an autumn wish list

The future is my happy place. I rarely linger over the past, but the realm of dreams and uncertainties is where I go to taste possibility, to savor the sweetness of what could be. Of course the trouble is that I never truly arrive in the future to enjoy it; somehow, inevitably, I wind up here – in the present.

My husband, by contrast, hates planning. He’s a self-proclaimed procrastinator who loathes schedules and gets twitchy if he doesn’t have at least one day a week with nothing on the docket. He craves big empty hours in which his thoughts can expand luxuriously like blue sky over open prairie. Between my penchant for daydreaming, his aversion to premeditated activity, and the daily demands of caring for five children, its a wonder we find time for any fun at all.

But we like fun! We want these precious childhood years to birth rich memories, and so we persist in finding ways to balance the dreaming and the doing, the need for forethought and the desire to have it all feel organic. The key to happiness (for us) it would seem is for me to envision a future that is possible, then keep one eye open for any opportunity that presents itself to transform those possibilities to reality.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I love bucket lists! Except that I actually really dislike the term “bucket list.” I’ve always had a mild aversion to it, but since my husband’s cancer battle, I really don’t like the term at all. “Goals” and “To-Do Lists” seemed to much in contrast with my husband’s desire for things to feel relaxed, simple, and organic. So now I just call my seasonal dreams a “Wish List.”

And this Autumn Wish List? It’s a dream come true! Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure or a cozy night in with the family, I’ve got you covered. Just don your favorite sweater and get ready to rake, cuddle, or roll in the nearest pile of leaves! The real charm of this list, though, is that the variety offers you every chance to be spontaneous. By keeping your favorites in mind, you shouldn’t have to do much planning. Just keep your eye open for pockets of space in your week. When you spy one, seize the moment! By all means, check the box – but not so you can speed your way through the list. Do it to remind yourself of all the moments you captured and savored this season.

I don’t expect to get to everything on my list this autumn, but that’s what the future is for! That’s why I choose to think of it as a wish list, rather than a bucket list. Bucket lists demand to be completed. Any unchecked box feels like a failure. But wishes…. Wishes are so much more than items to cross off, or boxes to check – they’re graces to watch for, anticipate, until that magical moment when the present catches them with an outstretched hand, right out of the future, into the glorious, inimitable now.