Today’s theme: What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?
This is a strange prompt for me to respond to because I don’t have a bucket list, let alone an 11th item.
I think about things like this from time to time – the ‘where do you see yourself in ten years’ type question, and the ‘who would you have dinner with if you could have dinner with anyone from the past or present’ type question, and the ‘if you could live in any other time in history which period would it be’ type question.
And do you know what I conclude, when I do spend two point six seconds thinking about those types of questions? That I don’t respond well to those questions.
Maybe I should spend more than two point six seconds thinking about them, I hear you suggest encouragingly.
It won’t work. I won’t do it. I have no interest in questions like that. In thinking about them, in responding to them, in asking them of others.
I worry that it’s a failure of imagination, or an inclination for the serious over the fanciful, or a need for certainty over a capacity to speculate.
But who would I have dinner with? If it could be anyone, how do I choose? What if I chose someone who wanted to eat dogs’ breath and cucumber sandwiches? Could I take that risk? And what would we talk about? What if I chose a non-talker? Then where would we be? Sitting opposite each other, chomping away in silence, me wondering how I ever thought they might make a good dinner companion and them wondering why I disturbed their eternal rest.
And which period of history would I choose? On what basis would I make that decision? How much would I need to know about periods of history to be able to decide? More than I do now, obviously. Would I get to choose my status? I mean, living in 1771 would be okay I guess if I could be a landed gentry, but I don’t think I’d like to travel to Australia on a convict ship. Especially if I was a convict. What if I chose a period of history that hanged witches and I happened to be a witch? Or if I went back to the Renaissance period but ended up in South Australia at that time?
So that doesn’t work for me either.
And if I was to put together a bucket list I would have to know an awful lot of things about an awful lot of places and/or activities. Out of all the things that it’s possible to do or see, how do I choose? On what basis would I narrow it down to just ten? Or eleven in this case.
STOP THE PRESS
It’s hit me. An idea for my bucket list! Not the whole list (are you crazy) but the number 11 thing.
So here it is: [big fanfare]
My number 11 thing on my bucket list is to be more like Murwillumbah Nan. If you didn’t meet my Murwillumbah Nan you really missed out. She was funny, and humble, and kind, and generous. She called her grandchildren darling, and had the softest skin. I didn’t ever see her in pants, only dresses. She didn’t like talking on the phone much. She hated having her photo taken, and she loved poetry. She wasn’t stylish, she wasn’t flashy, she didn’t use bad language, and she was warm and loved by everyone. You weren’t allowed to say bad things about your family when you were with Nan – she wouldn’t hear it. She told great stories and loved to laugh and she lived a simple, good kind of life. All 94 years of it. We held each other and cried and cried together when we knew it was the last time we’d be together.
So there you have it. The 11th thing on my bucket list of one thing.
Be like Nan.