Monday, August 18, 2008

Eight Things I Want to do Before I Die (the semi-achievable version)

The lovely Krissa of visited with a meme challenge. How appropriate that she picked my birthday week. My forty-effin'-sixth birthday week. (Can you hear the screaming?) As always, this time of year brings me pause. . . sets me to thinking about. . . myself, of course. I’m a Leo. And it’s my birthday month. Sheesh. Only thing is, the questions I ask myself: they are a-changin’. Now it’s not so much the what am I going to do with my life? question, but the how much of it is left? question. And the how have I done so far? question. And the how will I look in twenty years when I'm sixty-six holy mother of god? question.

Looking ahead is difficult for a non-planner like me. I am a dyed-in-the-wool, fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants (and clich├ęd out the wazoo) kind of gal.

Looking back is even scarier. Maybe things would have been better, had I actually made a plan or two along the way. I’ll never know. It doesn’t matter anyway. But I wonder—does it not matter because I choose not to feel regret over the past? Or am I choosing not to feel regret about the past because I don’t want to admit that I could have done it better, accomplished something really significant, or caused myself less pain?

I don’t think it’s the latter. Going through my life without every one of its hardships would have made it different, certainly. But better? What if I had actually thought through the consequences before making some of my bigger (and dumber) decisions? Or, here’s a novel idea: how would this little life have turned out if I had always, always put myself first? I know that doing any of it differently would have yielded a different me. Everything, in its time, occurred because I made it happen that way. And even with all my shortcomings, and all I’ve been through, I’m pretty happy living in this skin.

Which leads us to the meme, (thank god she's stopped philosophizing, you're saying) and some of the things I’ll do from here on out. This is the “actually possible” list. Next post will be the “when monkeys fly out of my butt*” list.

Eight Things I Want To Do Before I Die
  1. Write novels—many of them, whether they are published or not.
  2. Learn to speak Spanish.
  3. Start an animal sanctuary like she did.
  4. Take art classes: drawing, painting, pottery—any or all.
  5. Get together with my parents and all ten siblings at least once more while we’re all still here. And when we do, I'll be scared that it's the last time. Until the next time.
  6. Do a bicycle tour of Ireland.
  7. Get over my fear of needles (but not through repeated exposure).
  8. Read as many of these books as I can. Only 970 to go!
Thanks for getting me to think about this, Krissa! I saw the movie but haven't thought about the things I haven't done yet. Now I have. I'm not going to formally tag any of you, my friends, but I would LOVE to hear what's on your bucket list!

*Wayne’s World, 1992. “It might happen. Cha! And monkeys might fly out of my butt!"


Nora Bee said...

These all seem very achievable. Go you! said...

Very good! And yea, you! for thinking outside of the box!

Lisa Milton said...

From one non-planner to another, that list seems very achievable and delicious.

Claire B. said...

Thanks Nora, Krissa, Lisa~I'll rename the post to "the very achieveable version" immediately if not sooner!

Sojourner said...

Hey Claire- you & me could be twins on that non-planning thing- and my birthday was the 16th what day was yours? And it was my 51st so I am 5 years older than you. Love being a LEO!!

Laura/CenterDownHome said...

I decided that reaching 50 this year would be a lot cooler if I actually knew how much longer I had. You know -- 10 more years? 15? 25? More? Could I be hit by a bus tomorrow?

So, I decided to DECIDE how much longer I had. It makes planning stuff like the things on your list so much easier.

I am going to live to be 96. I decided. It's a relief to know, I'm telling you. Only 46 years to go. I'd better sign up for that Italian class ...