Here we are at the last week of the last month. It is time to do the last official or fiscal transactions for 2012. New Year’s Eve and the following day have always seemed like a made up holiday for me. One day becomes the next just as it does every night. What is the big deal? The importance comes because we have designated these days as the last and the first of the years, an arbitrary but useful demarcation of time. The turn of the year does not seem significant in itself, but without such a line to cross, when would we take stock of the passage of time? The annual exchange of greeting cards and pictures is significant precisely because it is annual. How else might we remember to keep in touch with our own past connections and our relationships growing into the future?
As the self-appointed guardian of your travels, I must ask where you have been in 2012. (Yes, I realize I might know the answer, but stick with me a bit.) Where do you want to go in 2013 or soon after? I ask these questions in the “Taking Stock of Life” frame of mind which comes to us in late December. I have always disliked the term popularized by the movie Bucket List — the list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” It seems so much more agreeable to work on your Life List – the accumulation of experiences you have had, with an implied “to be completed” section which remains. Regardless of whether you use a half-empty or half-full frame of reference, it is valuable to assess your own progress occasionally. I say this as one who resists this sort of question almost every time it comes up (like when my husband wants to talk about cemetery plots or estate planning). Part of me must think that if I don’t address the situation it will never arise. In my mind I know this is nowhere near true but my heart must believe otherwise.
A brief aside — All my readers over the age of fifty should be sure to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. In this fun tale, seven random elder Brits move to India to live in the hotel they have seen advertised. They arrive with varied expectations and needs, and they deal differently with the way things are done in India. Watch the movie with friends if you can; you will recognize yourself and others in the foibles and surprising strengths of the travelers. One variation of the “Taking Stock of Life” question which is presented to each of them is this: Can we determine how much of our life is past and what remains for each of us as future? Where do we go from here?
So — is this going to be the year you finally do that thing you have always wanted to do? What new interest is sprouting with startling energy right now, saying “Do this, right away!” I have helped clients prepare for Trips of a Lifetime, and those are great. But I also have friends who plan to visit North Dakota this year because that is the only state which they have not yet visited. (Another Life List item checked off!)
Everyone’s life list deserves attention, regardless of the size or scope of tasks included. YOU are in charge of your list. Let me know how I can help!
Boundaries divide. Travel Unites.