Twenty Wishes Can Change Your Life (more than a book report)
“Twenty. Twenty wishes that would help her recapture her excitement about life. Twenty dreams written down. Twenty possibilities that would give her a reason to look forward to the future instead of staying mired in her grief. She couldn’t continue to drag from one day to the next, lost in pain and heartache because Robert was dead. She needed a new sense of purpose. She owed that to herself – and to him.”
4 widows became friends at a book club run by Anne Marie in Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber. One Valentine’s Eve the four gather to soothe one another’s grief. Anne Marie tentatively suggests they list and fulfill 20 wishes. But as Anne Marie discovers, it is hard to lead the grief-stricken heart into wishful territory. It’s hard to figure out what she wants out of life.
“So now she had two separate lists – one for wishes and the second for the more practical aspects of life. Not that each wish wouldn’t ultimately require its own to-do list, but that was a concern for another day. She closed her eyes and tried to figure out what she wanted most, what wish she hoped to fulfill. The next few ideas were all sensible ones, like scheduling appointments she’d postponed for months. It was a sad commentary that her one wish, the lone desire of her heart, was an outrageously priced pair of boots.”
“That was the problem; she no longer knew what she wanted. Shrouded in grief and lost dreams, her joy had vanished, the same way laughter and singing had.”
But Anne Marie was able to list one wish – a pair of red cowboy boots. This one silly, maybe even inconsequential, wish was a beginning.
“Okay, this was a start. She wasn’t going to abandon the idea. And at least she’d taken control of some immediate needs. She’d identified what she had to do.”
“Sometime later, she’d list what she wanted to do.”
” Already the thought of listing her wishes was making a difference; already she felt a tiny bit of hope, a whisper of excitement. The thawing had begun.”
Lillie, one of the other widows, found this wish making powerful too. She felt a sense of expectation that she hadn’t felt in years. She said, “It’s like I’ve finally given myself permission to do what I want.”
The events that lead to grief can take away our joy, our ability to plan happily into the future and a sense of control. For awhile this is normal. But we can become stuck in grief. Making and seeking wise wishes (whether they are 3, 10 or 100) can reverse the above. Give us a plan to integrating the grief and moving into a new sense of self. Give us a sense of purpose. Help us to see who we are now.
Let’s Talk About It . . .
- Is it time to give yourself permission to live again with joy, to plan for the future and to take control for life?
- What are your wishes?
- Can you list 20?
- Which one will you work on first?
My Twenty Wishes Idea . . .
I’ve never written up a 20 wishes list. But for my 50th year of life I made a list of 51: 18 new habits to incorporate into my life and 32 thingsto do. Life was soooo busy that year (and this one too) mainly because of school, I never finished the list.
So I’ll start with this 51 Things to Do List. I’ll have a look at what can be crossed off (not many of the habits, but many of my educational and spiritual goals get the line through). I’ll be sure to post where I am with this. I hope you post too!
- Complete These Sentences: “Grief Recovery Is . . .” “Grief Recovery Means . . .”
- Grief Can Become Stuck
- Dozen Ideas to Move Past the Blahs