Do you have a bucket list?  I do, but I only recently started it.  Once I began, I got serious enough that I actually started carrying a little leather notebook in my purse.  When an idea occurs to me, a little “wouldn’t it be cool to do this or go there or see that” kind of dream niggles at the edge of my mind, I jot it down in my notebook.  It’s become a way of capturing these fleeting thoughts, some of them wild or expensive enough that I’m fairly certain I’ll not get an opportunity to cross them off my list.  At the same time, what’s not on the list at all likely wouldn’t happen even if I won the lottery.  Knowing what you dream about is important, I think.

You may recall the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  The story is about a couple of older fellows, both with terminal cancer, who decide to work together to tackle a list of adventurous to-do’s before they die.  My number one take-away after watching the film was to wonder why it often takes dire circumstances to push us to do what we wanted to do all along.  And why do we wait until the sand is running out in the hourglass before we allow the little embers to become a burning flame of urgency?

A couple of weeks ago, a few members of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) team attended a conference in Beaumont for Texas CVB professionals.  The closing speaker was Kenyon Salo, and what he had to say made a definite impact on everyone in the room.  His presentation was called “The Bucket List Life.”

091115_Ed_Steele_Photography_Denton_Main_Street_Association_Arts_Autos_Antiques_Denton_TX_22-EditWEB A young boy sits on an antique fire truck at 2015 Arts, Antiques and Autos. (Photo by Ed Steele)

Salo’s bucket list life philosophy boils down to the fact that every person can live larger, more completely and more fulfilled in the midst of their everyday life simply by “living particularly in the moment.”  He cited three steps for living particularly.  First, create more.  Secondly, share more.  And the result is number three, live more.

Salo told many tales from his own life that demonstrated intentional, bucket-list-living by determining to be fully present in every moment and “see” people within those moments.  For instance, he told about the time he saw a homeless man sitting on a bench beside a rusty grocery cart stuffed with his few belongings.  Instead of hurrying toward the next important task on his day’s agenda, Salo sat down next to the man and just visited.

A few days later, Salo and his children returned to the same bench with 10 giant pizzas.  The homeless man was treated to what became an impromptu pizza party as passersby joined in on the sidewalk.  The end result was a “core memory” none of them will forget, a moment in which they lived larger, outside their everyday routines and comfort zones.

The bucket list life.  We tend to think of things like skydiving, climbing a mountain or visiting an exotic foreign land.  But even my list has many realistically doable items on it that can be accomplished right here in Denton.  Why am I not doing them?  Why don’t we make room in our lives for creating core memories that will define the good stuff, the best times, when we look back on our years?  Why not enjoy all of life along the journey instead of trying to cram what matters most in at the tail end?

082015_Ed_Steele_Photography_LSA_Audacity_Dentons_Largest_Sunset_Toast_Denton_TX_112WEB LSA patrons celebrate the Audacity Sunset Toast in August 2015. (Photo by Ed Steele)

On the way home from the conference, we were bubbling with bucket list conversation.  We decided to begin a bucket list of to-dos in Denton.  We filled pages on a legal pad!  Seriously, our list is quite impressive, yet we know we only barely scratched the surface.

About halfway on our drive from Beaumont back to Denton, the idea for #DentonBucketList was born.  We want to hear from you.  We are about to open the Discover Denton Welcome Center on the square, where visitors and locals alike will find the route to their own original, independent Dentoning experience.  Will they discover core memory adventures they share with others far into the future?  Will they touch their bucket list?  Our mission is to see that they do.

So we are asking you to help us flesh out the list we’ve started.  What’s should be on the Denton bucket list?  Whether you’ve actually done it or not, we want to know.  Tell us with words, a picture or both.  Post your ideas on your preferred social channel and include the hashtag #DentonBucketList.

Create more.  Share more.  Live more.  This is going to be one heck of a bucket list.

Featured photo: Ben Esley of the Bearded Monk toasts the sunset with a can of Audacity at LSA Burger.  (Photo by Ed Steele Photography.)