At some point in your life you will come across someone who has written a “bucket list”, that checklist to complete before you turn 30, 50 or before you “kick the bucket”. Normally, this list is created at the same time mortality starts playing on the brain. Everyone always starts out feeling the same way, invincible teens, “plenty of time” 20’s, then like a fly swatter to the face it hits you. Whack. You wake up one morning look in the mirror and say to your reflection “who the eff is that staring at me?”. You may have discovered a few more grey hairs (100 or so in my case), a new wrinkle or two or perhaps experienced back pain when you sneezed. Little annoyances like these somehow crept in overnight and caught you by surprise. This morning discovery happened to me in my 35th year. I was a mother to two beautiful children, a wife to a workaholic and a woman whose life was once occupied with a career, sports and a very active social life that had evolved into a stagnant routine of cleaning, cooking and chauffeuring. It wasn’t until when life changing events started happening at rocket speed that I put my heels down and said “enough is enough”. After 5 household moves (3 of them International) since 2008, a cancer scare (thankfully benign) and starting a new career after 8 years of full-time motherhood, life was accelerating way beyond my comfort zone and I’ve done my best to slow things down! Live in the moment.
Enter my bucket list or shall I call it a “basket” list.
It will be less than 6 months till I hit my 40th year on this planet (shocker I know, considering that I’ve brainwashed my kids into telling everyone that I am 31) and since I am the type who is always ready to plan the next adventure, I decided that in order to successfully map out my future bucket list I first need to look back and acknowledge my achievements so far. The basket list below show my significant moments, accomplishments, and experiences that have happened in my life so far. I won’t highlight the obvious (college, career, marriage, kids… ok may be kids) rather the little blips on my life’s radar that have left permanent impressions in my soul, conscious awakenings that have reminded me just how precious life really is; moments to which has helped me develop into the person who I am today.
- Born with an instant play mate – my twin
- At age six caught a catfish. I was so proud!
- Candy apples at the Bolton Fall Fair every September
- Ran the 100m dash in 14 seconds flat at age 10. Placed 1st in Peel Region.
- Partied at Speirsfest
- Made the perfect dipped cone when I worked at DQ
- Lost clumps of hair after too much perming
- Sold a $25,000 Instant Win scratch ticket when I worked as a cashier at I.D.A Pharmacy
- Jumped off the roof of a two-story house into the backyard pool (now that I’m a mom… stupid idea!!)
- The Lavender Booth at the Royal Winter Fair every November
- Left home at 23 to sail around the world
- Was in London the day Princess Diana was killed (very sad moment)
- Got to celebrate the Millennium New Year twice by sailing over the international date line
- Danced on stage with Sha Na Na
- Scuba Dived the Great Barrier Reef
- Crawled in the Cu Chi Tunnels
- Had two quick and easy (thank you epidural) births
- Made a fool of myself in front of a famous person
- Held a tarantula
- Stood on Maho Beach under a 747 landing in St. Maarten
- 2008: house burglarized, dog was poisoned, hurricane Omar
- Searched for nesting Hawksbill sea turtles on a Caribbean beach in the middle of the night
- Broke my wrist from a simple fall
- Ate unpasteurized soft cheese rolled in fresh lavender and LOVED it
- Horseback rode in many countries
- Visited a concentration camp
- Waltzed in the Hofburg Palace at the Officer’s Ball
- Started a blog
- Was chosen as a finalist in a Russell James photography competition
- Congratulated my daughter on a perfect school report card
- Climbed Austrian Mountain Schröcken… ok so it wasn’t Everest but it was bloody high!
- Nearly saw my husband get hit by a car
- Met a dear friend in Rome for 24 hours
- Went on a blind “friend date”
When was the last time you took time to review your life achievements or reflect on great memories? So often people focus on setting future goals without first taking a look back and acknowledge what they have done in the past. Although I may not physically have a “bucket list” written as of yet, I do make an effort every day to work on meeting my next goal, whether it is to learn a new language (helps living in Austria) or to taste a new ice cream flavour. AND most importantly, I try to approach each new experience with a sense of humour.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted”. Charlie Chaplin
Stay tuned… my bucket list just may appear in the near future 🙂