I was asked a question yesterday-mostly fueled by the fact that I had mentioned my next job was a ‘bucket list’ item.
“What else is on your bucket list?”
In that instant I realized my bucket list was somewhat empty. My response ended up being remarkably accurate-I often add things to my bucket list once I experience them! This is odd, I realize that. Most folks have a bucket list that includes traveling or climbing a mountain or running a marathon–large scale accomplishments that instill a sense of satisfaction upon completion. I think I must have some sort of fluid relationship with goals and achievements and long term goals are simply too distant for me to contemplate. What I like is the ‘now’. I also like ‘yes’.
Presented with a challenge I find compelling, or feel the growth quotient would be great, I tend to say yes and ask questions later. This method has landed me in some of the best and most satisfying situations I have experienced. I certainly didn’t know beforehand that it was something I wanted to do but have, invariably, concluded that it should have been on my bucket list. So, I add it and then cross it off. I will add a disclaimer: this ‘yes’ mentality doesn’t preclude the necessity of making mindful choices. If someone asks me to run a marathon…next week…I am going to say no (quite emphatically!). Although, I think I would say no even if they asked me to do it next year-just not my thing.
Most experiences, or jobs, or whatever, I can equate with a blank canvas. Some of the artists I know say that a white canvas is intimidating-that is why they throw a wash of color on it to begin. Therein lies the yes. Engaging with the process. What comes next is added one stroke at a time until it is complete. There are mistakes, wipe offs, scrap offs-even sand offs-before the piece comes together to create a satisfying experience for the artist. What you are left with is the learned history of the process that you carry on to the next piece–but there is always a next piece!
OK, I know I am mixing my metaphors but they work together in my head (no comments from the peanut gallery that knows me please). The nature of my artistic process will frequently leave me with a work I hadn’t anticipated creating-the idea is fluid and changes and flexes and stretches along the way. It is the same when I say yes to doing something new. I may have an idea of what it could look like but it seldom matches my expectations. More often than not, my expectations are exceeded and I am left stretched, flexed and better for it.
As far as my bucket list goes, I ended up adding to it this week. Of course, I crossed it off as well but I may re-add this to the list intentionally and see what happens.
Another list that needs some attention is my to-do list. This one isn’t nearly as fun-and seldom gets shorter and there isn’t a hole in site…guess I better get to it!