It seemed like a good idea to make a bucket list. Something about writing my dreams down made them seem much closer.
I scribbled down big goals and small ones. Ones that will take a lot of work and others that just needed a commitment.
At the end of the day, my husband looked over my list and asked which items I was going to start working on. I was a dreamer, but he was all about making things happen. In my mind, most of what I had written were to be accomplished after our kids grew older or we had more money or space or time etc….
He pointed at the paper and said, “You can knock that one off pretty easy.”
He wanted me to check off my dream of planting a garden. I immediately began thinking of why I could not. There were rumors we would be PCSing and I was not about to put all kinds of effort in to making a garden only to move and miss out on its bounty. I responded by telling him I needed a bigger yard and more time at a location.
He looked at me and smiled, “You could be waiting for a long time. Just do it, plant the garden now.”
I had a flashback to our early years of marriage and a similar conversation. We were moving into, yet another, temporary home and I had made a stack of all our wall hangings. When he went over to my pile and asked where I wanted to hang a specific frame, I told him it belonged in the closet with the others. I planned to neatly store them until we would be in a house for a longer period of time. His response is still ringing in my brain, “Don’t wait to settle somewhere. This is our home no matter how long we are here. We have to make it feel that way.”
I have had to replay this conversation in my mind on so many occasions. The times I did not want to invest in friendships fearing the farewells that would come and the weekends when I considered visiting, yet another, new church or club or community group to see if it might be the right ‘fit’. I have thought about it when I long to be where we once were and when I have dreamed of moving somewhere new. Settling where we are at in the present moment is difficult. Although I have realized the importance of his advice over the years, I still find myself forgetting.
This reminder motivated me, and I got to work. I planted the garden and I loved just about every minute of the process. Naturally, our move time changed, so we were able to eat some delicious veggies. The harvest was even better than that I expected. From it, I gathered stress relief, fun and knowledge I could use in my next garden.
So, forget the excuses and plant the garden. Hang the pictures and join the book club. Whatever it is you are waiting to check off your bucket list, get started and start reaping some amazing bounty.
Allison Struber is a teacher, writer, military spouse and mother of three. Inspired by her kid’s energy and her husband’s dry humor, she spends her days trying to figure out a ways to bottle up the sweet moments in life. Read more of her writings at fb.me/STEMwritings.