“Bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”
—Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
“Happiness is like jam. You can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself.”
“The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish or ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
-Kent M. Keith
I know it’s been a slow start back into my blogging career, but there are some things that you just have to ease into, like yoga or a pair of jeans after your fifth slice of pie. While pie certainly has contributed to distracting me from my blogging goals, I’ve been M.I.A. mainly because I realized I have been falling out of love. Falling out of love with the idea of a Bucket List, that is.
Don’t get me wrong; there are many unforgettable reasons why I fell in love with the Bucket List to begin with. I love that it has pushed me to have new experiences and to try crazy things. I love that it has dared me to escape from my comfort zone and to fight my fears. I love how it made life feel exciting and rich with adventure. But there are are some things that I don’t love about it.
Despite the great strengths of a Bucket List, it has definite drawbacks, the first being that it tends to revolve around the idea of “checking things off”. Sometimes a Bucket List causes you to do something with the underlying temptation of being able to check it off the list–such as standing for eight hours in the world’s most uncomfortable shoes to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower despite your claustrophobia and fear of heights–instead of focusing on the good that comes out of the event itself. Worse yet, the opposite happens, and the Bucket List gives the impression that an activity was completed in order to receive the satisfaction of checking it off. I don’t want to do something nice for someone in order to check it off my list; I want to do something nice for the sake of doing something nice.
And what about the serendipitous things in life? What about the adventures that were unplanned and unexpected? Flying in a helicopter, climbing in a volcano, cutting my own hair, holding an alligator, going sledding on dining trays; these things and many, many more that I have blogged about were in fact completed long before I even wrote a Bucket List or even had the intention of writing one. So if many of the things I have blogged about weren’t even originally on the list, what about the things that are important that never even make it to the list? What about the everyday moments that fill us with the happiness, light, and laughter that we most value in life?
The truth is, at least in my eyes, the Bucket List falls short on all of those fronts. While there are things that I want to do in order to live a good life, none of them come down to a checkbox on a list. While a Bucket List can help motivate me to live big, ultimately it’s not the basis for my life, nor is it what I want as the basis of my blog. But can I be turning my back on a Bucket List lifestyle completely? The answer is no. There are too many things I value about the Bucket List for that to be the case. And while the Bucket List fails to capture the full picture of happiness, it’s still a part of that picture. So this year, I’m simply taking a wider stance.
What can you expect from The Knee Deep Life in 2014? Still some good old Bucket List achievements, but ultimately you can expect a fuller image of adventure, happiness, and life.
May your 2014 be all that you hope for, and may you be Knee Deep in the wonder of it all!
KDL’s year in review as told by pictures: