THE BUCKETLIST FAMILY
A few months ago, Blake & I were on the phone while he was driving from one work meeting to the next. He said there was a family on Instagram he knew I would go crazy over, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to tell me because I would want to do all the things. I said, YOU DON’T KNOW ME, SALLY. Of course when he told me, I immediately clicked over to them & wanted to do all the things. The family, you ask? You’re absolutely going to want to follow them if you aren’t already—The Bucket List Family. They are just so awesome! They consist of Garrett & Jessica & their three tiny adventure seekers who have lived in more countries than I can name.
Just the other day, we were in the car when I saw a picture of their five-year-old daughter, Dorothy, swimming with her dad next to humpback whales.
I thought about my four-year-old & how our time at the splash pad the night before may have not been all that amazing after all. I love to travel, but we’ve never even taken our kids farther than a five-hour radius from our house, except for going to the beach in Florida. Yeah, they’re little now, & traveling is a challenge—but when will there not be a challenge? Once they’re not so little, school will run our calendars, not to mention other commitments & priorities that come with growing up. I already deal with the feeling of claustrophobia when it comes to time– & it’s only amplified when it comes to time with my kids. We as parents get our kids for the first 15% of their lives—the most formidable percent— & I want to savor & live up every second. Even when we rest together, I want it to count. And then I see a little girl close to my daughter’s age swimming in a crystal sea with a mammal the size of a cruise ship & I’m ready. Let’s go! & do! & see! Before it’s too late! But because I am constantly working on becoming my best self, when I start down this road of scarcity, it’s usually only a second before I acknowledge it in my mind & check my motives. Why do I feel like we need to go do all of the things? What do I really think about the life I’m leading my kids through now?
The truth is our kids aren’t spending their days wondering when we’re finally going to travel around the world. Experiences are awesome, & I want to snatch up those opportunities, but if I’m focused on what my kids need, it actually lightens the pressure to go, go, go. They long to be loved. We do that with our tone—our actions—our words. That’s what shapes little hearts into confident, kind humans. You can do that anywhere. In a recent vlog The Bucket List Family shared, Jessica reads aloud a letter she wrote to her kids, & she says, You aren’t special because you’ve traveled around the world. You’re special because you’re a friend to everyone you meet. You can teach that wherever you are, & it starts with you. It starts with me. Our kids will follow.
Let me also say there’s a reason I admire entrepreneurs & dreamers. It’s not because I want to do every single thing they do. It’s because they don’t let the traditional pattern of life predict how they will live their days. These are the people who have a passion & make a life of it. These are people who don’t let excuses stop them.
If you have a passion tapping on your shoulder & burning in your heart, you were made to bring it to life. Even if there are thousands of people already doing what you want to do, YOU aren’t doing it yet, & there is plenty of room for you at the table. Don’t wait for an invitation—it has to be you deciding it’s worth your time & energy & making it happen. This is your life. Your kids are watching how you spend it. They will follow.