In 2011 I had just started a new job and was in the midst of that initial awkward period, you know where your new employer gives you a series of videos to watch, which you dutifully do, but then you have nothing productive left so you sit there awkwardly waiting. Well, with a couple of those awkward hours to kill, I decided to write a bucket list. Unfortunately, chronic illness stole that job from me, but the bucket list, a simple list of my hopes and dreams, remains pinned to the top my memory board. The sunshine has had it’s way with the list and what was once a bright blue ink is now a very faded light purple, but still the list soldiers on. Two items are now checked off of the list of about 20 items. I took it down recently to look over it, wondering what I’d completed, if anything, and what was left, but I guess mostly wondering what would happen to my list if this chronic illness never lets up.
So here’s my bucket list:
- Cooking class – Truth – I’m Not a foodie…I know, gasp 🙂 But it’d be fun to learn some tips to make cooking easier. My appetite and my desire to cook since becoming ill have been virtually nonexistent so unless I get that back I could probably scratch this one off the list
- Photography class – I love, love photography but have never taken the time to take a class. I’d still like to give this one a shot, better or not, even if it’s a short two-day class
- Salsa class (The dance, not the food 🙂 – I’d taken a swing dance class years ago and loved it. I think I laughed more than I danced…I’m a little clumsy. Many years ago I had some friends who taught me the most basic of steps and we would go out dancing and it was such a great time! I’d love to have formal training and learn more than the basic steps. Obviously I’d have to get better for this one, much better.
- Travel – My list here is short, I know that. I’m kind of a picky eater and the thought of going somewhere, like where Anthony Bourdain goes and they eat fish heads or intestines, yuck!, not for me! Yes, I realize that’s petty and not very adventurous. Currently, I cannot handle altitude about 4,000 feet as I get severe chest pressure, shortness of breath and the feelings of a heart attack, so I’ve assumed I can’t fly as the cabin is pressurized at 8,000 feet. I don’t know if this is true. I do wonder if other ME/CFS patients have this issue with altitude? Please comment if you do. I’d like to know if you know why or can you fly or anything really, I’d like to now anything at all about it as the cardiologist gave me the one we all know and love, you know the silent shoulder shrug. So these are on indefinite hold…
- Virgin Islands
- Participate in charity walks – I used to participate in a variety of fundraiser walks and had hoped to continue but for now, I watch on facebook as the people I’m connected to happily live out their able-bodied lives
- Vacation home in Northern California – Having grown up near the Redwood forest I miss it, not like oh I miss it, but like I miss it like you miss a loved one that’s passed away. Hoping this will become a reality one day
- Piano lessons – I really love music, almost any and every kind, but piano is by far my favorite. I took lessons as a child but then had to stop. Someday I hope to pick that up again, and I think I could maybe do that now, perhaps. Brain fog would make it amusingly challenging and the fact that I can only sit straight upright for about 20 minutes but I think I could give it a go
- Join Book Club – I know I could do this online, but I would love to join a romance novel book club someday. I love reading romance novels, not the gritty ones, more the romance lite, as I call them. I’d have to get better for this one
- IPhone – Hey what do you know one that I can check off. 🙂
- Camper – I’ve always wanted to own a camper. Truthfully I’d much rather camp than stay in hotels. The memories created while camping are precious and forever, you can’t make those types of memories in a hotel. I’d have to get better for this one…or win the lottery (reminder to start playing the lottery 😉
- Make heirloom afghan blanket – Hey another one to check off!
- Tennis bracelet – I had a beautiful tennis bracelet that I no longer have and would love to buy myself another. I’m not really very girlie and jewelry has never really appealed to me outside of pearls but I do love tennis bracelets. Again, the lottery…must buy ticket.
- Grow a vegetable and flower garden – My mother had this amazing green thumb. I swear she walked into a room and plants were a little greener and stood taller in her presence. She really had a gift, which unfortunately she did not pass on. I’m a barely-able-to-keep-succulents-alive kind of person. But one day I hope to prove myself wrong and grow a beautiful garden. I’d need a little more energy and the memory to remember to water how ever often you are supposed to do that kind of thing but someday, someday
- Quilting class – I’ve always loved heirloom quilts. When I was married we received a beautiful wedding quilt as a gift and I just adored it. Much like the marriage the quilt slowly came apart and both are now behind me. Truthfully I could probably YouTube video my way through sewing another but I think a class would be fun and you could learn all the little tips and tricks to help along the way. I’ve been following a very talented seamstresses blog and she’s almost inspired me to find my sewing machine 🙂
- Watercolor class – Well, I decided to forge on without a class. It’s been almost a year now. I’m thankful I didn’t wait as I really am enjoying myself! Below are a few fun paintings from July.
Whelp, that was my list in 2011, it’s longer now and includes things like going back to college to perhaps become an LMFT (licensed marriage and family therapist), becoming a CASA (court appointed special advocate for children) and finding a way to volunteer at local hospitals to rock ill babies (you literally sit in a rocking chair and rock newborns to sleep). Again, all “well” things. So what’s on my chronic illness bucket list? Getting better, that’s it. Well, getting better followed by: see “well” bucket list. Maybe there should be more, but honestly, that’s all I want.
What’s on your list? Has it changed throughout the years? Do you allow yourself to dream of ‘what if’ or are you like me and live so much so in the now that you’ve lost the dreamer in your heart?
Thank you for reading! I’d love to hear about your bucket list or how it’s changed over time. Please click the links above if either of those things interest you, we can never spread enough kindness, especially to the defenseless.