|via my friend's blog Cowparsley|
Meanwhile, there has been a chance to repatriate items to their rightful place in the newly built end of our house. I have single-handedly looked at and assessed everything we own and assigned it a new place. This exercise tells me that i) we have so much stuff it's shameful and ii) I am not a neat-freak and iii) everything having its place is the answer to all house-related issues. Along with making everything white.
We have accumulated for over twenty years. I think back to the heady days of co-habiting for the first time. How we frequented Habitat and Ikea. How we couldn't afford new furniture so we lived with hand-me-downs. How, with each new chapter of our married life, we acquired more stuff. Kitchen stuff. Baby stuff. Toddler stuff. Kiddy stuff. Now teen stuff. Have you ever observed that we, as a nation, ceaselessly spend our time consuming? The biggest traffic queues at weekends are around shopping centres. We shop and we shop and we shop. I feel a faint degree of shame about this but yet, I carry on regardless. It's a first world neurosis.
There has been a week of procrastination about bucket lists. My husband, when in California, went sky-diving. I was simultaneously horrified and impressed by this. He said (in his defence, when he confessed to me AFTER he'd jumped; not before) that it had been on his bucket list for ages. In light of the thing we now know to be 'life-in-general', I wasn't aware of this yearning of his to throw himself out of an aeroplane. It's funny how after so many years together, fundamentals get lost in translation. Anyway, when he got home, we started talking about bucket lists and their importance and concluded that because I am only just 40 (whereas he is 44), mine is in its infancy, his is well-established.
I had one of those awful pangs, much like the sentiment that 'only boring people get bored'; why did I not have a bucket list?!! What did this mean? Surely there were things that I needed to do? I reevaluated the definition of the term. Now I come to think of it, what do I want to do? OMG. More procrastination and thinking time for Lou. Quelle Dommage.
I looked up www.bucketlist.org and found that under the examples of other people's ideas, there were many things that I have already done.
Examples of other people's:
Ski the alps in Austria.
Graduate from University.
Have children and be the best mother I can be.
Learn to surf.
Have a kitchen table that is perpetually strewn with family life. Tick, tick.
There were also a freaky number of people who wanted to learn to pick a lock (!) and jump fully clothed into water. Hmmmm....
It can be anything you want it to be and, if I were writing it aged 20, it would probably contain most of things I have done in the last 20 years, which I can now say are ticked off. Travel, children, home-owning, sunsets and rainstorms, love, marriage etc. The acquisition of these things over time (much like the accumulation of stuff in my house) has smoothed over the last two decades and now...well what now?? Herein lies the challenge of the mid-life bucket list. It must fit within the parameters of all of the facets of life that already exist and demand attention!
A bucket list deployed within a 5 mile radius of my house and that can be done within the hours of 9am and 4pm. I am not sure that is quite the spirit!
Time to think outside the box...