They are, in no particular order of desire:
Hike to Machu Picchu
2. Watch the sunrise at Uluru
3. Go on a bike-riding holiday in
4. Go to a public pool and jump off the highest diving platform (that pool access allows)
6. Pay off the house!
Qualify as a yoga teacher
8. Write a kids book and send it to publishers
9. Be in a play
10. Have a beer on the beach in
11. Run the
12. Learn the piano
13. Plant a veggie patch… and keep it alive to eat from!
14. Go and see: Westside Story, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,
Wicked, Death of a Salesman, The Importance of Being Earnest, Noises Off
15. Watch: The Godfather movies, Rocky movies, all the Star Wars movies from beginning to end, all the Harry Potter movies from beginning to end, From Here to Eternity, Casablanca, Blazing Saddles, The Graduate, It’s a Wonderful Life, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffanies, This Is Spinal Tap
Learn to ride a scooter
17. Own a red scooter
18. Swim with a dolphin
19. Go for a walk along the beach in the pouring rain
20. Hike the
Track, NZ Milford
21. Go to the Sistine Chapel
22. Smell roses outdoors
Take a learn-to-surf class
24. Meet Rupert Murdoch
25. Ice-skate in
Central Park, NY
26. Stay one night in the
Waldorf Astoria, NY
27. Go up the
building, NY Empire State
28. Visit at least one of our Compassion children
29. Take a second honeymoon
30. Climb the
31. Volunteer abroad for a month
32. Drive across America
Now, unlike Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman of the Bucket List movie, I'm not old and as best as I can tell, I'm not about to die. But I'm feeling very 'mortal' at the moment. I'm realising how short and precious life is, and I don't want to waste mine. I don't want to be a little old lady sitting in my nursing home rocking chair, surrounded by cushions and crochet doilies, wondering "What if..." ...I had been braver? I had taken a chance? Tried harder? I want to grab my life by the proverbials and squeeze it for all its worth!
There have already been a few things I've missed thanks to that good ol' scapegoat - common sense. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have some uncommon sense.
Why this frame of mind at my age? It's too early to be having a mid-life crisis. I imagine having a mid-life crisis might feel a bit like this, only you have the money and connections to accomplish the items on your list! (Anyone know Rupert Murdoch and want to set me up a meeting? HA!).
I'm also spending far too much time reminissing about various points in my life - some warm and fuzzy, some painful and sad, some just downright embarrassing! Past relationships mostly, which combine both the embarrassing, the sad and painful. But then I look at my gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, and I know this was where it was all leading. And I smile. Broadly. You don't become a wise person by being safe. You don't learn what you want without experiencing what you DON'T want. I thank God for my mistakes because this is where they've lead me.
In the last few years, I've 'felt' time passing. I'm getting older and I'm feeling it. Don't get me wrong - I know I'm still young and have many more decades up my sleeve (God willing) but I think we all get to a point where we feel it shift - we feel the turn from young to not-as-young. And is there another shift from not-as-young to elderly? Is this going to be a continuous state of reflection, or does this only happen at life 'turning points'?
I watched poet Sarah Kay online last week who said something like: "These words on the wall of a museum, the only sign that I ever existed." I don't want to die and there be nothing tangible left of me. That poet will have her poems - her videos and books. I will have my children and their stories of me, but when they're old and those stories get fuzzy, then forgotten, what then? I will just be a branch on a family tree... if any of my descendants decide to research their family.
I want to make a difference in the world. I want to make it a little better for having been in it. Thank the Lord and the world for having me. I think that's why nursing holds so much appeal. It has really settled in my heart. No, by being a nurse I won't leave anything tangible behind (unless I write a book! That's another topic for another day) but I can make the world a slightly better place - make a difference in the lives of those I come across. A smile for someone who hasn't seen one all day. Hold the hand of the person whose temperature or blood pressure I'm taking. Sit down for whatever time I can manage and have a chat or tell a joke (because we all know nurses are crazily over-worked!). Pray with the one who is scared, if they'll let me.
There is more to my life than grocery shopping, washing, dishes, cleaning and paying the bills. Where's the bumper sticker that says that? I'll buy 10 please!