22 October 2019

In our modern, busy lives it is all too easy to become so caught up in the constant ‘go, go, go’ that we forget that our time is finite.

I was chatting with a friend earlier this week who told me that their grandparent was more than one hundred years old. They had been discussing how different life is now when the grandparent noted that they could not cope with the pace of life nowadays in comparison to the peaceful, relative simplicity of her life all those years ago.

I am acutely aware of time after my avalanche. Naturally, that conversation struck a chord. However, it was then compounded by a TED Talk I listened to in the car earlier today. Artist Candy Chang spoke of how she covered an abandoned house in New Orleans with the phrase ‘Before I die, I want to…’ At the end of each stencil of the phrase, she left a space. She also provided chalk for people to take time to reflect and then complete the sentence.

The responses ranged from the absurd, to the intriguing, to the incredibly profound. With some writing that before they die they want to ‘be themselves’ or ‘fulfill a childhood dream’.

Living life to the fullest

The talk really made me think about how we approach our lives. How often do you check in with yourself to see if you’re on the path on which you want to be? When you were a child, did you hope to be where you are now? Equally when you’re on your deathbed, will you look back and be happy with the life you lived?

Whilst the title of this post may be ‘bucket list’, I am not necessarily talking about those big-ticket items like sky-diving or bungee jumping. These are the things we usually assocaite with a phrase like ‘before I die, I want to’. Instead, I think it is more about what you want to achieve from your life as a whole. Getting caught up in working all day every day, or stuck in scroll holes on social media, or simply not living your life to the fullest is something that just happens without us really noticing because we don’t check our progress on the map often enough.

So, notice! I am adding this question into my routine, when I set my goals and look at where I want to go. What do I want to do before that inevitable day comes? Will you add it into your routine? Share your thoughts in the comments and watch Candy’s full talk below.

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