Death has a way of making us appreciate life. Not our own deaths, of course, but the deaths of our loved ones. Today (July 31) marks the third anniversary of my grandmother’s death. The interesting thing about my grandmother is that she was so afraid to do things, like drive a car or “upset” someone. It seemed like the last few months of her life, she threw convention aside and just starting being herself. She started saying how she really felt about things. Some could chalk it up to dementia, and there was certainly an element of truth to that.
Yet it seemed like all of a sudden her world came alive and instead of wearing drab fabrics, she wore vibrant, colorful prints. Instead of worrying what people thought of her, she told others what she thought of them. It was a beautiful thing to see someone freed from her fears, especially her fear other others, and to actually enjoy life fully…though it was ever so brief. Not that she didn’t enjoy life before that, she just held back way too much.
Well, I don’t to hold back. A few weeks ago I blogged about the movie The Bucket List and Justin McRoberts’ song, “Done Livin'” (read post), and I’ve been trying to do things even when I’m uncomfortable. In fact, especially when I’m uncomfortable (but not too uncomfortable. I mean, we don’t want me to become a basket case). Therefore, in honor of my grandmother’s life, these are the things I want to do before I, uh, kick the bucket. Being 28, I hope to have many years to do them all.
1. Snorkeling. I totally want to do it.
2. Buy a horse. I wanted one when I was a little girl, and I want one now that I’m a big girl. I want a mini-goat, too.
3. Travel the world, specifically Alaska, California, Texas, Hawaii, Arizona, Australia, the U.K. (all of it), Greece, the Ukraine, Israel and anywhere in the continent of Africa. If you’re booking a trip, I’ll go anywhere, even New Jersey.
4. Learn to play guitar, violin, and mandolin. Yes, I like stringed instruments.
5. Sing “Send in the Clowns” on stage in front of an audience.
6. Publish a book.
7. Go on an extreme road trip across the United States and/or Canada (I’ve always thought a road trip would be the GREATEST honeymoon ever!)
8. Animals I want to see in the wild (and photograph): manatees, humpback whales, orcas, elephants, any kind of sea turtle, bears, moose (as long as it doesn’t charge me), horses, armadillos, those weird anoles running amok in Florida, and buffalo. I want to see more, of course, but these are the must-sees of my life.
9. Be a character actress in a local theater production (like Ursula the Sea Witch in the stage version of “The Little Mermaid” would be awesome).
10. Interview Philip Yancey (if you happen to know Philip Yancey, hook a girl up!)
11. Get a digital camera with D-SLR, preferably a Canon Rebel. Cool lenses would be an added bonus.
12. Buy a Mac.
I hope to have half of these things accomplished by the time I turn 30…just kidding! If I think of more things I need to do before I pass on, I’ll be sure to come back and update this list. Oh, and please let me know some of the things you want to do. And don’t say things like, “Raise my kids right.” Be wild, daring, and adventurous!