“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.”
We all have a bucket list, right? Whether mentally or somewhere on a piece of paper, we’ve all sat down and thought about the things we’d like to achieve in our life time. But sometimes this list can leave us feeling a little overwhelmed and often becomes a reminder of all the things we haven’t done.
Luckily the blogosphere has offered an alternative way of thinking about bucket lists known as a reverse bucket list. A reverse bucket list is a mindfulness exercise where you write down all the things you feel proud of over a given period of time. Pretty simple, right?
Many of the reverse bucket list posts I read were of what people had 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 several years. Narrowing the time gives us a unique perspective on how we spend our time, don’t you think?
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.
So what did I feel proud of doing in the last 12 months?
- Working for an amazing company
- Getting a second pay rise in one year
- Learning how to budget and save
- Ridding a horse in Bulgaria
- Going to Kenya alone for the first time
- First one in my family to travel on the SGR from Nairobi to Mombasa alone
- Taking pictures with a giraffe in Mombasa
- Going to Greece
- Turning 26 and celebrating it in Greece
- Getting my project management qualification
- Finding out I’m pregnant with my first child
- Learning how to knitting a blanket for the new addition to the family
- Getting over a break-up during a very difficult time
- Maintaining strong friendships that have lasted years
- Growing spiritually
- Finding comfort in my own company
- Remaining strong during the hard times
- Continuing working on my blog
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 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. Meaningful moments come in all sizes.
It’s important for us to take time to be grateful for the opportunity to accomplish something we are proud of no matter how big or small. Remember that your achievements are yours to acknowledge, celebrate and embrace. Never compare them to anyone else or overlook them because they don’t seem big enough.
Just as buckets lists can make us look forward to the future, a reverse bucket list ensures we don’t forget the past. Some of those past achievements were once on our bucket list.
I don’t know what’s in store for the next 12 months but I’m excited and I can’t wait to share those moments.
In the mean time, please enjoy a few snaps from my trip to Greece. Hopefully I’ll take better pictures on my next travel adventure.
Till next time.