There are “bucket lists,” which as lists, begin to already feel like  ‘to dos’ that are long and, potentially, over-reaching. I’ve got plenty to check off on my everyday necessities, let alone set the bar to bungee jump, deep-sea dive, and ride shotgun on a motorcycle cross-country, all the while, the pressure of my life clock a-ticking.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a list lover. But a bucket list feels like way too much pressure for the overachiever in me.

So, the concept of the Before I Die wall is appealing. A project I’m still learning about. But I can’t deny the immediate emotion felt when I saw the one-line dreams of hundreds of people, etched out in colored chalk.

photo by Trevor Coe
photo by Trevor Coe

The premise is simple, just fill in the blank: “Before I die I want to…”

Now, you. One line. Before you die, what?

Distilled down to only a few fundamental words, this exercise seems to wipe away the superfluous, keeping it real and potent. According to the project website, there are 425 of these walls in the world, where human beings can take a pause, grab chalk like a child, and spell out a simple dream. (More about the Before I Die project here.)

Always wanting to turn a phrase toward the positive, I ponder shifting the prompt to “While I’m living…”

In the bustle of our days, thoughts running amok, and those never-ending lists being checked, it’s nice to stop for a minute to ask ourselves a little something about why we’re breathing here.

This heart beat of ours that pumps, right now, buh-bump, buh-bump. What do we want to do with it?

I’d love to hear what comes to you.

While I’m living...

9 thoughts on “While I’m Living…

  1. I’d like one more pack trip in the Sierras with Robbin, an all-expense trip where someone else wrangles the stock, packs the mules and does some of the cooking, one with layover days to fish for trout and let my eyes get lost in the rugged landscape.


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