Before falling asleep last night, I was watching an episode of Friends, like I often do. It was “The One Where They All Turn Thirty” and in it, Phoebe has a list of things she wants to do before she turns thirty. Now, I do not normally emulate Phoebe’s behaviour (she’s my least favourite Friend), but it occurred to me that I have never made a list like that, filled with crazy things I wanted to do in my life. Most of my adult years have been focused on making it from one task to the next- finding a job, finding a better job, making it through my episodes of depression, going back to school, getting married, adjusting to life with kids, etc. I haven’t really stopped to think about whether or not it would be possible to accomplish some of my innermost desires. So I think now is as good a time as any to compile such a list- things that, if money were no object, I want to do in my lifetime. There is no timeline for completion as yet, and I refuse to call it a “bucket list,” a term I absolutely despise.
5. Go on an adventure: I’m not really the mountain-climbing or sailing across the ocean type (too afraid of heights. And open water. And death). But I have heard about tourist expeditions to Antarctica, and I am fascinated at the thought. I would love to see the wildlife, and the landscape, and just to be somewhere where so few people have been. Of course, these trips are $$$$ pricey, but hey, this is my fantasy list, and it’s going on.
4. Travel: The United Kingdom and Tahiti are my top travel destinations. My family is from Ireland, and Mark’s family is from Scotland, and both are countries I have always wanted to visit. And Tahiti just sounds like my ideal vacation spot- warm, beautiful, and relaxing.
3. Live somewhere outside of Canada: The top two places I would want to live for, say, a year, would be New York and London. I’ve been to New York a couple times, and I love it. I think to fully experience everything that city has to offer, though, you would have to live there, and I just imagine it would be a fantastic experience. And I’ve never been to London, but much like New York, I think you would get so much more out of the experience by being there for an extended period of time. Plus, you know, Peppa Pig World, which is probably on Charlotte’s list of things to do.
2. Learn a new skill: I would really love to learn how to do something creative with my hands, like knitting or sewing. My mom was a prolific knitter and quite talented with a needle and thread, and though she tried to teach me over the years, I never really caught on. Even just to be able to knit up some hats and scarves for my family would be wonderful.
And the number one thing I would like to do if I can somehow find the means to do it is…
Write a book. This is something I have wanted to do since I was about six years old and started reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was the first time I identified with the author of a story and I imagined the possibility of one day writing a book myself. For years, growing up, I just assumed that it was something I would do. Of course, I got older, and I lost confidence in my abilities, and I stopped thinking that it was something that could actually happen. But I’m older still now, and wiser (sort of) and I know that there is no reason why this ISN’T something I could do, or at least something I can dream about doing. Putting it on this list, and telling all of you about this dream, somehow seems to turn it into a possibility again.
A friend of my dad’s left his job awhile ago. At his leaving party, someone gave him a copy of Guitar Hero. This man had never played the guitar before. One day, he opened up the game and played it, and discovered a new side to himself. He not only learned how to play the game, but he learned how to play an actual guitar and loved it. Now, he has amassed a collection of guitars, plays all the time, and, from what I hear, is pretty good at it. I just love this story, because it shows that it is never to late to change your life, to discover a hidden talent, or to learn something new. I find it so inspiring.
I don’t know how many of these things I will cross off my list in my lifetime. But it’s nice to think about, and dream about. There is more to me and my life than being a mom and making lunches and cooking dinner and doing laundry. There is more to me than being a nurse and giving medications and doing health teaching. My life could go anywhere, and as long as I have my family with me, I want it to.