Before I Die

There are some really handy things floating around out there in cyberspace, and one that's great for the blogger who likes to just sit down and start writing about any old thing is the writing prompt. I personally like the One-Minute Writer and, occasionally, a new one I've found called Plinky.

Plinky is hit-or-miss for me, possibly because it's actually intended for the youngsters. For example, today's prompt is asking me what I'll do when the zombies come (THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING?!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES PEOPLE!!!). But a few days back, Plinky had a great prompt that got my brain working. It asked me to list 5 things I want to do before I die.

When I say my brain got working, I don't mean that a bunch of ideas started chattering away in my head. I mean that after several minutes of hard thinking, literally nothing came to me. And frankly, that was a little bit scary.

I am 35 years old. I figure my life is roughly half over. While it's good that I'm satisfied with my life, at this point I should not have accomplished everything I ever wanted to do. I should still have a few mid-life dreams left in me!

It's not like I'm dead inside. I'm passionate about crafting and writing and reading and cooking. I'm looking forward to warmer weather so I can start running outside again and being the Captain's lovely assistant in the vegetable garden. I look forward to eating barbecued everything all summer long and spending afternoons out back with the kids listening to the cows moo, and throwing balls for them (the kids, not the cows). And hanging the laundry again will be heaven. I think our hopes and aspirations don't necessarily need to be a huge, big-budget production.

Regardless, I'm determined right now to come up with 5 things I'd like to do in the next 35 years.

(Fingers to temples, eyes squeezed it comes!)

1. Learn to Ice Skate: Have you ever met a Canadian who has never put on a pair of skates?! Technically, I wasn't born here, but that's no excuse. Because I don't skate, neither do my kids, so it's a perfect reason to learn. Plus, it really looks like fun, and I have a big front yard (which gets conveniently flooded in the spring, and should therefore be a perfect area for skating in the winter if I could just get off my butt and employ the garden hose). I'm making this one a priority for next winter.

2. Travel: When I was in my 20's and didn't have anything holding me back, I wanted to see Asia. Instead, the Captain and I stayed home with our dogs and argued about what to watch on TV. Regret is a waste of emotion, and we saved enough money back then to make our current lifestyle possible, so in the end, no harm was done. I don't even much want to see Asia anymore. And the idea of packing my kids into the car for a long road trip or (horrors!) trapping myself with them on a plane fills me with dread. But there are a few new places I'd like to see perhaps when we're all better travellers. Ireland sounds rather pretty, and they have pubs--what could be better?! I'd also like to take one of those haunted walking tours in New Orleans. And I've never had a warm winter vacation, which is just as Canadian a thing as ice skating, so maybe a road trip through the Southernmost American States is something I should be looking forward to. I hear the burger joints are to die for!

3. Education: I spent several long, boring years writing papers and taking tests. That's not the kind of education I'm interested in. But a cooking class, or something crafty? That sounds like a good time to me, and a chance to maybe stretch my brain further than I'm likely to in my own kitchen or sewing room. If there's one thing I learned during my 5-year stint as a classroom teacher, it's that if you're interested in what's being taught, lifelong learning isn't a chore. It's a pleasure.

4. Work: Though I loved teaching, I don't feel much desire to go back to it. Now that I have kids of my own, it feels like something that would intrude on my life, rather than enhance it. However, this doesn't mean I don't want to eventually do something again work-wise. I heard about a couple of vacant jobs from friends in the past year that sounded interesting. One even involved sewing! I have moments when I think I was a fool not to print off a resume and apply for that one. But I'm not in a hurry just yet. However, once my kids are a little more independent, working would offer me something I'm missing. A chance to do something more grown-up and social? A chance to contribute to the planet in a way that I can't right now? Or maybe I just want more cash for craft supplies. In any case, I will eventually get there, and it's an exciting prospect. Who knew?!

5. Oh This Is Just Sad: One day, more than anything, I would like to have a perfectly organized closet, in which everything is regularly worn and enjoyed. I'd be able to walk into it and feel an immediate sense of well-being. I think this is more of a pipe-dream than a goal...

Apparently, I do have a little hope left in my aging brain, and I plan to get on this stuff as soon as is humanly possible. So, if you're driving down the back roads of rural Manitoba next winter and see a crazy woman in a bike helmet sliding around on her front field, don't be alarmed. I'm just following my dreams.


Janine said…
I am a Canadian, through and through and I still dont know how to ice skate and have no desire to.
Would love to learn how to drive a SeaDoo though...
Travel - yes to Italy and Greece and Spain.
Take a cooking class with Mario Batali or Lydia Bastianich.
Have a cottage overlooking a lake.
Learn how to speak French fluently.

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