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June 12, 2020

My bucket list

My last perm was 6 months ago and my curls are now limply dangling at the end of my long locks. So I rejoiced when, a few days ago, I put my name down on a waiting list at the hairdresser’s. In the meantime, I’ve taken drastic action. That’s right, just like in the good ol’ days, I’ve pinned up my hair in rollers, which are now tightly tugging at my noggin.  

So, what else to do on this pleasant Sunday morning now that I’ve enjoyed a long walk, made coffee, watered the herbs, perused the weekend papers and tortured my head to spruce up my looks a little?  

Though I still stay close to home, I’ve noticed that the main arteries of life are showing signs of activity. It’s great news! A green light signalling there’s reason to feel hope again in the future. Kids will head back to daycare, teens will return to the soccer fields, parents will be back at work and artists will resume creating. And us older folk can turn our thoughts to new adventures.

So on this beautiful Sunday, I am quietly reflecting on what I would like to do, experience and try before leaving this world.

It’s a wonderful way to bounce back from the pandemic, by imagining tomorrow right now. As an act of faith in times to come, I am going to compose a list of everything that I would like to do.

I am a veteran list maker; I’ve been organizing my life through lists since forever. And I became an even more ardent list maker when I started my business. In the final week of each year, I create my list of goals, both personal and business, for the coming year. And it works. It’s like magic: If you write it down, it happens!

Making a list of what you would like to do before you die is the same kind of exercise, but on a bigger scale. It’s a list of wishes, dreams, desires or challenges that you want to accomplish before leaving for good. A bucket list, to use a familiar term. 

You can start by writing whatever comes to mind and then organize the list by order of priority afterwards. The goal is to identify experiences, from the simplest to the most outrageous, that you want to live before the end of your life. Putting them down in writing releases them into the universe of possibilities. So, here we go!

Before my final heartbeat, I want to…

- Revisit Paris and especially Place Saint-Germain-des-Près, dine at the café Les Deux Magots, once frequented by Verlaine and Rimbault, my most cherished poets.

- Write a real love letter to someone and hear my heart beat to this mysterious purring that lovers speak of.

- Tour the Gaspésie and Maritime provinces 3 or 4 times more before I get too old to drive my Mini.

- Visit Sweden and especially the stores of the artist-designer Gudrun Sjödén. In another life, I’d like to be her neighbour and work in her ateliers.

- Adopt a pet to experience the affection and bond between an animal and its master. Perhaps a dog who’d watch documentaries with me on TV. Or pull me along at the end of its leash when my feet object to going on a walk.

- Attend the opera for the first time ever. Because I love the human voice and the intrigue and schemes between the story’s characters. And because I have never allowed myself the time to enjoy such musical pleasure.

- Visit Iceland, the home country of my favourite writer, Audur Ava Olafsdottir (who penned Rosa candida and other delicious books) and gaze on raw, unspoilt nature.

- Inspired by the film Murder on the Orient Express, travel across Europe aboard a luxury train, reading another adventure of Hercule Poirot, drinking cocktails and dressing to the nines for dinner in the dining wagon.

- Find a haiku master, someone from my circle of acquaintances, and take a creative workshop with them, for the sheer creative pleasure and to improve my poetry writing (haikus are very short poems that originated in Japan). 

- Publish one, two or even three new books, or at least write until I empty all the thoughts in my mind’s labyrinth onto the page.    

- Visit the Isle of Crete, which I have heard so much about. And learn to make the authentic recipes from this classic Greek island.

-Live as long as possible, even past 100 if I can. Life is so precious.

And so on! You can add a new dream to your bucket list at any time, or rummage through it and discard those you have already done or that have lost their meaning for you. It’s best to balance your list between small and big items. The easiest ones will help motivate you to take on the more daunting ones.

Be sure to read your list often, too. This will help you stick to your goals. Check off a wish once completed – it’s a cause for joy and celebration! Sharing the goals on your bucket list with a family member or friend is also a great gift: perhaps you will motivate them in turn to create their own list.

I firmly believe that sharing our wishes with the universe is the best way to make them happen.