I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions or goals. My mind doesn’t want to wrap around that concept and move forward for some reason. It might be because when I realize I need to change, or when God whispers a suggestion in my ear which would improve my life considerably, I typically make the decision right then and there to either change or not. Admittedly, sometimes I’d be better off if I just listened to those whispers and took action rather than contemplating it and deciding not to. Regardless, I do love the idea of a brand new start. Who doesn’t? Okay, sure, there are plenty of anti-New Year’s Scrooges. But anyone with a hint of optimism in her bones likes to wipe the slate clean, feel invigorated, and plunge ahead into a one-more-chance adventure. Even God loves new beginnings! “Behold, I am making everything new.” Revelations 21:5
So in celebration of a brand new year, and in order to let myself dream and imagine what I’ll be blogging about in 2012, I decided to create a bucket list rather than a list of resolutions. Granted, each item on the bucket list requires some sort of action on my part, even if it’s just pushing a button or saying yes. But I’m not just passively wishing for good things to happen to me in 2012. I’m planning to actively pursue these things, hopefully seeing them come to fruition and providing me with more items to add to my gratitude lists.
Without further ado, here’s my bucket list for the new year (note: not in order of importance!).
Bethany’s 2012 bucket list
- Pull the lever which releases concrete on a “spinny truck” (my childhood term for a concrete mixing truck). Naysayers laugh all you like, but I love these trucks. I deliberately slow down while driving if I wind up behind one. I love watching them spin. I want to make one spin, darn it!
- Complete 18 hours toward my Master’s degree in English. This should be doable, God willing, and pending my brain’s ability to remember how to read analytically, take great notes, and write critical analyses.
- Pursue volunteering possibilities. I’ve been considering volunteering for http://www.literacyindependence.org, but if that doesn’t pan out, I’m sure I’ll hear some divine whispers which will point me in the right direction. I love giving back, and since moving back to my hometown, I haven’t taken the time to get involved with any non-profits. As a former non-profit junkie, however, I have decided to strike a balance between saying yes to everything and saying no to everything. This year, I’m hoping to find ways to give back to my community, serve others, and flesh out the Golden Rule.
- Nourish and foster friendships with people who inspire, strengthen, and encourage me. Fill my life with the elevator people rather than the basement people. As a wise woman once said, “Elevator people bring you up. Basement people bring you up. You choose whether you want to go up or down.” I want to go up. Does that mean I’ll excommunicate friends whose values I don’t admire or who tend to drink from half-empty cups? Not at all. I do, however, plan to continue finding new friends who I really admire and maintain friendships with folks who already fit the bill.
- Express gratitude daily to God and to those who bring blessings into my life. I generally do well at this, but I’d like to do better. I’d like to look back a year from now and not wish I’d said thank you to someone without doing it or sent a letter without ever writing it.
- Take advantage of the beautiful acreage God has afforded us by taking more walks and hiking on the trails in our own backyard. Every time I do this, I feel so much more alive and appreciative of the beauty God’s infused into the world. Plus, I’m sure my body would thank me for the increased cardiovascular activity.
- In keeping with #6, I’d also like to go hiking in three brand new places this year. I don’t necessarily have to take long, relaxing vacations to each of the three destinations, but I want to see the world from different points of view.
- Continue this streak I’m on of reading my Bible daily and spending a considerable amount of time alone with God each day. I’m not sure how I got to this level of consistency and intensity. Honestly it wasn’t too difficult. I just developed the routine of bringing my morning coffee into the office, plopping down on the couch (typically under a pile of throws and atop several pillows), and started reading at least a chapter of the Bible every day. After I read, I always feel inspired to talk to God about something. So it just happened. And I kept doing it, and I’m pretty sure this is the longest stretch of time during which I’ve consistently done this. Thank you, coffee.
- Marry James Wallace. Yep, I’m saying it.
- Keep opening myself up to whatever spiritual insights God wants to bestow on me. Keep my hands open. Keep my heart open. Let Him be in control, and daily choose to try things His way rather than insist on Bethany’s way. Believe, repent, and let Him redeem every broken part of my past.
Happy 2012–stay tuned for bucket list updates throughout the year.