Live like you were dying

There’s something to be said for being born on a summer day. I attribute my optimism, love of the sun, beach, and ocean to my August birthday. Summer is carefree, sleeping in, playing late, outdoor concerts, ice cream sandwiches, motorcycles, sun kissed faces, campfires, fireflies and dreaming while watching billowy clouds float by. My name should have been “Summer”. Summer Kloesener. I digress…

So it’s only natural for me to celebrate my life with zest every single birthday. Let’s be honest, unless it’s a significant year (turning 21, 30, 40, and so on…), most people just shrug their shoulders and say, “eh, it’s just another year” or “I didn’t do anything special”. If this is you, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. You are special, very special indeed and this is reason enough to celebrate your life.

Take a page from my book and give yourself the best present you could possibly get on YOUR day. Revisit your bucket list.

Bucket List: A list of things to do before you die. Comes from the term “kicked the bucket”.

I say it’s “the best birthday present ever” because it has the potential to create some amazing experiences in your life: fabulous trips and thrilling adventures filled with love, joy and breathtaking moments. Are you mentally checking your list yet? If you don’t have a BL, make this birthday the year that you create one. A simple list scrawled out on a napkin will even work. Just make sure you write it down so you can add and cross off things in the years to come.

Step 1: Reflect on the past – What happened the past year that filled you with joy? Maybe it was starting a business. Getting your degree. The birth of your first child. Qualifying for the Boston. Hawaii. Check it off…if it wasn’t on the list but it’s certainly worthy, cheat. Write it on the list and then cross it off (big grin). Me? I got published and started my career as a writer. Yeah baby…

Step 2: Reflect on the future – Think of the things you want to do over the rest of your life if money and time were no object. Because face it, if we want something bad enough, the human spirit makes it happen. Me? Someday, I WILL spend copious time in Italy traveling the countryside, eating fabulous food, drinking amazing wine, and watching beautiful people. If I find a chateau to buy and refurbish aka. “Under the Tuscan Sun”, (2003), pack my stuff and ship it to me. “Chateau la Summer” will be etched on the entrance gate.

Step 3: What’s in the now? – Pick something on the list and make a commitment to yourself and better yet, publically, about what you hope to experience this coming year. Me? I’ve been training for the CRIM 10K race coming up on August 27th in my hometown of Flint, Michigan. Afterwards I’ll be eating pizza at my most favorite pizza place in the (WWW) whole wide world, Luigi’s. Yes, Flint, Michigan. It’s not exotic nor does it have to be.

Step 4: Repeat 1-3 every year on your birthday.

This is your life. You get one. I suggest you live like you were dying. Tick, Tock…
What’s on your list?

From “The Bucket List” a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Rob Reiner, written by Justin Zackham, and starring Academy Award-winners Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman:

1. Witness something truly majestic.
2. Help a complete stranger for the good.
3. Laugh until I cry.
4. Drive a Shelby Mustang.
5. Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world.
6. Get a tattoo.
7. Skydiving!
8. Visit Stonehenge.
9. Spend a week at the Louvre.
10. See Rome!
11. Dinner @ La Chevre d’Or.
12. See the Pyramids.
13. Masada.
14. Taj Mahal.
15. Hong Kong.

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