“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Dear Future Self,
My initial approach for this post was to write about gratitude but I struggled to find a way of expressing it until I read about the reverse bucket list. I’d never heard of a reverse bucket list before. Apparently it has been around for a while but for me this was a new concept.
A reverse bucket list is where you write down all of the things that you have accomplished over a given period of time. Sounds easy enough but I wanted to do it slightly different. Many of the posts I read were about what people have accomplished throughout their lives, which is what you’re supposed to do (I think). However, as my 26th birthday has just passed I thought why not write down all the things I’ve accomplished in the last 12 months leading up to my 26th birthday.
It’s not because I think I’ve done more in the last 12 months than I have done in my whole 26 years of existing. It’s because I believe it’s very easy to overlook the small but significant things we achieve in 12 months when we compare it to 25 years. Narrowing the time to months instead of years gives us a perspective on how we spend our time, don’t you think?
Have we achieved anything new since our last birthday? Another year has been added to our lives but what have we done in that years that we’re grateful for?
We are constantly told that we should be upgrading, planning, dreaming; always setting our sights on something better. That’s great and all but what about the things we have already done? A reverse bucket list reminds us to take time out from thinking about the future to self-reflect and show gratitude to our past. Without it we wouldn’t know what to plan for our future, would we?
So, here is my version of a reverse bucket list. What am I grateful for achieving in the last 12 months?
Getting a pay rise – Gods plan!
Learning how to budget and save – We’re getting closer and closer to that deposit.
Ridding a horse – Courtesy of the all expenses paid work trip to Bulgaria
Going to Kenya – My first time travelling alone
Taking pictures with a giraffe – Could have fed them too but we arrived too late
First one in my family to travel on the SGR – If you’re Kenyan then you know!
Finding out I’m pregnant – Yup! I’m going to be someone’s mum 🙂
Hosting a Sunday School competition – 3 months pregnant in 5 inch heels for 6 hours!
Having good health – By God’s grace I’m healthy and happy.
Going to Greece – Another all expenses paid work trip whilst 5 months pregnant.
Turning 26 – And I got to celebrate in Greece!
Project management qualification – Another thank you to my work place!
Working for an amazing company – Need I say more?
A new job role – Same company but new skills to learn. Exciting!
Maintaining strong friendships – I get from them what I give to them and that’s rare. Very rare.
Getting over a break-up – The first one and I got through it.
Growing spiritually – I’m closer to God than I’ve ever been despite the ups and downs.
Removing those who do not add value to me – Guilt free self-care over everything I say.
Finding comfort in my own company – And guess what? I’m awesome!
Remaining strong during difficult times – It’s hard but it’s a must.
Finding my blogging voice – This blog now has a purpose and direction.
Knitting – Making my first handmade blanket for the new arrival!!
Remaining focused on the future – Still working towards the vision in spite of the circumstance.
Some might look at this list and think “nah, that’s not special enough” or “everyone has done that“ but this isn’t about being special or comparing to anyone else. This list is about me. It’s about looking at where I’ve been in the last 12 months and being grateful to have the opportunity to achieve what I’ve achieved in that time. The size of the achievement is irrelevant.
A lot has changed in the last 12 months and being able to achieve all of these things (and probably more) despite the ups and downs is enough of a reason to be grateful for.
So dear future self, remember that your achievements are yours to acknowledge, celebrate and embrace. Never compare them to anyone else or over look them because they don’t seem big enough. Everything that has happened had to happened for you to learn something and those lessons and experiences are worth noticing.
I don’t know what’s in store for the next 12 months but I know that you are more than ready to handle whatever comes your way. You have so many more things still to achieve (big and small) and so many blessings waiting for you and I can’t wait for you to share them all in the reverse bucket lists to come.
It might be a blog post or a prayer every night, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take the time to acknowledge them and be grateful for them because they made you into who you are today.
Till next time.
P.s: Next time you’re in Greece, don’t be so camera shy!