Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Real Bucket List — Don’t Let Life Pass You By!

More often than not, my articles on this blog address business topics and issues.  Occasionally I insert an article that has more of a “life focus” to it.  This is one of those moments.  Yesterday I received a forwarded email message from my closest friend Kathy, which contained a really eye-opening message.  I was so moved by it that I decided to post it in this article.  Unfortunately this author is anonymous, but their words are heartfelt.

Life’s Truth

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television?

“I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together!”   :(

Because People cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get our kids toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I plan on,’ and ‘Someday, when things are settled down a bit.’

“When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious.. You talk with her for five minutes, and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord.”

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.

NOW….go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? ;And why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ And in your haste, not see her sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift….Thrown away…. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over.

‘Life may not be the party we hoped for…. but while we are here we might as well dance!’

The bottom line is we are on this earth only so much time and we owe it to ourselves to enjoy each of life’s moments.  Friends and family are what makes life special, so we should seize every moment to spend quality time with them.

I wrote and recorded a song back in 1999 called “Friends Are Friends.”  Listen to it by clicking here and then I would love to hear your feedback on its message.  May you have an awesome day!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Midori Connolly March 18, 2010 at 2:42 am

Such a beautiful message Mike.

"Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’ And in your haste, not see her sorrow?" The answer is yes. And because of that, this evening I closed the lid on the laptop, plopped on the floor and "cooked" dinner with my two year old in her little kitchen for each and every one of her dolls.

Thanks Mike.


MichaelMMcCurry March 18, 2010 at 9:50 am


That is awesome! Its those moments that really define the quality of our lives.

When I do something special with Michael or Michelle, it is always the highlight of my day/week.

Thanks for sharing your story and adding to the conversation.



Dave Lutz March 18, 2010 at 9:58 am

Mike, this is a beautiful post! This proves that you’re a big teddy bear…and one that I must have a drink with next week. Can you make it to the Hyatt O’Hare for the MTO reception at 7pm on 3/24? We got to catch up. Meanwhile, I’m going skydiving, rocky mountain climbing and going to ride that bull named fu man chu!


MichaelMMcCurry March 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Aww Dave, thanks for the compliment…

I would love to have a drink with you on 3/24 … let me see what I can do to shift my schedule around.. I will get back to you.

Aren't you in New Orleans?



Michael Thimmesch May 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

Thanks, Mike, for this essential reminder, and the Joseph Cambell quote — The Power Of Myth is one of my favorites. At today’s frantic pace of business, I try make all the time for my kids that I can (coach, vacation days to chaperone school events), but there is precious little time to just hang out with friends.


Michael M McCurry CMP May 22, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Hi Michael, and thanks for your comments.

It’s so true that it seems we barely have enough time to get the most basic things done in life sometimes. I have finally realized, after all these years, that even if I don’t get something done that I was planning to do, its still there the next day.

Family and friends are only around so long, so we need to maximize our fellowship with them for as long as we possibly can. I consider it a real victory when I am able to spend that extra hour with my son, or daughter on any given week.

Thanks for contributing!



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