Everybody seems to be writing bucket lists nowadays. They write down the mountains they plan on summiting and the countries they plan on exploring. There’s the bucket list go to’s like bungee jumping, sky diving and swimming with dolphins. Don’t lie. I know you included those on your list, too.
I’m an avid list writer. I’ve got lists at the office and spilling out of my purse as I grab my wallet to pay for my Pumpkin Spice Latte. Just kidding, I’m more of a mocha girl myself. I’ve got lists of items I need to get at the grocery store, but will undoubtedly lose on my way to said grocery store. Lists of articles I need to write and lists of books I want to read.
There are two lists I refuse to keep. A list of qualities I’m looking for in a spouse, which seems to break everyone’s top advice to a single 31 year old, and a bucket list. With my deep love, even borderline obsession for lists you may be wondering why I don’t participate in this popular ritual.
Bucket lists are full of things we want or hope to do. They are adventures we hope to live and dreams we’d like to become realities. For many people, bucket lists are full of things they wish they could do, but most likely never will. They’re fun to write, but harder to live out because life is full of bills and other not-so-fun adult responsibilities.
Instead of writing a list of things I hope to do on the elusive “someday”, I started writing a list of things I didn’t want to do today. I’m not sure what kinds of things would end up on your list, but here’s a sneak peak of a few that made it onto my to-don’t list:
Don’t judge people by what they post on Facebook.
Sometimes people annoy me on Facebook. My newsfeed seems full of people trying to sell me something– either a product or an ideology and all I really care about is chocolate, bearded lumberjacks and Jesus. Most days I can roll my eyes and scroll on by without a second thought, but sometimes I get judgy.
“Are they an idiot? They must be an idiot.”
I tend to start seeing people as a faceless lump instead of an individual that might have different political views than me but is still a nice person. I forget that Facebook is a filtered perspective of a person and that in real life they aren’t so bad after all.
Don’t be greedy.
This isn’t your normal Sunday morning friendly reminder to tithe. Being generous encompasses much more than the amount of Benjamins in your wallet. Generosity is about giving the little that you have (time, talents, words) and allowing God to multiply it to bless the masses. That’s kingdom economics.
Oh ya, you can give your money, too. Not just in the offering plate, but in buying a homeless guy lunch or providing education for a child in another country. Seize opportunities to bless others.
Don’t speak negatively about yourself.
I heckle myself relentlessly. I’ll be putting on my make-up in the morning and I’ll say things like, “Geez. These pores are cavernous! There’s not enough cover-up in this zip code to hide these bags under my eyes.” My appearance takes the heaviest blows, but I beat myself up over little mistakes that I’d quickly forget it if it had been someone else. The negative words seem to slip out now almost without me noticing what I’m saying.
Instead of being super critical, I want to saying the things God says about me. I want to speak His truth, His love, and His grace to my own soul because it needs it.
Don’t waste any more time.
To clarify, rest is not wasted time. We were made to rest and when we don’t…well, we get crabby and difficult to live with. Rest is a gift from God so we can be rejuvenated and ready to complete the tasks He has for us.
We’ve all got things that distract us from doing the things we should be doing. You know what they are for you. Sometimes it’s simply choosing to do everything else instead of that one thing you know you should be doing. Not that I’d know anything about that.
I’m not here to convince you to stop adding to your bucket list. Actually, I hope you don’t. Keep dreaming and crossing items off as you live out those amazing adventures. What I am asking for you to do is in between adventures and during the ebb and flow of your everyday life remember there are things you can do (or not do) today. They may not be as gloriously invigorating as cliff jumping, but they’ll be remarkable accomplishments just the same because you chose to make positive changes now instead of waiting.
What are some things you’d have on your to-don’t list? Don’t wait. Get started today.
4 thoughts on “My To-Don’t List”
Ohemgee! Finally! Another mocha girl. 🙂
In all seriousness, this post is beautiful. It was an amazing reminder for me. I’m at this point in my life where God is asking one thing of me: to wait. This means my list of don’ts currently includes:
1- Don’t stay up all hours of the night plotting my next life steps.
And I’m okay with that. As the song goes, “I will serve God while I’m waiting!”
Thank you for the encouragement, Rachel! I think one of the hardest thing a person can do is wait. It’s certainly not easy. It stretches our faith to trust God in this moment…as you said, in the waiting. Good stuff!
This is such a good idea! I’m constantly making to-do lists but never thought about making a list of things I want to stop doing!
I stumbled across your blog for the first time this morning and just read all of your blogs for the year….. You seem to be struggling with the same thing I am, except you’re 11 years younger than me…. Thanks for the encouragement….I know what “survival” mode is… I think I’ve been there for a while…. However, you’ve given me some things to think about. This life can be tough, but Jesus will indeed give us EVERYTHING we need to make it to the end-faith in tact… One of my favourite verses in the Bible is this: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) This is often my morning prayer when I’m struggling: “Lord, please give me your grace and power today, because I am feeling weak.” I’ve discovered that if you pray God’s own words back to Him, He can’t say no because He can’t go against His own words. It’s comforting, because I know He has to answer “yes” to those prayers. And He always does… Thanks for your honesty Holly. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this world in my singleness struggle. God Bless you 😊