Tending the Life We Have | What Fills Your Family Buckets?


Fill your family buckets with ideas that tend a good life.

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My husband and I are reading How to Live a Good Life by Jonathan Fields. Fields’ idea is that the things we need to live a good life are held in three buckets: Vitality, Connection, and Contribution. These containers hold how we care for ourselves, interact with the people we love, and what we offer to the world.

Each day we read a chapter. Short and filled with ways to fill each bucket, I’m thinking a lot about what lives in my containers and how I tended to them in 2017. My Contribution and Connection buckets were pretty full, but they probably could have benefited from some stronger boundaries. My Vitality bucket definitely needed some tending.

What I love about this book and the idea behind it is we’re invited to work with the life we already have. Sure, there are things that can be added but it’s not about becoming someone different or drastically changing my life.

It’s about paying attention.

I’m also thinking about how family and homeschooling have their own collective buckets.

At dinner, we talk about the challenges we faced that day, the things we love, and what we’re grateful for. Little rituals like this, and taking hikes together, making sure we’re eating the rainbow, the GoZen classes we take fill our Vitality bucket.

Our Connection Bucket fills with game nights, one on one time together, Skype sessions with our far away family, and when we curl up together and binge-watch Once Upon a Time.

Homeschooling and focusing on our love of learning fills our Contribution Bucket. The classes we take and lead, the passions we pursue, the challenges we work through, and our sense of purpose all contribute.

Today, we’ll sit down together and talk buckets. We’ll talk about what ours hold and what we want to make sure we tend. How maybe when we’re having a hard time, it’s because one of our buckets needs some filling.

Because I love having a visual, I created one for my family. It’s in my resource library if you’re interested in giving this exercise a try. I’ll put it in this week’s email as well. You can also download Field’s Good Life Bucket 60-Second Snapshot Worksheet if you’re wanting more information about what goes into each bucket and to see how full your buckets are. Fill your family buckets with ideas that tend a good life.

Whether you create resolutions, set yearly intentions, choose a word to guide you, reflect, or move into the new year like it’s any other day, I hope your buckets and life are full.

If like me, your’s need some tending. It’s okay! It means you’re human.

In his book, Fields reminds us that our buckets have holes. They’re always leaking, which means we can’t tend to them once a year. We have to pay attention and care for all three, and sometimes, we probably need to give one of them a little more attention.

Happy New Year! Here’s to filling buckets and tending the lives we already have.

Fill your family buckets with ideas that tend a good life.

About Kelly Sage

A writer, teacher, mother, homeschooler. Seeker of time, space, and resources to help foster the love of learning.

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