"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
Come on! Is that the greatest line ever or what!? But seriously, if someone told you to prepare to die- you know, without the whole threat of immediate death- what would you do? What would you do that you haven't done till now, because "after all, tomorrow is another day!" (never did like Gone with the Wind- aaaand I can already feel the hate mail.) What would you do if you knew exactly how many tomorrows you had left?
It's hard to think about something that concrete when for most of us, death is pretty abstract. If it hasn't happened to someone we know or love, death can feel pretty distant. Think about it- what would it take to make sure that you were completely satisfied with the life you had lived, the direction you had taken? All most people ever really want is to be happy- but since most of us don't know how to make our way to happy, we settle for being content and just gliding through life- like driving aimlessly along a country road until you crash into an embankment that says Road Ends Here. We're always surprised when it comes like death isn't an inevitability for all of us. Perhaps we're not just woefully ignorant, but willfully ignorant. We don't want to see the end coming, though it happens every day.
If I had to say, I think that my Bucket list would be pretty short. All I've ever really wanted was to have a meaningful job- something I was passionate about. A family that I can love and take care of. To travel and see new things. To have something of my own. Right now I'm thinking about maybe, one day, running a bookstore- having healthy, happy kids running through the aisles, along with fat happy pets, and a fat (well, not too fat) happy husband. To talk about books, stories, the world with the people who come in through my doors. One day. But one day is closer than it looks- one day closer to death with the things I want to achieve undone. Today is the day to dream, to plan and to execute- to get off the pot, as it were. So here's my Bucket List- and I hope you make one too. Not only make one but achieve everything on it, and then start again. Do it all. Live it all. Just do it.
Dee's Bucket List
1. Learn to dance- the waltz, the tango, salsa- whatever.
2. Go horseback riding on the beach- like on the cover of a romance-
preferably with a guy with ripped abs in a poet shirt open to his navel. (grrrowl!)
3. Write a book- on anything. Just finish one.
4. Travel to every continent at least once. Preferably more than once. (and buy lots of tacky souvenirs.)
5. See an opera. (Not the Gotterdamerung- too much Wagner isn't good for you.)
6. Read my poetry on stage -without collapsing in a puddle of sweat.
7. Adopt-even if I'm sure I'll suck as a mother (though I have a pretty good role model. Hi Mom!)
8. Sing once in public- again, without melting into a puddle of sweat.
(I do a pretty good Tina Turner- "polite snickers in the background"- ok, fine, maybe Nina Simone?)
9.Buy a motorcycle- or at least drive one on my own.
10. Start my own business- and get some good advice so I don't run it into the ground.
11. Learn to shoot a gun- and hope like hell I'll never have to use one. But at least I'll know how.
12. Fall in love at least once more- and this time really pay attention,
instead of just drifting around in a rose colored fog. Those memories might be all I have one day.
(okay- maybe more than once- if at first you don't succeed and all that.)
13. Wear an itty bitsy teenie weenie bikini- but not yellow or polka dot. (Polka dots make me gag)
14. Go to a really great party- I mean a New York at midnight on New Years party,
a Mardi Gras or Carnivale in Brazil type party- a party and don't stop till three days later party. (and it goes without saying, be the life of the aforementioned party. Body shots anyone? )
15. Write a love letter- and get one in return.
That's a pretty good start don't you think? Sometimes all it takes is to have a dream and before you know it, your dream starts coming true. I'll let you know how the list goes. Wish me luck.
“Somebody should tell us,
right at the start of our lives,
that we are dying.
Then we might live life to the limit,
every minute of every day.
Do it! I say.
Whatever you want to do, do it now!
There are only so many tomorrows.”
Pope Paul VI