I am constantly amazed at the priorities we place on things that someday “moth and rust” will destroy. Don’t get me wrong, I am woman and I love to shop. I just have a different perspective on some things.  Maybe it is because I was given the “gift” of a paradigm shift a few years ago.

   Soon after I lost my husband to cancer, I saw The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson. All I could think about were the dreams he left unpursued. The adventures he wanted to have. The relationships he left undone. The trips we never took. The people we never got to serve in third world countries. Then I had conversations with so many adults who had bucket lists of their own hidden as far from everyday life as possible. How did we get so trapped in the busyness of everyday life that we missed out on so many things we believed God had planned for us? What were we waiting for? The right time? A winning lottery ticket? An empty nest? The fear of leaving a life with so many dreams left undone began to change me and my perspective with it.   My prayer that year was to become “Brave”.

 I became brave in my pursuit of family time, in my pursuit of memories, and in pursuing ways to make the world a better place.

 I began to do things I never imagined myself doing. Or anyone else for that matter.

 A friend once told me that I was the funnest person she knew, but I was like a caged bird.

 I refused to live like that, there was a whole world of adventures that God had called me to, I just had to step out into the world and find them.

  When I married again, my husband only enhanced this blossoming, adventurous side of me. Until it became about him.

  As a milestone birthday approached, I asked him what his bucket list contained.

The conversation usually goes something like this (So you will be able to recognize it):

“I’ve always wanted to…, but…”

Now you fill in the blanks. There is always a dream, followed by an excuse.

“I have always wanted to paint, but I’ve never had the time”, “I have always wanted to go to Europe, but I don’t have the money.”,

” I have always wanted to go on a missions trip, but I don’t know where to start.”

 And that is where my gift of perspective comes in. I have seen priorities for the latest gadget trump family vacations. Work, that could have been done from 8-5 if the day hadn’t been wasted on the internet, take the place of pursuing a new hobby. And (my personal favorite), fear of failure or the unknown overtake stepping out to change the world!

 After much coercion, my husband and I embarked on the trip of a lifetime in New Zealand. A trip that became the catalyst for both of us to encourage our friends to have the same perspective.

 Cancer can be the enemy of dreams or the initiator.

 Soon after, we were sharing the photos with a friend who recently learned he had Cancer. We soon were in the midst of the

“I’ve always wanted to.. , but” conversation. And a couple of months later, he did! And so much more.

  Last night my husband was trying to give encouraging advice to some friends on a purchase.

   He asked “What are memories worth?”

    I know, they are priceless! Because in the past four years, I have taken more chances, had more adventures and created more memories than ever before.

   When creating your bucket list, you may be thinking

    “But, I can’t afford to…”

Then, wait on the new phone, laptop, TV. Keep the late model vehicle a couple more years and find a way to shatter that excuse. We find ways to justify everything else but this.

  My experience has been,

you can’t afford not to!