Welcome to the last week of the April Blogging Challenge. Soon enough it’ll be back to business as usual around here, with musings about politics, religion and why everyone should love Croydon.
Today’s topic was a fairly controversial one: it excited one blogger but not the other, because she doesn’t do bucket lists. However, this challenge is about pushing us creatively so there is nothing wrong in answering the topic in unpredictable ways, which is what Rory ended up doing.
As for me, I’m not someone who has a bucket list, or ever thought of one. I shared last week about how Milford Sound is my dream honeymoon destination, but I’ve long given up on the idea that I will get married. I might, but I can’t put on a bucket list something that may or may not happen. What sparked my interest in exploring the subject was the scene with the “Before I die” mural in Miss you already. I don’t want to add any spoilers, it’s a really well done and poignant film which is worth watching, but it kinda made me feel like maybe there are things that I would really want to do if suddenly I was told that I didn’t have long to live. So, given that I claim my way of living life is like there is no tomorrow, maybe I shouldn’t leave the list to when I’m giving a terminal diagnosis or I get over the age of 65. Having said that, not everything on this list will be possible immediately, or they don’t even depend on myself alone, and I don’t like the way in which some people turn bucket lists into something they really must do or they can’t die happy. I know I can never die happy because I will be leaving something behind anyway…
So here’s the list of things that I would like to do with my life:
*Get over my fear of intercontinental flights and visit a destination somewhere outside of Europe, whether New Zealand or elsewhere.
*Sign forms with Doctor instead of Miss.
*Become a local councillor.
*Become a British citizen.
*Finish writing my novel.
*Stop worrying so much.
*Be in a position to foster or adopt a child.
*Go a whole year without missing church on a Sunday or holy day due to overestimating my ability to arrange a day around it other than laying around in bed.
*Become the kind of person a young person looks up to thinking “I want to be like that”, which is kind of wishy washy since it could mean anything but I really want to be a positive example to someone. I’ve never felt that way about my mother, even though I can recognise in her many merits and some may think the things I have always aimed to do differently are merits too.
*Become a certified sommelier.
*Learn the true meaning of contentment which I only read about in the Bible and the lives of saints but always feels so hard to grasp, especially in the midst of hard circumstances.
I think it’s a pretty unambitious list, although obviously being awarded a PhD is hard work. Truth be told, there are so much more glamorous things I could be doing but I’ve learnt the hard way that, sometimes, you dream big not because your dreams are that big, but because you’re driven by the need to prove yourself to someone. I hope, at the age of 28, to have reached a stage in my life when the only approval I need is going to bed with a clean conscience, so I don’t care if my dreams are small and uninspiring, I’m not here to impress anyone. I chased approval for long enough, and it just became evident that those who can’t accept me as I am won’t be impressed by any achievement. Someone whose advice I trust just reminded me last night of a verse in Scripture which appears almost identical in both the Gospel of Mark and that of Matthew, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”. So, really, I can make all the impressive bucket lists in the world and tick all the items off the box, but if I’m not doing it because those things truly make me happy but, rather, to earn the approval of others, then it’s not worth it. I’d rather dream smaller and just be able to be there for others in a more genuine way, as that’s what works for me. I’m more than happy to dream as big as it gets for my friends, because I want them to be happy too, and some of them have truly big dreams for all the good reasons. That’s just not the case for me.