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Start Your Life Passport

pexels-photo-235209My United States passport is expired. I keep meaning to get it renewed, but the reality is, with upcoming career changes, I don’t see myself needing it anytime soon. And I haven’t added anything to my “bucket list” in years because I haven’t been inspired to. My bucket list is rather full. I filled it when I was younger. Feels like I had more life and energy then — when I wanted to conquer the world. 

I’ve already lived out that song by Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying. I’ve been skydiving, mountain climbing, and actually made it more than 2.7 seconds on a bull I named Fumanchu (I couldn’t walk for three days, but it was worth it). If you know the song, I also learned to love deeper, speak sweeter, and to forgive. I’ve raised an amazing son, cultivated lifetime friendships, and meaningful work. 

I’ve been immersed in rain forests. On safari in Africa, and made summit on Mt. Kilimanjaro. I’ve tasted the croissants in Europe. I discovered what authentic happiness was while visiting third world countries. I’ve been deep sea fishing with a 70-pound marlin dance on my fishing line. Been to Mardi Gras, and to the Olympics. Been pampered on a fancy cruise line. Snorkeled in one of the top ten places in the world. Been zip lining. Meditation retreats. And the list goes on. 

I can find myself a bit amazed at all the experiences I’ve had, and I’m only forty-five. While at the same time, the past few years, I’ve lost my zest for life, and I am left with, “What’s next?” Just to note: I am not independently wealthy, nor did I fund my previous adventures on credit cards.

As early as five years old, I’ve had an internal sense and belief that this life was supposed to be amazing, and anything that came against that belief always confused me.  

Life just keep calling out, and I kept saying, “Okay.”

In my early twenties, I read the quote, Don’t Just Make a Living; Create a Life, and I said “Okay.”

I heard the song by Tim McGraw, and I said, “Okay.”

A friend asked, “Do you want to do the trek to see Machu Picchu?” and I said, “Okay,” before I knew what or where Machu Picchu was. 

Rumi’s poem, Prayer is an Egg, found me in my early thirties, and I clearly heard how I was to live my life.  

And God will say,

“What did you do with the strength and energy your food gave you on earth? 

How did you use your eyes?

What did you make with your five senses while they were dimming and playing out?

I gave you hands and feet as tools for preparing the ground for planting. Did you,
in the health I gave, do the plowing?” 

Life started to call out differently eight years ago, saying, “Go help people overcome opiate addiction,” and I said, “Okay.” Meaningful work, yes, but I am still wanting to reclaim my zest for travel and adventure.

The question became, “How was I going to reclaim my inherent need for excitement again?” and  I decided: no more bucket list, and no more passport. I decided to travel my life by creating a Life Passport and it has been ridiculously more fun than I thought. 

I found myself remembering simple and easy adventures I’ve wanted to do in my own town: 

  1. Go to a Nascar event (only one hour away).
  2. Eat at that Indian restaurant (I drive by everyday).
  3. Do my Sideways Saturday road trip. (This is as simple as getting in my car).
  4. Stomp the grapes.
  5. See an opera.
  6. Order the most expensive item at Baskin Robbins.
  7. Try on a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (not buy, just try on).

Then I found myself creating fun things to do like: 

  1. Eat breakfast at Tiffany’s, literally (next time I am in NYC, I plan to sneak in a breakfast sandwich and eat it while browsing). 

And other upcoming adventures: 

  1. Go to a nude beach.
  2. Drive or take a train across the country (I live on the East Coast, and my son lives on the West Coast — easy to plan).
  3. Find my biological father (an adventure in itself).
  4. Try marriage.
  5. Try a kickboxing class.
  6. Learn to surf.
  7. Ride a dune buggy next time I’m in the Outer Banks.

And things I’ve wanted like:

  1. Ombre my hair.
  2. Own a Michael Kors wallet.
  3. Have my own vanity (because I never got one as a kid).

Inspired things like:

  1. Offer all my knowledge to the world.

And when life opens the time and space:

  1. Frolic in Paris.

It was as simple as buying a five-dollar notebook and starting the list. I have found an entirely new sense of inspiration and joy in my life. I found my zest. My world travel looks different these days — I am traveling the world in front of me. 

Try it for yourself!

Start Your Life Passport

Laura C Meyer

Laura C Meyer, MS, is a mindfulness instructor at The University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, a mental health therapist, and founder of Live More Studio. She has a private practice in Charlottesville, and is an advocate for mindfulness in medicine.


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APA Reference
Meyer, L. (2017). Start Your Life Passport. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/start-your-life-passport/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 7 Apr 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Apr 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.