This morning I woke up thinking about bucket lists and how much I despise them. Okay, I understand it’s a great thing for many people, but personally I’ve never liked bucket lists. Back when I worked in a bookstore named Chapters there was a title along the lines of 1000 Places You Need to Visit Before You Die. And who is really going to visit all 1000 places, and does that make their life more fulfilling for having constantly been on a plane to follow a list of things to do before dying? So while many see the buck list as a beautiful and supportive thing, I guess I’ve just held this grudge for quite some time.
And in rebellion to the bucket list, (while laying there in my bed) I thought I’d make myself a fuck-it list, to show myself and ‘the world’ (i.e. my imagination of who might be watching in judgement, which in reality is likely no one) that instead of planning the things to do before I die, I’d rather focus on the stuff of LIFE. So I was thinking my fuck-it list would contain riding a Sea-Doo at least once cause they look very cool, building my family, going on the Queen Mary again, spending summers in Balaton, buying a cottage, eating amazing organic cheese, etc.
So as I thought over my fuck-it list, it soon became (I realize now as I write this) a bucket list!
Now* it is midday and I am in downtown Ottawa, sitting on a bench in the shade alongside the start of the Rideau Canal. It’s a world heritage site and kinda wedged between Parliament Hill and the Fairmont Hotel, where the canal spills out into the Ottawa River.
Somewhere out of sight, bagpipes are begging played.
The canal workers are filling and draining locks in front of me.
The sun is bright, the sky is clear, and the shade is cool.
Bicycles are whizzing by . . .
and while I know Tuesday has a very high chance of being a total shit day – because many signs are pointing to ‘yes’ and my oncologist didn’t call last week with any miracle ‘look at these amazing biopsy results’ kinda news – I also know that today is beautiful, and feeling this sort of pleasure is the cream of life itself.
To be part of the moment, part of friendship, part of love, part of beauty, and away from the sadness that has lately settled into the pit of my stomach . . . it is a wonderful feeling to be a participant in this life. I love the fun and exploration, I love the connections and the laughter, I love the joy of something different
. . . these are things that Tuesday will not take away. I will not lose my ability to be part of the moment, even if some of those moments are terrible ones. And that being part of the moment, to me, is the list. It’s the beginning and the end of the page, and so long as we can find that intangible, hard-to-describe freedom in the cream of life, then I will be satisfied.
Well, that and finally publishing at least one of my novels.
Ha! Okay, slippery slope – I could go on, but I don’t dare in fear of creating yet another version of the bucket/fuck-it list.
So, in honour of those yummy ‘cream in the truffle’ moments, I’m going to share a postcard Zsolt and I have sent to ourselves from the Queen Mary 2, which was such an amazing experience. We have many of these sort of postcards – every time we go to a new place, we mail ourselves a postcard. Our collection has become a treasure box of memories, and I pulled inspiration for this idea from my great-grandmother’s tin. 🙂
*Now, as in ‘then’ when I was waiting for my husband and our friend to explore the locks and analyze how they work. They are scientists, those two, so it’s in their nature to care about mechanics. Personally, I prefer to care about the breeze and the sunshine. In any case, this past weekend has been so absolutely lovely. We had a vacation from sadness and heavy thoughts. This weekend was just about laughing, eating well, and sharing our time with a good friend.
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