Tag Archives: bucket lists

My Mother Made Lists

I came across quite a few workbooks at the book store that suggest that we keep lists of some sort or another. One book caught my attention Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed. It made me think of my mother who was a list maker. She made lists to remind her about things. She made a to do list every day. Sometimes her list would remind her to tell me about things she had heard on the radio or in an ad she had seen on TV. Most times she suggested that I buy a certain supplement or warn me about a recall that only affected people living in Montana or somewhere else miles away. But her theory was that they may have missed listing our town or state.

There is an art connected to this idea of making lists and it is called listography. One can decide to make lists of about almost any topic. When you go to the book store you will find all kinds of journals that are organized into different types of lists. One example is a journal called the bullet journal. “It has grown in popularity over the last year, with almost 200,000 hashtagged speed journals on Instagram and hundreds of customized templates and helpful tutorials on Pinterest.”

There are websites and YouTube videos that teach you how to organize your journal bullets and or mindful thinking. My mom would be thrilled to have had one of these. Her lists and notes were written on pieces of paper. She recycled everything she could possibly recycle. She always reminded us that she lived through the Depression and that she learned to reuse many things. So her journals were the backs of used envelopes, all kinds of scrap paper, even napkins.

The notes I found after her passing taught me a little bit more about what motivated her and what she cared about. She loved to learn new words since English was not her first language. She would write the words phonetically and then ask me what the word meant. I found out that my definitions did not satisfy her sometimes. She would eventually write down the dictionary meaning in a notebook she had divided into different sections and listed all the new words into categories.

She made lists of things she stored away in boxes. I found at least ten gift boxes with brand new nightgowns see had never used. Inside each box was a note about who had gifted her and for what occasion and then she would note why she was saving it.  I even found a sort of black list of people she did not like and her explanation as to why. I never let anyone see that list. She made lists of new characters in her favorite soap operas and explained why she liked or disliked them.

When she became very ill she made a few different lists of instructions for us to follow when she passed. One list told me the things that had made her the happiest. Her children were at the top of the list. She also made a list of all the money she had spent during her illness. She made of list of the people who had borrowed money from her in the past and check marks were made after the names of the people who paid her back. She double checked the people who still owed her but whose debts she would forgive. I never knew she had that much money to lend out.

I only recently found out about listography.  My mom was on to something. She had done this for years. All I know is that my mom’s lists revealed so many things about her. I learned so much about her dreams and hopes.

I have started making lists myself. Here are some starter lists that I believe my children will find amusing when I am gone. Happy Mother’s Day.

  1. List of things I know make people happy.
  2. List of my friends when I was in elementary school.
  3. List of questions I always wanted to ask but was afraid to ask.
  4. List of questions I will have when I meet with God.
  5. List of favorite things.
  6. List of places I wish I had visited.
  7. List of the things that most frightened me when I first became a mom.
  8. List of special moments.
  9. List of things I said that I regret.
  10. List knock knock jokes

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“Don’t Die Wondering!” Did you hear that?

I am a great fan of Dr. Wayne Dwyer and have read all of his books. I love reading anything inspirational. Most recently I read his book, Inspiration. One phrase caught my attention and has resonated in my mind: “Don’t die wondering.”
I just celebrated my sixty-first birthday and I never thought I would spend the day in such a stupor. It seemed that I should have stayed in bed until the day after my birthday. My birthday is never a big deal to me. It is just another year that has passed by with the reminder that I have not yet done some things that I promised myself I would do before I die. So as I read the words’ “Don’t die wondering” inevitably I began to wonder about the future and my mortality.
This particular birthday reminded me of my dad; he died at fifty-four. His dreams were not completely fulfilled and he spent all of his life working so hard to make sure that we would not suffer economically. He never missed a day’s work until he became terminally ill. He did not last two months. So in comparison, I outlived his longevity by seven years and after working very hard all my life, unlike my dad, I was able to retire. The question is for what? I definitely have a bucket list. But I wonder if there is still a special calling for me. And I also think about my contributions to life up until now. What did I really
What I now know is that my dad did so many things that were gutsy, adventurous, risky, inspirational, and people loved him for his generosity, humanity, ingenuity, great smile, hardy chuckle, and love for nature. He built a house from scratch during his vacations, days off, and birthdays. He shared George Washington’s Birthday on February 22, which was celebrated on the actual day and was a true holiday. He always got that day off to celebrate: the company he worked for had a policy that provided its employees with birthdays off. He was always kidding; he told people he had an extra day off because he knew the President and that he too was an important person.
I reminisced about all these things and asked myself the dreaded question; what have I accomplished in my sixty-one years of life? Then, I for a minute I thought I had heard his distinctive tenor type voice warning me to not die wondering and to live the now. I was shaken and brought to tears. I sobbed and started feeling sorry for myself. Then suddenly,
I snapped out of it.
I remembered all the reasons why I should be thankful. I have great children: they are accomplished and successful. I can’t stop smiling when I see my new grandson’s adorable chubby face. I just received a letter from my other grandson in his own cursive handwriting. The oldest is almost a man and is the tallest one in the family. They make me so proud. I have a husband who loves me and gets me at least four our very sentimental birthday cards that always say how much my life means to him and others. I have my older sister who has been my rock and like a parent to me but also a best friend. I have my parents’ in-law who I have adopted as my very own parents. They are always there for guidance, support, and inspiration. My family is unique and all of them inspire me one way or another. My mother taught me very important life lessons and her strength and
perseverance have been a source of inspiration my whole life. She also worked hard all her life. She adored her family and for her family came first, second, and third.

I looked out the window and saw the most glorious deep blue sky. Images floated in my mind as once again I heard the words, “Don’t die wondering.” I yelled out, “I won’t!”

I made a new list of the things I would do because I do not want to have any regrets. They are not the frivolous things I had written before like learn how to drive a race car. I do not want to wonder about the possibilities anymore and later perhaps even blame others because I did not get to do the things I proposed. I know now that nothing can stop me. I just have to get up earlier and just start.

The next time I write on this topic I will give you an update of what I have accomplished. I will probably surprise a lot of people I know. Most of all, I hope that I surprise myself. I hope I will have inspired someone to do the same. Surprise yourself and “make of yourself a masterpiece.” It would be sad to die wondering.

Lovely Blogger Award Nomination (continued)

Seven things about me:

1. Never expect to win any type of award.

2. My bucket list needs to narrowed down.

3. I compose songs in the shower.

4. Love to listen to Gospel music.

5. I would love to live for one year in each of the following countries: France, Italy and China.

6. I collect all kinds of notebooks and journals.

7. I want to learn to play the harp.

Lovely Blogger Award




I have nominated the following bloggers. Their blogs have offered inspiration and food for thought: 





Once again, thanks for the nomination.