I’ve never bothered to have a physical bucket list. I always thought that if I wanted to do something badly enough I wouldn’t forget it. However certain life choices I’ve made have meant that I haven’t yet done any of them.
I went straight to uni after school instead of working to save for an OE. Then I figured I’d do my OE in my early 20s, after I’d finished uni. Except I never actually finished uni and fell for Greg. He came with a gorgeous daughter – so living and working overseas for a few years was no longer an option. That’s totally fine I thought, I’ll do the raising of the kids, and then do a fancy OE when I’m older. I’ll be able to do more, afford more. I’ll have decades to compile the mental list of places I want to go and landscapes I want to see.
When I started writing down a bucket list on Saturday morning, the stage of shock and denial unfortunately disappeared with suddenness. Should I only write down the things I know I can do realistically? What about the things that I’m fairly certain I’m not going to be able to do but have wanted to since I was a teenager? Do I write those down too? Because at the end of the day, I’m unwilling to miss out on time with the girls just to save enough to see the world I want to see.
How do you prioritise things you thought you’d have a lifetime to do? The New Zealand things we can do. I adore New Zealand and I’m going to share that with the girls. I want to see all of New Zealand with them. I wonder if they will be able to visit those places after I’m gone and remember me, and the time we spent together exploring. The extensive international travel I was planning on when I was older and the kids were grown – I suddenly realised on Saturday morning that it probably won’t happen. Some of it – maybe. I’ve always known I want to see the Northern Lights before I die. I want to see Norway, Sweden, Iceland. I want to visit Scotland and Ireland. I’d love to see Stone Henge. I want to see places so rich in cultural history I can’t comprehend it. I want to see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. I want to spend months and months travelling around the Mediterranean. The Himalayas, the Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu and Thailand.
I wanted to go back to study… but is there any point? What if I actually do live a long life and I COULD have studied and got a great job after it. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I know I want to help people, and have a positive impact on the world in some small way. I just don’t know how to do that yet.
On a more immediate note, do I start a habit of watching the sunrise? Perhaps I need to get into meditation to help with the ability to stay in the moment. Or perhaps I need to become a tea drinker rather than coffee addict. I feel an intense pressure to be better, to do better. I don’t want the kids to remember me as a cranky, grumpy mum. I feel like it’s my last chance now to be the person I’ve wanted to be. Someone Greg and the girls can be proud of in years to come. I just don’t know if I’m up to the task.