Thankful Tuesday: A Short Bucket List

Thankful Tuesday: A Short Bucket List

Micha Boyett blogs at MamaMonk exploring the application of St. Benedict’s teachings on the life of a modern wife and mother. This week she started a link-up party for her weekly thankful post. Here’s my offering for MamaMonk’s Thankful Tuesday.

Ada’s been making lists lately. Mostly pros and cons lists for various life-changing decisions, but this one was labeled “My Bucket List.” It was a neatly printed list of 4 items on a lime green post-it note. I had no idea where she had even heard of a bucket list at age 8, but my husband tells me it was the focus of one of the tween soap operas she watches on Disney or Nick or something. (Yes, I let her watch that trash in limited quantities.)

A bucket list is traditionally reserved for the elderly or the terminally ill. Ada is neither. But, of course, this is where the tween soaps come back in and, along with the phrase I know, right!, I have to give credit where credit is due.

Ada’s Bucket List:

1. Learn to Swim

2. Go to Paris

3. Go to College

4. Move to Omaha


This list is everything I love about our Ada Bean. She’s practical. Learning to swim is an achievable, short-term goal. No problem. Moving to Omaha might sound odd to strangers, but this midwest super city is the home to one set of her grandparents and a bus load of aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides of the family. It makes perfect sense to her that someday she would join that crowd. And going to college is obvious. I’d like to take credit for that since I’ve been in college for most of her life, but I think this one comes from Disney, too. But she’s not just practical, she’s also a dreamer. Paris? Why not! I chose the picture above because it shows her in her favorite role: socialite caregiver. Protective arms around you but still smiling for the paparazzi.

What I love most about her bucket list is its length. Four items. Only four things she could think of in that moment that she had to do. Why? I think it’s because she’s a genuinely contented person. She laughs easily. She loves deeply. She’s as happy helping me set the table as she is riding her bike. I worry sometimes that because she is so agreeable I put too much responsibility on her trim 8 year-old shoulders. But she rarely complains and she regularly offers to do more.

I’m thankful for Ada’s short list. It reminds me to keep mine short as well. Really, how many things do I need to do? I want to be better at taking life as it comes, at accepting what is instead of obsessing over what could be. A short bucket list says something about a person’s ability to be pleased with whatever life has to offer in the moment. I’m thankful most of all for Ada, of course, because this list comes out of who she is: a complex but contented little girl.

And, yes, you can bet I’m making my own list now for how to help her cross off the things on hers!

How about you? Is your Bucket List long or short? Is there one thing on it that would surprise us?



14 Replies to “Thankful Tuesday: A Short Bucket List”

  1. Oh, I love everything about this post. Those smiles, the items on that list, and how proud you are of your girl. (And really, who doesn’t want to go to Paris?)

    My bucket list tends to get long and unwieldy – this is a great reminder to practice contentment.

  2. Thanks for linking up today, Felicity! Oh, man. Paris and Omaha on the same list? That is genius. I’ve never really had a bucket list. I’m not organized enough to have thought it through. But I love the idea of a short bucket list equaling contentment and I’m going to keep thinking on that.

    Happy Thankful Tuesday!

  3. Who would have thought Ada would know what a bucket list is! I love it! And I have to admit, I love #4 a lot! And Paris? Let me just say…..she’s awesome!

  4. Well, I love this post to the moon and back. Even though Omaha is on the bucket list and I am not the grandmother who lives in that city.Although the streets of Paris seem huge and distant to me, I can totally see our girl strolling down them and making friends with every baker and barista on the avenue.(Do they call them baristas?)

    Anyway, a four-point bucket list is brilliant. I feel pretty content with my life, but I believe I’ll give some thought to at least four things I haven’t achieved yet.

  5. This is an awesome bucket list, and I can say that as someone who has learned to swim, gone to college, and visited Paris. Move to Omaha is still on my bucket list though.

  6. Yes Ada, like lawyers, I’m sure there are perfectly nice Parisians, so you go there and soak it up. They will be blessed by it whether they realize it or not. Actually it takes a curmugeon to know one, so probably there are people like grandpa there!

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