Jay Rifenbary

Jay Rifenbary's Blog

Activate Your Bucket List Today


Reflecting on my upcoming 55th birthday, I am reminded that life is too short to worry about all the things that are wrong with it, and to cherish all the things that are wonderful about it. It is a reality that the quality of my physical life 20 years from now will be substantially less than it is today. There is also a good chance every day might be a new day depending on my future mental well-being. Some in my life have already made that call for the latter. Yes, this particular blog is for those who find themselves a bit past their physical prime. There is no doubt many of you are young at heart, as am I, and we would not have it any other way. However, the days still pass and we better make the best of them. Although our minds may say yes, our bodies occasionally provide a wake up call that we may not be as young as we think. Passion for life, and the people you love are the inspiration for a youthful heart, a gracious spirit, and a willing body. Though we do not know what tomorrow may bring, a positive, humble and selfless attitude today will make every moment a bit more joyful.

The theme of the movie “The Bucket List” (2007) is a list of things the two main characters played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, wish to do before they “kick the bucket” i.e. die, both of them being terminally ill. I encourage all of us to create, activate and participate in your bucket list today. You are never too young to list and plan for what you desire. What are your dreams, aspirations and heartfelt wishes in life? That once in a lifetime trip, a completed physical challenge, a degree, owning your own business, a passion to cook, paint, sing, dance, and a relationship to fulfill are all examples of what could be in your bucket. No regrets, no excuses and you must believe no one will prevent you from checking off that list. It is a core belief in you and what you stand for and believe in that will propel you to fulfill those desires.

You may find yourself overwhelmed with the amount on your list, and how wonderful to have a full bucket. Take the time to prioritize what you wish for most. Subsequently evaluate it, budget it, plan it, and make a commitment to make it happen. What is there to lose, but time and that’s the point. As in any endeavor, the road to accomplishment is never easy, and checking off your bucket list items is no different. The life skills of self-discipline, resiliency, determination, and perseverance are as needed to empty the bucket as they are to overcome the trials and tribulations we face every day. Would it not be more enjoyable and fulfilling to focus your energy on emptying the bucket? As Emerson quoted, “Life is a journey not a destination.” and Aristotle so eloquently stated, “Happiness is the meaning of the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” What are you waiting for?

Granted, emptying the entire bucket may be unrealistic, but making a commitment to enjoy the journey is essential for long-term happiness. The absence of a bucket list in your life is the first step to waking up with less purpose, and acquiring a pessimistic view of your future. Without something to look forward to, you will emotionally and physically deteriorate. Living life to the fullest is not about allowing life to control you, but rather assimilating the values you believe in, and the desires you wish for within the sphere of living.

Three gifts to being human are having the ability to smile, laugh, and cry. How wonderful to be complete in the expression of what it means to be alive. Discard your frailties, forgive your mistakes, forgive others who have harmed you, love those who love you and appreciate the little things that bring happiness to your life. A full bucket has the potential to provide nourishment for many. Strive to empty the bucket while bringing happiness to yourself and those around you. Enjoy the pour.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

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