My Bucket List Has Shrunk!

“What is on your bucket list - now that your health has improved?” This intriguing question was asked of me at a recent family event. He understood, as I do

“What is on your bucket list – now that your health has improved?”

This intriguing question was asked of me at a recent family event. He understood, as I do, that life alters when you have a serious health condition – one experiences many losses of ‘normal’ life – besides health, altered diet, loss of ability to work, inability to participate in many family and school activities, etc..

Big time losses. How do you recover any such losses?

I probably have never had an official bucket list, particularly a written down list that spells out special things I want to do in my life. But, as most of us do – I have always had dreams and hopes.

To answer the question about my bucket list, I began thinking back to my college years – those first dreams I remember – to travel. Oddly, in my 53 years of life, I haven’t left the U.S., with the exception of Canada.

Post college, I began work as an RN immediately, and, found the man of my dreams (yes, marriage was in the dreams list, but only if I could find someone wonderful – and, best thing ever – that happened).

As far as my dreams to travel, I never traveled the continents – but, the Lord gave me my dream in a different package – He brought the people across the continents to me. My 16 year career as a community health RN were spent working with families from all over the world. I was blessed by building relationships and seeing first hand, through home visiting, peoples from many nations. Travel would never have given me such insight, such a personal view. God met my dreams in ways I never imagined.

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

but it is the Lord’s purposes prevails.” – Prov 19:21

I realize, my bucket list has changed. Many things are less important to me than they once were, like travel –

My Bucket List Has Shrunk!

I have four items on my current list. Health challenges and losses have boiled down my priorities – not expanded them. Here’s my current list:

  1. Hold my grandson “A.M.A.I.C.” (as-much-as-I-can)!
  2. Spend regular time with my family and with friends.
  3. Cuddle on the couch with my hubby, often!
  4. Treasure & celebrate moments, don’t wait for events. Be present in the here & now.

I’m coming to the conclusion that my attitude through life is even more important than what I do.

I’ve been thinking perhaps a healthier view of the bucket is………….rather than a special occasion “to-do” list, is a daily kind of ‘fill-er-up’ bucket.

Let’s relook at our New Year’s Resolutions, too, and include more “Attitudinal Daily Do’s”. When we change our attitude, I have a feeling our lives will start to change, too.

My question to myself is –

What Do I Want to Fill My Life's Bucket With? Click To Tweet


“What is on your bucket list - now that your health has improved?” This intriguing question was asked of me at a recent family event. He understood, as I do


Here are my thoughts….

  • Be Grateful More > Complain Less

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God..” I Thess 5:18

  • More Hope – More Heart   > Less Fear

“Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:10

  • Grow More Here > Wander Less

“Be content whatever your circumstances..” Phil 4:11

  • Give More > Spend Less

“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good…” – Isaiah55:2

  • Pray More > Worry Less

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation … present your requests to God. And the peace of God…will guard your hearts…” -Phil 4:6,7

  • Forgive more > Judge Less

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged….Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

  • Laugh More > Criticize Less

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

“Take hold of the life that is truly life.” I Timothy 6:19

**Are there any attitudes you’d like to add to your daily life bucket?



  1. marthajaneorlando says:

    Thank you so much for this inspiration today, Sandra! It truly made me stop and rethink all those “things” in my life that seem important, but truly are not. I will hold on tightly to loving my family, spending time with them, and enjoying each moment.
    Blessings for a wonderful 2016!

  2. Michele Morin says:

    So much wisdom here, and I appreciate your sharing it because I’m trusting for grace to bring that same kind of wisdom into my days in this new year. More gratitude, more intentionality in relationships, shorter LISTS! Blessings to you and welcome to the Faith ‘N Friends Family!
    Michele Morin recently posted…The Endless Downward Pull of TemptationMy Profile

    • Sandra J. says:

      Thanks Michele! I’m glad to be part of Faith’nFriends and I, too, want to live my days gratefully and intentionally. I was just reading a “Thousand Gifts” devotional yesterday, by Ann Voskamp and, again, was reminded of how gratitude brings us close to God and transforms us – from the inside out.
      Sandra J. recently posted…To Bless or Not to Bless.My Profile

  3. JoJo Tabares says:

    Precious! I don’t have serious health issues, but I have chronic ones. That means I can’t do a lot of what I used to. My dh has been out of work for almost a year now so my bucket list is short too. Get my business going in 2016 and feel better enough to enjoy the last few yrs of my last child being at home before he goes off to college.

  4. Sierra Bailey says:

    This was such a wonderful post! I’m currently in college, and I’ve found so many of my dreams changing. I used to think I’d travel around the world out of a backpack for five or six years before settling down. Now I’m looking at a short year in the UK for grad school before marrying the man of my dreams–it’s amazing how God changes our hopes and desires and gives us greater things than we ever imagined.

  5. Pam says:

    Sandra, this is a powerful post on so many levels. I agree with things that have impacted your bucket list. I am not sure I have ever had one, but I am aware now at 72 that if I did… would be shorter for me. Losses, lived experiences, a greater awareness of truth and the realities of living in a fallen world all work together (along with other things I did not list) to distill our “list” to the truly important things that matter most to us. That is one of the gifts of getting older and facing some of these things. We are more likely to recognize the important versus the urgent and to savor moments more.

    Appreciate you, friend!
    Pam recently posted…The Stories We Love BestMy Profile

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