I don’t have a bucket list.
There, I’ve said it.
I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve asked me if I have a bucket list (things to do before I kick the bucket, for those who’ve been asleep for the last decade or so), or who have gone straight to asking me what is on my bucket list.
There are three reasons that I don’t have a bucket list:
1. I’ve never had the inclination and the energy in the same place at the same time
2. I worry about how I might feel if I completed everything on the list. OK – I’m done. I can die now.
3. (and this is the biggest reason, which is why I saved it for last) I couldn’t bear the disappointment of making a huge list of all the things that I’d like to see, do, experience, and then have it sitting there, in writing, as my body deteriorates to the point that I can’t do any of the things on my list.
Medically, I’ve deteriorated a lot in the last five years. Maybe longer. I try not to think about it too much. I find it difficult to sit up for any length of time now, which makes travelling hard (makes everything hard, tbh), I can’t eat much without a lot of payback, I’m almost constantly in pain. I don’t enjoy making people feel bad for me, so I’ve become pretty good at smiling through almost anything, but that takes a lot of energy, and makes the payback worse afterwards. Quite a few times recently I’ve peaked too early and the payback hit before I’d even left the house. It’s disappointing.
I try not to dwell on all the things I’ve missed. Weddings, funerals, christenings, parties, concerts, theatre, sporting events, holidays… Despite all the practise I’ve had at missing out on things, it doesn’t seem to get any easier. I still have the symphony of sobs; I still wonder how long people will remember that I’m here, and whether they’ll stop inviting me to things if I never go.
One of the questions that I’ve asked myself over and over of late is whether it’s worth the effort of keeping myself alive and medically stable – why I do it, other than that it’s inhererntly human to keep on keeping on. But why do I do it?
That’s not a suicidal question.
It’s a question that means I need to make the most of what I do have, and what I can still enjoy. Making plans to do fun things out of the house hasn’t worked terribly well, so I’m going to try making plans for things to do without leaving the house. If I’m bored of these few rooms, why not change them a bit? There are so many great seasonal festivities – halloween, bonfire night/Guy Fawkes, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s day, etc. not to mention all the birthdays, and lesser known festivities, such as Eurovision and Cat in the Hat day. I don’t want to let more of these days pass me by, ungrateful and sad that I can’t go out and celebrate. I want to make memories here, so that people will want to come and spend time with me, and so that you can all look back and remember how much fun we had, even when I couldn’t get out much.
I’ve got a month until Halloween, which should be more than enough time to come up with some fun plans (yay for Pinterest!), and I promise to take lots of photographs. I’ll photograph all the preparations too, just in case I’m not well enough to celebrate on the right day. I hope you’ll celebrate with me, either in person or by following along here, or both – I look forward to sharing all the excitement with you!