Hey Dreamers! Wow, it’s been about seven thousand years since we’ve posted an article to the blog. But trust us, it’s for good reason! We’ve been spending the last three weeks exploring Italy, and consuming as many carbs as humanly possible (trust us, that’s a lot). While we have about 26796823 pictures, and just as many posts to write about it, we felt like this one should come first.
Let’s start it by saying we’re not millionaires. We’re not even six figure-airs. We actually spend most months stretching from paycheck to paycheck. Italy was a trip we couldn’t reasonably afford. It was way out of our budget (especially for almost 3 weeks), and most wouldn’t call it a ‘responsible’ adult decision. We easily could’ve used the money to put into savings. Build a nest egg. Pay off some students loans. Save for a deposit on a house (because apparently, that’s what people ‘our age’ are ‘supposed’ to do).
But do you know why non of that mattered? Because it did something that money can’t buy. It fed our SOUL. It stoked a fire that so many people let die down until it’s a tiny glowing ember that they forget about.
We can’t count how many times on this trip we laughed until we were doubled over. How many insanely beautiful sites took our breath away. How many times we closed our eyes in absolute wonder of the place we were standing in. There were the dream-like sunsets. Heart stopping cliff jumps. Melt in your mouth meals. And the moments staring out at the ocean, realizing how tiny we actually are, and yet feeling so lucky to be a part of this vast world.
We took this trip, and all of the other trips we’ve taken (and couldn’t really afford) lately, because it fills our bucket. With what some may call reckless abandon, we seek the experiences that push back on normalcy and expectation, because they speak to us. Whether it be an outrageous trip, or unusual career choices. They make our hearts full, and our souls sing. They don’t allow us to sit back and wonder.
As a first grade teacher, we would read our students a book about ‘our buckets’. Each person has one. And you can be a bucket filler, or a bucket dipper. Obviously, we encourage our kids to be bucket fillers. To help fill buckets by being kind, and helping. By doing the things that are ‘right’. Essentially, they get the message that we should all strive to fill the buckets of others, and this will make us happy too.
But what about your own bucket? See, the problem that we’re seeing more and more often, is that people are so focused on doing what’s ‘right’ by someone else’s standards, and so focused on being a filler of other buckets, that they forget about their own. We give and give and give. We follow all the rules, and do all the things that are right. Until one day, we wake up and realize we’re exhausted, empty, and regretful.
Don’t get us wrong, people do plenty of things for themselves these days. All a person needs to do is spend 5 minutes surfing social media and they’ll declare that people these days seem to be pretty pleased with themselves (and no, we’re not removing ourselves from that judgement).
But let’s think. In spite of the countless flood of bright pictures with smiling faces and arms thrown into the air declaring, ‘look how great this is!’, how many of us are genuinely satisfied? We’re talking deep, within your soul, fire blazing, satisfied. How many of us are actually making the choice to fill our own buckets with those things that feed our soul?
There’s no doubt that some will make the argument that choosing to fill your own bucket is ‘selfish’. That focusing on what makes you happy leaves everyone else ignored. But we believe quite the opposite.
Have you ever encountered one of those people who just radiates happiness? Who glows from the inside out? Chances are, that person spends a large amount of time filling their own bucket. Doing the things that feed their own soul. They’re not obsessed with pleasing everyone else. Yet, somehow, they manage to brighten the lives of every person they come into contact with. They inspire us. We feel more alive when they’re around. Why do you think that is?
The answer is that these people have focused so intently on genuinely filling their own bucket, that it overflows. They have so much to GIVE, since they’ve truly figured out how to satisfy their soul.
When we actually take the time to take care of ourselves, and do what makes us happy, we project that onto others. Similarly, when we’re worn out, half alive versions of ourselves, we tend to project that too.
Now take a second, ask yourself, what fills YOUR bucket? What feeds your soul? And are you doing ANY of those things? And if your next thought after that is all of the reasons that you can’t do any of that, you’re bullshitting yourself. In some small way, you can do things that fill your bucket. No, these things shouldn’t happen at the expense of others. But you know there’s a way to begin nourishing your soul, and you know exactly how to do it.
So what’s stopping you?
As we sit on this flight back to the states, we’re not thinking about the charges on our cards. We’re not worried about the bills that wait for us. What we are doing is smiling while we go through our pictures. Laughing about the one liners that popped up along the way. And planning our next adventure with glorious anticipation.
On top of that, we feel inspired. We feel ready to inspire others. To be a better teacher, a better friend, and a better person. All because we made the decision to feed our souls. To do the things that fill OUR buckets.
So while we’ll be writing guides to adorable coastal towns in Italy, recounting tales of Vespa rides through the hills of Tuscany, what we really want you to do is ask yourself, what’s the next thing that you can do for yourself? The next thing that will genuinely feed your soul. And you might be surprised how much this helps you be better. Be a better mother, a better friend, a better coworker, or just a better YOU.