Monday, March 9, 2015

What's bucket list in French?

              This past week a friend was requesting bucket lists and I decided to develop mine and send it her way.  Coincidentally, I was preparing a presentation/training for the administrative leadership at my hospital because we are kicking off a new era of process improvement and I am the guru of all things processed and improved.  My presentation focuses on VA-TAMMCS, a process improvement framework used in the Department of Veterans Affairs.  I won’t bore you with details, but it is a great way to help you identify a problem, develop a solution and, once you arrive at that solution, a way to sustain and continually improve it. 
               Still in the throes of my creative high, I put much thought into what I truly want to achieve in approximately 5½ years.  This length of time will find me standing as close to age 50 as I can be without 50 asking pointed questions about romantic intentions.
              In the next 67 months I want to:

1.      Complete my visitation to all 50 states which would require me to travel, voluntarily, to North and South Dakota.  South Dakota at least has Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse carving thing, which begs the questions, is there anything else to do there besides carving things into mountains and is that a requirement before you can leave?  North Dakota’s claim to fame seems to be “we’re not Canada” so you see how excited I am sur cet emplacement (it’s French…because it’s Canada).

2.      Publish my blog as a book. I would like to think is funny enough to make me peripherally wealthy, or at least help me pay off my car.  I have no desire for fame.  I don’t need the microscopic view of my life bandied about in the press.  Most authors are not recognizable in person except maybe Stephen King and all it got him was run over by a car in Maine.

3.      Visit Western Europe but only the countries where I have friends or relatives because I don’t want to pay for a hotel.  A childhood of vacations spent sleeping on blankets (we called them pallets) piled on the floors of friends/relative’s homes is something I just don’t want to stop.  It’s so much more fun, n’est-ce pas?

4.      Obtain my PhD in Organizational Psychology and Leadership.  I love to learn and love to teach and the more you learn about people and the hows and whys of their thoughts and behaviors, the better you can be at showing them how to be as awesome as possible.  And isn’t that what we all want: to be awesome?

5.      Have mastered my current position and have come to a decision about becoming Director of a VA hospital.  In this climate, I’m not sure I want the horrendous stress that job entails.  I simply want to improve the work the VA does and make life better for our Veterans, in whatever role I am most effective.

6.      Have performed stand-up comedy at least once, just to see if I could do it and if it would be fun.  And if it gets me a book deal, so be it.

7.      Have a closer, deeper relationship with God.  I know He wants me to do something with my life story (as a tale both cautionary and redemptive), I’m just not sure what and, to be honest, I am a bit nervous.  I think He gave me the gift of communication for a reason; I just need to find the right platform and decide on the appropriate angle.  I already have a title: If Jesus has a Last Nerve...

8.      Own a piece of real estate.  As a single man with no dependents, no real estate and a six figure income, I am in the worst tax bracket possible; it's like 94.6% or something.  I have thought of declaring myself a corporation but that was vetoed by that very smart young lady at H&R Block who offered me, as a consolation, a free fish taco coupon from Rubio's Fresh Mex.  I also thought of proposing to someone for this very reason (tax purposes, not free tacos).  I feel pretty sure I would be better off with a piece of property.
9.   Stop inserting random phrases in foreign languages into conversations or blog posts.  This was recommened by different members of my family who are tired of having to google things I say.  Quelle pain, they  would most certainly not say.  I'm not going to be successful at this one.
      The first step in achieving any goal is to take an idea and actually write it down; then it's no longer an idea, it's an action plan.  Now that my plan is published, I am going to hold myself accountable for the achievements.  And I hope you’ll hold me accountable as well.  I relish your thoughts and prayers and encouragement and suggestions.
          And before I stop talking, can I ask what’s on your bucket list?  Because if you’re not dead; you’re not done.

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