Life by the Bucket

It has been two months since I lost my best friend and I can’t help feeling the twinge of regret. I wish I spent more time with her. I wish I was more available to take her on walks. I wish I did more to help her or be there for her.

As I lamented all the things I didn’t do while she was with me, I decided I don’t want to live my life in regret. I’m going to do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m going to Bucket List. I’m going to do all the things I want to do before I kick the proverbial bucket.

In September when Ebony was sick and I had just finished my summer semester, I made my first attempt at Bucket Listing. I continued reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and I finally learned how to knit. Every time I took Ebby outside, I sat with my needles and yarn practicing. It became my timer. When I finished a row, it was time to go in. It was far from perfect. It had random holes where I must have accidentally dropped a loop. I had no idea what I was doing, but I pushed on any way. I had no idea what I was making, but I pushed on any way. Finally towards the end of December, after weeks of picking it up and longer spells of putting it down, I finished a skein with a two foot by two foot…thing…with holes. I looked at it and thought what the hell am I going to do with this? I looked back on all the moments I spent with it, with Ebony. All the sleepless nights. The times I wanted to occupy my hands to momentarily forget about the suffering. Every memory was woven into the piece. What took me four months to knit was unraveled in under an hour. The time I spent with the yarn will never be forgotten. I started over. I found a simple pattern for a cute slouchy beanie in method I was already familiar with and had the tools for: crochet. I had cut my losses and started again with a small bite. I normally try to start monumental projects that are difficult to finish. I was able to finish one beanie in under a day. By New Year’s I finished two! I achieved big results with small steps.

When I finished my fall semester and marketing degree, I made a second attempt at Bucket Listing. I’ve been saying for over a year that when I’m done with school, I’m going to sign up for Skillshare, take classes on Coursera, and do Kahn Academy more. I finally signed up for Skillshare last month. So far, Ive completed ten classes including Japanese, guitar tuning, drawing, illustrator, and singing (to name a few). I’m now able to work with Illustrator more fluidly and my graphic design work is more efficient!

On New Years, I decided that life is too short to be so overweight and feeling like I do. I want to feel good. I want to look good. After a lot of deliberation, I signed up for a gym membership. I’ve been to the gym three times this week. I’m sore AF, but I feel alive! I’ve always wanted to try Zumba, so tonight I jumped into a class and gave it my all. It was amazing and I loved it so much!

I don’t like “resolutions” because they’ve become a kind of joke. We make resolutions (with the best intentions) and without fail, we break them. I made one this year, but I’d prefer to call it a pact. With my whole body, mind, and soul, I want with the greatest intensity to live smaller. I wish to purge everything that is holding me back and filling me with regret. I wish to make time for things that really matter. I wish to make space to breathe and welcome in new adventures. I wish to live like it is my last moments on this earth. I want to treat people like it’s their last moments on this earth. I want to build habits and a lifestyle that would accommodate that goal. Never again will I hold anything so precious and take it for granted. I will live my Life by the Bucket.

Published by Val Smith

Artist, writer, dreamer.

One thought on “Life by the Bucket

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