before he dies. Nickelson’s character decides to help him do everything on his list and together they travel around the world and check off items on the list.

In the movie Last Holiday, Queen Latifah’s character is a saleswoman in a department store who is misdiagnosed with a rare brain disease. She has a possibilities book filled with things she would like to do, places she wants to go, pictures of meals she has cooked but doesn’t eat (she sticks with her Lean Cuisine and feeds the neighbor kid the gourmet meals), and people she would like to meet. After her diagnosis, she cashes in the bonds she inherited from her mother and all of her other assets and heads to Europe to turn some of her possibilities into realities.

After watching these movies the message I walked away with was not to wait until it is too late to do the things you want to do, to follow your dreams, or enjoy life.

I have what I call my POSSIBILITIES LIST. It is a combination of a “bucket list” and “possibilities book”. I call it the possibilities list and not a “to do” list because I know I don’t have full control over everything on the list such as getting married. My list is a reminder to take control of my life instead of letting it control me. There are items on the list that are not tangible, they cannot be measured, or held in the hand. They are reminders to laugh, to smile, and to enjoy life more.

The list gives me hope on days when hope is hard to find and direction when I feel lost. Reading the list, adding to it, and crossing things off (making them realities) is a form of therapy for me. I can see where I have been and am reminded of where I am going or want to be.

I try to take out my list at least once a week or whenever I have an idea of something I want to accomplish or do. There are many times when I say “Oh I have always wanted to do that!” It is those times that I pull out the list and add another item.

In the last six months I have turned some of my possibilities into realities and it feels great: getting a laptop, taking my son to Disneyland, and going to Seattle for a wedding (that has happened twice now). There are other items like exercising my second amendment rights and getting a concealed carry permit that need to be completed in steps - last night I took the class with my sister-in-law, the next step is to mail the application.

The point to all of this is that possibilities are endless. It is up to us to make our possibilities realities. Whether it is a bucket list, a possibilities book, a possibilities list, or to do list - whatever you want to call it - the idea is to write them down, remember them, and make them happen.

There is no order to how or when. No time line. They aren’t necessarily goals, but reminders. However you do it, I hope you remember your possibilities and work on making them realities.

1 comment:

Cynthia said...

I posted a comment about this last week- apparently I didn't post it right or it would be here.

I found this post really interesting and inspiring. I think a big part of my 'Mid-Mom Crisis' has been the need to define new wants and goals for myself. I have been in brain-drain about it because I kept thinking they had to be be major, grandiose goals.

It doesn't. Perhaps I should just make a list instead as you have. Big things, small things, happy things etc. I don't need to pressure myself to come up with big goals. Some little ones will do just fine.