An oasis is a spot in a desert where water is found.
It’s a respite, a lifesaver. It’s sometimes a mirage, though, a spot in desolation you see hope, but it’s only fleeting. For today’s guest poster, it’s anything but a mirage. Penelope Guzman writes the blog Penelope’s Oasis, and it really is a place for beautiful things.
(Que YouTube video of “Wonderwall.”)
Today, Penelope is here on the CD to share a story about a letter she wrote to herself when she was 16.
On her blog, she tells of the oasis she strives to create for her family, a spot to find safety, happiness and love. She quotes James Faust’s words: “A woman can have it all, sequentially.” As a pharmacist/writer/photographer/mom, she lives it all.
Please give Penelope a warm welcome, and be sure to visit her place, too.
When I was 16 I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life, folded it up into an envelope and sealed it to open up again one day and see how much of it I accomplished. I put it away somewhere and didn’t think about it again, and eventually forgot it.
A few years later I made a Life Bucket List of things I wanted to accomplish in my life at any time, 100 items, and kept it readily visible. By the time I was 25 I completed everything on it- I went to Egypt, bought my own place (a one bedroom condo) and car (a Toyota Camry I still drive today), ran in a marathon, learned a third language, and much more. I found myself depressed that a lifetime of goals was completed by the time I was 25, and I felt like I had nothing left to look forward to. I tried to write a second Bucket List, but there wasn’t 100 big things I wanted to do left. I came up with about 20-something, and didn’t find myself very motivated because it wasn’t a complete list.
A few years later I met my husband, got married, had two sons, and we bought a home that had more than one bedroom to house our larger family. I was cleaning out my stuff to pack it all up and move into a home, when I came upon the list I created as a teenager of 16. I tore open the envelope and found a list written in juvenile scripty handwriting with hearts dotting the i’s. I was very amused to see what my 16 year old self had as life goals, and was shocked that the time table I had for these goals- buy a car by 22, a home by 25, get married after 28 but have all my children before 35, were all exactly as things happened. I’m a strong believer in the power of conjuring up a life we want just by focusing on it and being open to possibilities that can make it happen, but some things you really can’t control, like having two boys. I had that on the list. My 16 year old self wanted to have two boys, and I did.
After you get married and have children, you definitely find a lot of what you want sort of put on the back burner. I was so happy to have two healthy, beautiful creatures that were mine that I really devoted myself to being a good mom, and would remind myself that one day, they wouldn’t be around so much, so to enjoy every moment. My sons are starting school now, and I actually have been finding myself with free time again, but it’s in bits and pieces and sort of fritters past, wasted. I was recently chatting with Eli, who asked me what I’d do to change my stars this January, and I knew it was to organize myself to make time to finally get back to two things I love: photography and travel. What is really incredible is that having a family doesn’t hinder them, and they can be included in both.
I feel like this is my year to really get back to the things I love, and big things are going to happen. I told Eli this. What I didn’t tell him is that after we spoke, I was inspired to sit down and write another Life Bucket List. I easily came up with 100 new things I never did and want to do. Many include my family, and many do not, but either way. I can’t wait to get started.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?