Tonight my darlings, I offer you a list of things I would do all over again and perhaps for the first time.
It’s up to you to decide which may be which. Either way, I hope it’s an inspiring list.
What will you choose to do with your one precious life?
How will you decide to move forward each and every day?
When you reach a certain age, celebrating your birthday becomes more than a celebration, it becomes a spontaneously choreographed victory celebration.
“Christ, we’re half-way there,” my gal-pal told me today as she finished reading the birthday card I’d written for her. Following which we exchanged stories of our lives; children, men, home…
What I wanted to tell her was that, if we’re lucky, we’re just half-way there. Based on genetics and historical data, my life is two-thirds caput.
When you frame it like that, perspective becomes brutally clear and time becomes even more precious.
We discussed our priorities, wishes, lost opportunities, and we both came to the same conclusion. As strong, intelligent, very delightfully succulent women, we decided that the things that were important to us in our 20’s were over and done with.
Oh, don’t mope. It’s not that bad. What we meant was that we have seized those moments and have no regrets. Instead we each have a list of wishes that we’ve checked off. Sure, it sounds a little like we’re finished with all of the great, wonderful, and awe-inspiring things that life has to offer, but that’s not true.
What we have, instead, are lives well lived. Lives in which we have done exactly as we’ve pleased, with all of the gratitude, regrets, miracles and mistakes that anyone could ever ask to have. We know the thrill of travel, passionate love affairs, birthing and raising children. We will not dignify a mid-life, ‘what-if’ crisis. We are too freaking fabulous for that.
We know the value of a life well-lived, of choosing joy every, single,freaking day despite imperfect conditions. We don’t have the dreaded bucket list. A bucket list is for someone who didn’t have the courage to live while they had the benefit of exuberant youth and no safety net. They missed the point. A bucket list is for those who court fear and bow to the status quo.
If you live in the moment, you know joy as you know your own self. You have a smile that spreads into your bones, and you know exactly what I’m talking about.
So, as I had a long hot soak in the bathtub tonight, with a glass of Ironstone and a head full of memories and desires, I thought about the things I would do again, and what I still wish for.
Here is your promised list
- Quitting a job to follow a dream
- Being flat-out in the darkest of country nights next to a handsome stranger on a mission to spot falling stars, wearing make-do baggy sweaters and wool socks
- Being kissed against the wall of a beach bar by a stranger in the rain in a foreign country
- Skinny dipping with a lover in a hot tub and laughing so hard tears come
- Taking a last-minute vacation with my bestie and living like there wasn’t a tomorrow for just a few days
- Fall, deliriously in love and keep that falling-in-love happening until I’m so old and wrinkled that I don’t even know how to spell the word.
- Decide that life is too short to wake up feeling inadequate.
- Road-tripping on a moment’s notice across borders, with nothing but a few dollars and a great playlist.
- Saying good-bye to people who are vampires of joy, energy and my happiness.
- Saying yes.
Say yes darlings. Just say yes to life. I promise, you will slide into old age, delirium and death a very, very happy soul.