We all have a bucket list … well, sort of at least … but it’s a list of things that we hope to do or achieve throughout our entire lives. Did you ever think of creating a bucket list for each phase of your life? Yeah, neither did I, but some people apparently do!
Mine isn’t really a bucket list, it’s more like an aspirations list! What I aspire to be, what I aspire to do and what I aspire to leave behind when it’s time to move on from this world. What’s the difference you say? A bucket list is mainly about the things you don’t want to miss out on in life, and it pretty much revolves around yourself. An aspirations list revolves around you as well as others and is about much more than learning a new language, traveling to that enchanting island or meeting “the one”.
When I suffered a near-fatal Pulmonary Embolism back in 2008 it got me thinking about all the things I hadn’t done in life. When I regained some of my strength (and breathing), I found myself lying alone in the I.C.U for countless hours a day waking up to pain and falling asleep in pain! Not the kind of experience you imagine at age 25, having given birth to your first child only a week earlier! However, it gave me time to think about life and about those around me (especially when a number of people behaved surprisingly, whether positively or negatively) and assess what really matters. You’d think I was thinking about all the things I haven’t done yet; the unexplored lands, the unspoken words, the uncreated memories but, surprisingly, that was not the case. All I could think about was who will raise my child and how and did I make a difference in the world? If it’s my time to go, is there any legacy I left behind for the world and my loved ones to benefit from and remember me by? Is there something solid that someone can point out to my child and tell her that this happened because your mother was a big part of it? When I stand before God, will I be proud of how I represented my religion on this earth or will I be ashamed of myself? 5 years later, many of those questions remain unanswered. In fact, a number of those questions will remain unanswered till I meet my creator!
So, what does my aspirations list comprise of? I cannot share the entire thing, it’s humungous since it’s been 30 years in the making and quite a portion of it is private (I haven’t shared that part with a living soul and don’t intend to). However, I can share the following few items (in random order) and only hope that this post will inspire you to sit down and think about your own aspirations list, or bucket list:
1- My children have to sleep every night feeling safe and loved.
2- Become the best version of my possible self.
Continue to sing when I become an adult, perhaps professionally. (Nuh-uh, it was fun being the prima donna at school but I’ve outgrown that now :))
4- My family and I become part of a global effort to help Egypt get back on its feet again.
5- Help my greater community become self-sufficient.
6- Make a difference when it comes to the environment and protecting the planet.
Start up and run my own business. (Done once and I’d love to do it again, entrepreneurship is fun)
8- Help conserve nature and wildlife.
9- Be a wonderful example of a Muslim woman so that people can take one look at me and know that their misconceptions are wrong.
10- Teach my children what really matters so that whenever my creator claims my soul I know that they will be OK.
11- Start my own charitable organization (a lifelong dream that I’ll pursue till my very last breath).
12- Have a job I love and help my husband and children achieve the same.
13- Enjoy life while preparing properly for the afterlife all at the same time.
14- Help thousands of other people and make a real difference in their lives.
15- Take part, as a family, in bringing on world peace! (Don’t ask me how, I have no clue whatsoever :D)
16- Reconnect with and find all the wonderful friends I fell out of touch with throughout the years.
17- Leave this world after forgiving everyone for everything and getting the same from their end.
Fall in love, completely and madly, even if I lose that person later for whatever reason. (Done. The reason why I didn’t care about whether or not to stay with that person once I find him is that I was looking for the emotion itself and how it completely transforms your life rather than focus on the relationship. If you’re lucky enough to find a wonderful spouse like mine in the process, consider it a bonus ;))
19- Plant a beautiful garden.
20- Make everyone I meet smile! It doesn’t matter if we know each other either.
It’s worth noting that the items on my aspirations list keep evolving. Every day that I grow as a human being bring on something new or take away from what I originally had hoped for. That’s a good thing, evolution is always good especially when it has to do with your personal growth. Don’t be afraid to grow just because that will change everything, be brave and adapt.