When you have teenagers in the home, you quickly realize that they are unashamedly honest with their opinions. For example, my kids think that I’m too old to have long hair, wear converse or dance in pubic (the last I agree with, but not because of my age). Lately, I’ve pondered a great deal about this decade of my life. It feels like coming of age all over again, except now having the benefit of life experience.
As I look back on my teens and twenties, I realize that a great deal of what I did was tethered to the approval of others, and wanting so much to fit into a role that I had imagined for myself. I see this in my own children today as they approach adulthood and strive to fulfill their mental image of success. I can’t say that I would have done anything different at an earlier age, but now with a different perspective comes different desires.
Starting a new career at 40 didn’t seem nearly as daunting as it would have at 25 when I though that every possible choice had only one outcome; success or failure. Now I realize that the variables in between success and failure are the hidden jewels of life. They hold opportunities and outcomes that you couldn’t have planned. While my much younger bucket list looked like a list of must do accomplishments (get a great job, travel, buy a house); my forties bucket list looks more like self affirmations and is filled with things to conquer (Travel solo, build a piece of furniture, remodel a bathroom completely by myself).
I think that we put so many boundaries around ourselves that are simply tied to a number. My forties have been so freeing and have allowed me the to experience life without meeting anyone else’s expectations. It’s has brought new people into my life that have accepted me without any judgement and encouraged me on my journey. Fear has a way of holding us in a box, frozen in time or routines; but this new chapter in life has the possibility to allow us all a second chance. So in short, it was time to scrap the 20’s bucket list and start fresh! What an enjoyable process to embrace these new adventures with an entirely new perspective!
Also…I’m growing my hair as long as I want, I may get some converse shoes (out of spite), but I will likely choose to opt out of public dancing…(for a while)!
Wondering how to get started on your own bucket list? I think a categories work best. There isn’t a right or wrong way, and you don’t have to get super specific at first. Once you get started, the creativity just seems to naturally flow to your soul’s secret desires. Keep me posted.