Please put the term Bucket List out with the trash. Like Old School and Back In The Day, I need not hear the term again. Try this instead; Live In Your Bucket.
Whatever you have on that list, get to it. Whatever you’re doing that keeps you from accomplishing things on that list, are things you’ve created. Get out of your own way, and live the life you want. The clock is ticking. Work work work then play when you’re 65? That’s not the model I’m following.
When I met my wife we started like anybody else, talking on the phone (no cell, no email, no text). I remember quite vividly talking about what we do, and well… I had to omit something. Was I not being truthful? Not exactly. At the time, I was working as Production Director at WFNX-Radio in Boston, DJ’ing every Saturday night live on the radio from a club near Fenway Park (Axis), and playing in a rock band called The Measles.
What did I omit? Well, I had just started work on my first indie film. Yes, I was a busy boy, and I thought she might think I was full of crap telling her all that, so I omitted the bit about the film. But alas, it was all true.
Even today, when people ask what do you do?, meaning work, I’m not sure how to pitch it. Hmmm.. let’s see; I started a ‘Green’ business last year called The Green Dad (you knew that), I work for iTunes Radio, an LA web station called Houndstooth Radio, am the voice of 92.5 The River in Boston, I write for Edible South Shore Magazine, am a Board Member at a local organic farm, and still DJ here and there, not to mention I’m home for school buses 4 days a week at 3. Oh, and I play in a band still too, with my wife this time.
I usually get the same feeling, they’re thinking sure pal, nobody does all that.
What’s my secret? It’s easy, you have to do it! There, seminar dismissed.
But it’s true. I do all these things because these are the things I do. I don’t golf. I don’t have a boat. I don’t go on vacations 4-5x a year. I don’t party every weekend. I don’t ski. I don’t hunt. I don’t tailgate 8-10 Sundays a year. I don’t wash my car over and over again. I don’t attend every family/friend BBQ. I’m not in front of the TV every night.
Yes, if you want to DO things, accomplish those things that are on your bucket list, then get to it. Yes, you may have to shelve some of the distractions. You may have to forgo that awesome ski weekend/bonfire/rock show/dinner/vacation that’s coming up. Those things, while certainly fun, are sucking time and energy away from the things you really want to do.
Create a life around the things you love to do, and the rest will work itself out.
Yes it helps that I decided to freelance from home 14 years ago, but that was the roll of the dice I’m talking about. AND that roll of the dice also included being home with two kids in diapers! I went back to commuting last year for 8 months. 3 hours in the car everyday x 5 = 15 hours a week? Ummmm… no.
And yes it helps that my wife has been running a successful business since I stayed home with kids, but many men couldn’t cope with the dad stays home stigma, and would need to punch a clock to prove they are in charge. Well, forget that. I’m living for me and mine, not what other people think.
And here I am, working on all types of projects that I love, including writing. What did I do today? I got my kids up and at ’em, I took a 10 mile bike ride, I read, I wrote a few emails to setup a film shoot next week, I had lunch with my wife, then sat down to write this. When my kids need attention (say I’m bored and you owe me $5!) maybe we’ll take a walk, or play street hockey, or Connect 4, or let our chickens out and just hang. That’s a perfect day.
You have the power to create your own perfect day, week, year, life… you just have to do it. The things you want are probably more attainable than you think, you just need to free up some time, and head space, to go get ‘em.
If you had 1 million dollars what would you do? Not, what would you buy, but how would you live your life? Think for a minute… I’ll wait.
There, whatever your answer was, go do that! Travel. Run a B&B. Spend more time with family. Etc. Etc. You can most likely do that w/o a lot of money, just a change of attitude.
I’ll blame the media yet again, talking us all into a need for a life of work and material things. The truck! The lawn! The beer! The 4 hour erection! Just keep your head down and work your life away because it’s the American way. Ummm…. no, that’s the way Corporations make money without working. Hard work is fine, slavery is not.
Shake up your snow globe!
I’m living in my bucket, and recommend you try the same. It’s awesome in here.