Not so long ago, and for decades before that, when someone would ask me about my dreams, what I wanted for my life, I found myself not responding except to say, “I’m content.” It puzzled me that I had nothing on the bucket list that I really wanted to strive toward.
Oh, I had a bucket list, one from eons ago that was ever present. I enjoyed my list, imagining what it would be like in Tuscany, at the Kentucky Derby, at a John Denver concert, in Paris sitting at an outside café. That bucket list was kept safe and tidy away from all dust and contamination, tucked away in the room that was labeled “Not Yet – Maybe Later”.
Then my friend Laura came fluttering into my life. She invited me to attend a training she was hosting in her home town. I put it on my safe and tidy list and said “I’d love to. Let’s see what happens.” Well, the cost was more than my budget, so I gently declined. Rather than feel left out, I tucked it into the safe room, on the wall next to the rest.
Just a year ago, here came Laura again. “Come stay with me. Attend the training this fall.” Okay. I agreed. And excitedly attended my first professional training outside of Oklahoma City. That’s when it happened. My bucket list came to life.
Six months later I found myself on a cruise, easy living toward the ports of two Mexican resorts. Three weeks after that I was walking the streets of Paris, friend and colleague Brigitte as my lovely hostess and guide. Another two days and it’s eleven nights while training in Athens, with tours of Corinth, Delphi, Athens, and three of the islands of Greece. One more night in Paris with Carole, and my bucket list explodes with color. What fantastic women, wonderful training, amazing contacts and great work we had done.
A couple weeks ago the same question came up again in my mind. What do I want? My canned answer of “I don’t need to be happy – I’m content” tried to rise up. But instead, I found a genuine response. I want…. And the list went on.
This morning I find myself on the back porch sipping tea and eating my daughter’s wonderful made-from-scratch banana bread. My granddaughter sleeps soundly in her mother’s arms a few walls away. I am content. I am peaceful. And you know what? I am happy.
So I picked up a notepad, and now I begin to dream. The house. The changes. The roots. The clipped strings. Another page of transforming beginnings. And as I dream them, the stumbling blocks fade away. It is possible. I can do that.
I realize there’s a new label for the door of an old room. This morning it reads, “Maybe Now with God’s Timing”. Feels good to be happy. It’s a deeper form of content. As I sketch out my plans, a lovely aroma fills the air. It’s not the banana bread. Hmmmmm. I think I smell “joy”.