Published Friday, June 29, 2012
Something miraculous has happened the past two months. I made a list and have systematically been checking off items. No, it’s not my grocery list. My son has been reminding me that we are low on guinea pig food all week. It’s my bucket list.
Yes, I know the movie starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson is now considered an old one, but the concept remains. It’s simply a list of things I want to do before I die. Quite frankly, I’ve been a little frightened at the accelerated pace that they have taken place.
So much so that as I was about to jump off a platform to zip along a wire through the tree tops, I looked at the person next to me and asked, “What happens if I get to the end of my bucket list?”
“Just add some more things,” he said.
Oh yeah, duh, I thought, and as I took my leap of faith, the only item I could think to add was the one item that my dad has on his list — to not kick the bucket.
I have been scared of heights as long as I can remember. So was my grandmother, Mama Dot, whom I take after in a lot of ways. She was so terrified of it, in fact, she’d refuse to go over bridges. I’ve never liked them either and usually find myself closing my eyes and holding my breath as my kids yell, “Look at how little that boat is down there!”
“Oh, wow!” my husband says, as he leans out the window.
That’s when I open my eyes and say, “You don’t look. You drive,” which encourages him to move the wheel side to side in an attempt to scare me. And it works.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” my son usually says, “if we fall off the bridge, at least we’ll fall into water.”
“Thanks, son, I needed that.”
Little does he know that I fear that, too. I think I may have been a cat in a past life. I can swim; I just don’t like to.
But, in an attempt to conquer this fear, I checked off white-water rafting this past weekend. Turns out the threat of almost dying and/or falling into 48-degree water makes one really feel alive. Who knew?
I’ve never had so much fun, and the best part was watching my reserved daughter laugh and yell and appreciate her mother (Her friend and I grabbed her as she almost fell out of the boat).
I like to think she was secretly proud of me for hanging in there, too. I was feeling pretty proud as we climbed out of the boat and filed into the bus. So confident was I that I forgot the reason I don’t sit in the back of the bus.
Yes, I had survived rafting over waterfalls only to get car sick as the bus rounded curve after curve after curve. And, when I say sick, I mean sick. As in I was sure I was one curve away from dying sick. Yet, I made it. My pride was slightly wounded, but it was a good reminder that, ultimately, it’s the run-of-the-mill stuff that will get us in the end, and, unfortunately, not kicking the bucket is out of our hands. We might as well make a long list and enjoy the ride – in the front of the bus, that is.