Bucket lists are extremely popular. It seems everywhere I go I see or hear something about someone’s bucket list. Many times the bucket list belongs to someone who is currently on a short path to death, or thought they were at one point. You would think since my brush with almost dying, and everything I’ve gone through health wise in my life, I’d have a bucket list.
Sure, the curiosity has gotten to me once or twice and I’ve put the tiniest bit of thought into what I’d like to accomplish before I die, but I’ve never made a list. I’ve never thought it was a worthwhile endeavor. What I do with my life before death is more than plans, desires, personal accomplishments. What I want to experience before I die is life, and that can’t be avoided. From the moment we are conceived we begin to experience life, we live, and then we die. That’s all I need, that’s all I want. All the little details, adventures, accomplishments, they are whatever happens in my life, whatever choices I make as time goes on. I have no great expectations, desires, at least nothing I would say I absolutely must do in my life. To me they are all fluid for the most part. What I truly want to leave behind will have the same impact no matter what I do or don’t do with my life.
Just like most other people, I had that experience when I was forced to meet with the reality of mortality. I had congestive heart failure and had to undergo a triple bypass. It wasn’t until I was about to get rolled into the operating room that it all hit me. I could die. I was filled with such fright that I trembled and cried uncontrollably. I called out for my mom. I was 34 years old at the time and I was crying for my mommy. Good thing she was there and hugged me. It was the only thing that calmed me enough to gather my wits.
After the surgery, after over a week in the hospital, I was recovering at home and this was when I really thought about life and death. For me it was a wake-up call to take hold of my type 1 diabetes and overall health. It wasn’t thinking about what I wanted to do in my life, hopes, desires, accomplishments, etc.. For me it was just wanting to continue to live. I just wasn’t ready to die yet, that was all.
All my goals – the few I have- are short term and able to be changed at a moments notice. I live day to day for the most part. And I like it just fine this way. If my card is drawn tomorrow or fifty years from now, it makes little difference. I’m just certain I’ll put up a fight when it does come. I like living, I just don’t like goals and plans anymore.
“Why?” You ask, “Why don’t you like goals and plans?”
Because, I suppose, I am jaded. I have been crushed and let down too many times. I have personally failed and that is my own fault and would never on it’s own cause me to “give up”. But when others are the cause of repeatedly killed hopes and dreams, you eventually learn to just not have hopes and dreams, plans and goals, anymore.
Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t in any way diminish or cause my life to be unhappy. In fact, I’m much more relaxed, content, and happy this way. I enjoy the simple things in life, and they are fabulous. I guess the close call with death helped with that as well. I look at things differently. The things I once took for granted and never paid attention to are now those things I cherish the most.
Yep, No bucket list here, just the desire to live, and then, eventually, die.