This Sunday, the sun, moon and Earth will create a uniquely fiery sunset. The alignment will cause a rare annular eclipse resulting in a “ring of fire” in the evening sky. And Utah has a front row seat. The event will be visible from the Wastach front on Sunday evening with the best views coming from St. George and Cedar City.
I’ve always been a bit geeky. I grew up watching sci-fi flicks with my brothers and dad, I was excited rather than disappointed to find a rock in my Christmas stocking and I’m a huge “Doctor Who” fan. Viewing a solar eclipse has been on my bucket list for a while. I could hardly contain my excitement when I first heard about the eclipse.
So, this weekend I’ll be rocking it out in my eclipse glasses while basking in the shade of the darkened sun at Bryce Canyon.
While I’m excited about the eclipse, I’m probably equally just as excited to cross something of my bucket list.
For me, bucket lists stand as a reminder of what life is all about — living.
Particularly when in school, we can easily become bogged down in the routine of things. Every week we have church meetings, classes, work, papers and assignments due — the list never ends.
A few conferences ago, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf warned, “When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be. … Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.”
Bucket lists let us step away from the frantic pace and focus on creating the experiences and memories life is really about.
With bucket lists, we give ourselves permission to live our dreams, to leave practicality behind and go on an adventure. We invest in experiences and by doing so often invest in our relationships as well.
But a bucket list should include more than just adventure.
Life is about much more than the usually large and extravagant spectacles that — in at least my case — fill the majority of our bucket lists. It’s often the small moments we treasure most later in life.
In the same address, President Uchtdorf said, “We would do well to slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes and truly see the things that matter most.”
Ironically, the most significant things are often the things we so easily overlook. It’s doing ring-around-the-rosie 50 million times with your little sister. It’she family camping trips we really didn’t want to go on or the meaningful conversations during long and “boring” car rides. It’s the things we usually can’t plan.
President Gordon B. Hinkley once said, “It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living.”
In the end, a bucket list is the combination of the large adventures and the smaller moments within them. I may be going to Bryce Canyon to watch the eclipse, but the eclipse is only be the catalyst of that adventure. The real memories will occur along the way — on the drive down, the enviable fiasco of camping and the strangers you meet along the way.
Find those small moments each day. Invest in those adventures. Take time to put your routine on pause and let your life play.