Despite my love for adventure, experience, and control, I never really was one to talk about “bucket lists.” But then my husband and I made a decision about nine months ago that quickly changed this mindset. We registered for the Spartan Beast… in Hawaii.
Going to Hawaii was not practical per se, and we were practical people. So when we made the commitment to tackle this vacation sans kiddos, we pulled out all the stops and let ourselves splurge both our wallets and our scope of adventure. We planned challenging (and questionably legal) hikes. We signed up to paraglide because “that’s always been on my bucket list.” Each day planned, meticulously sprinkled with the perfect blend of excitement and relaxation from kayak surfing to the culmination of our Spartan Beast Trifecta. It was going to be absolutely perfect.
And then life happens. Or natural disasters.
I skipped into my home Tuesday night buzzing with excitement from my monthly girl’s night out, thrilled that in 24 hours we would be on a plane to our BIG trip! My husband sleepily, casually mentions, “Hey, I was looking at the weather and there is a hurricane that might go to Hawaii, so we should probably just watch it.”
“UMM COME AGAIN?!” “A hurricane?” I exclaim in confusion.
So I looked up said hurricane and immediately broke the news to my husband (whom was in utter denial by the way) that we are not watching out for a hurricane. We aren’t going. With two small kids, my tolerance for adventure is high but stupidity low, and I don’t take these type of unnecessary risks. Turns out the world was in agreement because shortly thereafter every part of our trip was cancelled for us anyways making the decision-making moot.
And we were devastated. Utterly devastated. For some people this would have been just another vacation. For us this trip had somehow taken hold of some sort of divine meaning and illusion of “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
It was our bucket list trip.
So again, we were utterly devastated… for about two seconds. (OK maybe more like a day).
But first and foremost, being sad you can’t go somewhere where a hurricane is heading holds no credence to being terrified a hurricane is heading to where you are.
Secondly, why did I think the Hawaii Spartan Beast or paragliding was even worthy enough for my hypothetical bucket list?
A bucket list is about experiencing the most out of this world in this lifetime. But I don’t need to see the world to experience it. My world is right where I already am. And it isn’t Austin, TX nor is it Hawaii, or even Iceland.
The real reason I don’t have a bucket list is because I already have everything in my life that brings me divine joy and happiness. But in the midst of chaos, I forget sometimes.
So here’s my real bucket list, and I am happy to report that every item is already checked off in no particular order.
- To hear the words “I love you” whispered from a child.
- To have the day you get married not even be a close tenth to the “best day of your life” because turns out it’s just going to keep getting better from here.
- To mean the world to someone.
- To feel your heart flutter as tiny fingers clasp around yours for the first time.
- To watch your children wholly love each other.
- To listen to uncontrollable giggles at least ten times a day and have that become so normal you almost forget how magical it really is.
- To learn that in great loss and pain your heart stretches to love deeper and stronger again and again.
- To watch your husband transform into a father.
- To bask in puppy breath innocence.
- To finally learn that happiness is a state of mind.
It’s a really good life. But it turns out I don’t need a vacation. I really wanted one. But what I needed was already here at home.