Before I Die I Want to…
In my town, on downtown Main Street, there is corner that is covered with people’s desires for things they want to do or accomplish “before I die” , a bucket list
The Universe has thrown me some great blessings in the past few weeks. Many of them have been extremely time consuming and some could be qualified as laborious. But I have a beautiful and large home (that takes a lot of time and energy to clean and the yard, oh my gravy the yard is a disaster). I have a husband who is passionate about both his day-job and the job he has created for himself out of his enthusiasm for outdoor participatory sports in Arkansas (and those two things suck up all his time and a lot of mine too, hence the dirty house and derelict yard). I have a smart, funny, socially active teenager in my house. Who just turned 16. I will not include any parenthetical comments here. Anyone who has raised teenagers will automatically sigh, roll their eyes, and clench their gut. And from what I know of myself, my husband, our siblings and our friends at that age, we are getting off easy with this one. We have two beautiful, loving, loyal dogs. Who are blowing their coats in the unusually warm Spring we’re having. (once again harkening back to the messy friggin house and crappy yard). I have a great job, that I love, that I wouldn’t trade for the world (even if it is a good 45-50 minute drive each way that makes my work day total 10-11 hours each day) and that goes for my boss as well (even if we share an office and I have had to learn to totally tune out when she yells at her three ! godluvher very needy daughters or her husband in clipped Portuguese). I have a healthy body (even if I have to get up at 4:45 a.m., go to the gym, work my ass off, and still can’t/won’t train to run much faster than 10 minute miles even if I can run 20 of them in a row).
Last night I spent a wonderful evening with a good friend whom I rarely get to see since she stopped working at our local bike shop where we could pop in any time and hope to find her. She’s working on a PhD in English and is now earning a living as an editor. After a lovely dinner and pre-show drinks at Capital Bar and Grill, and Young Frankenstein the Musical at Robinson Auditorium, we happened to be driving down Main Street and saw the board. I immediately read out loud: “Before I die I want to…learn to be content with what I have.” That progressed into a conversation about whether or not some people are born to be content while others struggle. My mother contends that I was born unhappy. I was never satisfied with anything. If she gave me choices A, B and C, I always wanted D. When my preferred pacifier was lost soon after moving to Central America, she SAYS I didn’t sleep more than 15 minutes at a time for 3 days until a new one arrived via very expensive air mail from the States. She reminds me often what a burden I was as such a discontented child. Never being able to make me happy made her feel like a failure. Do I make my husband and daughter feel that way? I should be happy. My life is, in almost every way, perfect. Is it just me?