Living with No Regrets

October 19, 2012

in Life Lessons

bucket list“What are your dreams?”

Someone asked me that soon after I separated from my ex. The question stumped me. I didn’t have an answer, and I was embarrassed I could not conjure up one thing I dreamed to do in my lifetime. To fill the awkward silence, I started rattling off things I wanted for my children to experience in life. The person with whom I was speaking would not accept those answers, but rather told me to spend some time thinking of what I wanted to experience in my lifetime.

At the time it seemed odd to ask someone immediately following a split what is on her bucket list. It was an emotional time with so much energy being placed on figuring out logistics–short and long term. Now, however, I realize it was a way to throw me a life ring right before the storm; it gave me hope, something to cling to in the darkest times.

The list I created is still on my iPhone. Not everything I put on the list is still important to me, and a few have been accomplished. It’s a snapshot of a particular moment when I began to dream again. For that reason the list will always be important to me.

By dreaming bigger, something else wonderful happened: I found myself expanding the possibilities within my daily life. Big things were accomplished in the last four years that weren’t on the list, but are significant accomplishments. The list is quite long, but here are a few examples:

I am grateful I was asked the question, and spent time contemplating my dreams four years ago. It taught me a bucket list isn’t about accomplishing things before death; it’s about living right now with no regrets.

Tell me: what are your dreams?

**This post was inspired by the Studio30 Plus writing prompt this week: No Regrets.


{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie Nicole October 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

Imagine where you would be today if that friend hadn’t pestered you for an answer… Hope that friend is still in your life today!

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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

I do think about that first list, and how important it was in my life at that time.

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Hey Monkey Butt October 19, 2012 at 11:41 am

Reading this makes me realize I have zero clue what my dreams are. This makes me feel sad. But I always manage to live without regret. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today if I hadn’t made my own choices! :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm

This is exactly how I felt when asked what my dreams were. Please take the time to just start a running list. It will become firmed up over time. Just start writing for now.

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TB at BlueCollarWorkman October 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I think something that’s important here is for married people to start asking themselves these quetsions. It seemsl ike lots of times after divorce people suddenly are all, “so what do you want to do with yoru life?” and “what’re your dreams?” Which are fine questions — but why does no one ask that of someone who is married. I”m talking about out of my a*s here, but maybe one thing that leads to divorce is that people aren’t asking that question of themselves when they’re still in a marriage. Maybe if we could do our dreams while still married, we’d stay married! Who knows. Just a thought.
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

This is excellent insight, TB.

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Kimberly October 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I don’t have a bucket list. I need to start one, and I need to keep Jonah’s advice in mind :)
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Wasn’t Jonah’s post wonderful? It’s a great reminder. Get busy on that list, Kimberly!

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Vinny C October 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I’ve been asking that of myself lately. I’m still clueless. Maybe I’m just too chicken to step out of my comfort zone.

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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Don’t think about money or perceived limitations–just write out a list! See what happens next, Vinny.

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Gina October 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

“living right now with no regrets” hits it home. We never know when we DON’T have the next moment, married or divorce. We should be constantly asking ourselves this question. Great post! Great reminder!
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Thank you Gina! You raise a great point about no guarantees in life.

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Scarlett Rose October 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I urge everyone out there if you haven’t already to have a good think about what you want from your life and make your goals real by getting them down on a piece of paper. Trust me, it’s a pretty cool feeling to see them there staring back at you, willing you to succeed. After all, writing them down is half the battle!
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Once I started that first list, it just flowed. It did feel great to write out things I wanted for my life. Thanks for the comment!

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Charlotte October 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I have been asking this of myself too lately. What ARE some of my dreams and aspirations for the future. Sometimes I think I have things lined out so well in my head, but in reality, I don’t make it a point to reflect on what I’ve accomplished at this point in my life and where I’d see my life going in the next five to ten years.

Another great post, Kelly!
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Naked Girl in a Dress October 22, 2012 at 2:05 pm

I am glad this post has you thinking! Thanks for visiting.

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Panama October 31, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Do you ever fill like that? Like your life is crammed with so many good things, and you wonder how on earth you can get it all done. How can I take my daughter to that awesome art class, squeeze in that eye exam for myself, throw dinner in the crock pot since I know things will be crazy later in the day, and call that client who is not happy with that 4th round of logo design? I find myself thinking, someday I will be able to get this all done… when I am all organized; when I get through this list of clients; when my kids get older.. when, when, when.
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Naked Girl in a Dress November 1, 2012 at 9:56 am

I wonder the same thing. I am not sure I will ever get ahead so I am trying to be at peace with simply making progress.

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