Just about everyone has heard of a bucket list. Made famous anew by the 2007 movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, this list is simply that…a list. Of course, this list has great significance because it is a collection of all the things one really wants to do or experience before dying. Obviously, this could be a very morbid subject. In the context of this post, though, it is a joyful one. Let me explain.
Recently, I was blessed with my second son, nearly eight years after having the first one. The first time around I truly enjoyed the experience, from the moment of birth to the eighth birthday party. The years have passed too quickly, and, in the past year or two, I had found myself yearning for those early years. Any parent knows to which years I refer. The ones full of firsts – the first smile, the first steps, the first words, the first day of school. Of course, I have enjoyed everything in between and since, but those moments are simply beyond description. I’m certain any loving parent will agree.
One such moment happened last night. It wasn’t a first. It was just a moment. More than that, it was one of those moments you just can’t plan and, more importantly, won’t forget. As I stood with Mrs. Geek Shui changing Baby Geek Shui, he began to urinate. The act isn’t as significant as the circumstances. At the time, my hand was attempting to cover him up in order to keep him from doing that exact thing. In this case, it didn’t work. Seconds later, my hand became a urine shield. Mrs. Geek Shui noticed something was happening and asked what it was. I told her, “He’s peeing in my hand.” While we didn’t relish the thought of doing more clean up and repeating the process, it was one of those type of moments that I had longed for just a year before.
This brings me to my list:??The Living Bucket List
The moments I have described, as well as countless others, have become my bucket list. Unlike one wherein a person tries to get everything done before they die, I have chosen to make mine a living one. What do I mean exactly? I am consciously choosing to experience and, more importantly, appreciate things as they happen. For me, climbing a mountain or driving a race car won’t be the things I remember at the very end. I like to think that what I’ll remember the most are the seemingly innocuous moments that really made life worth living.
So, for this second time around, with Baby Geek Shui, some of the things I plan to enjoy, in addition to the momentous “firsts”, include:
- Freestyle and impromptu urine fountains, like the one mentioned above
- Wiping a little person’s bottom every few hours
- Abstract food and milk art, as created on tabletops, furniture, and vehicle upholstery
- Earth shattering crying binges that occur for no apparent reason
- Sitting in running vehicle for an hour just to let the baby sleep longer
- Trips to the store that require packing half of the house in the car
- Burp stains on the shoulders of all of my Polo shirts
- The hungover feeling that results, not from excessive drinking, but from 2:00 AM feedings
There are many other moments that one cannot reasonably foresee. Additionally, Baby Geek Shui’s arrival has made me appreciate his older brother, Little Geek Shui, even more. For this reason, the same living bucket list concept applies to his moments, as well. Between the individual and collective things that happen with both of my sons, as well as my wife, I have the potential for a million more moments of enjoyment.
Is this the entire list? No, it isn’t. I plan to mentally add and enjoy things as they happen and not just in retrospect, a few years from now. Of course, if??you had asked me at age eighteen, if I was willing to do things like shield a person’s urine with my hand or wipe their bottom for them, I would have said you were insane. Now, I know that these experiences are the building blocks of a life full of great memories. For this reason, I plan to collect as many blocks as I can and build the tallest tower of memories possible.
Of course, I would be remiss not to acknowledge and give the greatest credit to my wife, Mrs. Geek Shui. From the moment I met her, she has been my best friend, my professional advisor, my biggest fan, and the love of my life. Without her, I would have neither Baby Geek Shui or Little Geek Shui. I can’t…and won’t…try to be modest about it. My life is awesome…all because of them.
So, if you haven’t made your living (not dying) bucket list, I encourage you to sit down and do it. It doesn’t have to be detailed or complete. Some things will just add themselves…if you’re paying attention, that is. Ultimately, it just might help you enjoy each day, just a little bit more. I know it has worked out that way for me…and I’m grateful for every single moment.