Bucket List Experiment & 2012 Summary

A few years ago I started playing with the idea of making bucket lists instead of resolutions.  Somewhere along the way I heard something about focusing on the positive and one New Year tied that to how resolutions never made me feel very good.  I had stopped making them years before because I had faced the fact I was never going to actually do any of them.

My first annual bucket list was a meager attempt.  I was a bit frightened by the idea, how big should I go?  I didn’t want to put down everything I could do in a lifetime just some things I could realistically accomplish that year – finances and everything being part of the equation.  It was clear I wasn’t going to do a world tour.  But it was a success and it made me happy.  I looked forward to little things on my list that were scheduled and those that I did on a whim.

As I prepare for 2013 I’ve been taking a hard look at my life.  What brings me joy?  Some of those things are really obvious and others not so much.  Sometimes you don’t know what those things are until you do them.  Last year I had a friend participate (you know who you are) because he thought the idea was cool and I loved hearing about the things that he did that were on the list.  This year I’ve decided to invite people into the annual bucket list journey with me.

So to kick this off I’m going to share some of the items from last years list (some of them are private as I’m sure some of yours would be too).  If you feel inspired to make a list and join me, message me, post in the comments, or do whatever you feel like.  I’m not big on rules. Last but not least – and this isn’t as cheesy as it sounds – I just want us all to have the coolest year we can think of.  And make it more awesome as we go.

2012 Bucket List

  • Meet James’s family
  • Take Rhy to the West Coast and really experience Seattle, 6 year old style
  • Make stronger connections with my family
  • Appreciate what I have, consciously
  • Take control of my financial future – invest more, invest better
  • Do more yoga
  • Buy a new family car (I almost didn’t think this was going to happen, but it did!)
  • Buy Darian’s first car (hadn’t planned on the second but we did that too… lol)
  • Uncover the allergy mystery (yes we all knew i was allergic to a lot of stuff but i cannot tell you how much different life is when you actually know what sets you off)
  • Give, give a lot.  Give randomly.  Give whenever you can and whenever you feel it’s the right thing to do no matter how any body looks at you.
  • Go to the beach, even if it’s cold
  • Meditate
  • Make one new fruit preserve (strawberry!)
  • Bake and share – i’d say the stuffed cupcake experiment that came out of this was a TON of fun for everyone!
  • Move to a HOME
  • Take all my vacation time (and I used it well too!)

And one of the coolest things I did this year that I hadn’t planned – I got my level 1 Reiki certification and made some wonderful new friends in the process.  It came out of some of the other activities on the list and is a wonderful addition to my life and my happiness.

I will be posting my public list shortly after the start of the new year.  I look forward to hearing about the things that make you happy too.

An Excerpt; NaNoWriMo Day 4 November 2012

As many of you know all of my writing focus is going toward NaNoWriMo this month. 

Today’s post is an excerpt from whatever this thing is that’s being created over the next thirty days.  Are you writing for NaNoWriMo too?  Share your experiences with  me!

Character: Johnny

…I put the daisies down next to her headstone, like I have every year since I was a small child.  Accompanied by a rock and a note from Gram.  She’s getting to old to come out here on her own.  I sit down and toy with the grass, stroking it like an abandoned dog.  Plucking the random weed here or there.  Digging the dirt from between the words, polishing without polish.  It’s a ritual that helps me come to that place where I feel like it’s ok to talk to the dead.  If I just wanted to talk to her I could do that, but today is different.  Today I need to see the truth of what he did with the evidence buried beneath my feet.

I lie back, stretched on her grave, arms forming a pillow beneath my head, and look up into the bright sky.  They tell me she died at midnight.  To me it always felt like morning.  Morning is when my mother died in my memory.  Morning is when they told me.  So I always come at the same time, ritual.

Feeling for her memory deep inside of me, the way she used to hold me, the sound of her voice.  I close my eyes and extract it until she’s sitting next to me.  Johnny boy, she’d call me, stroking my hair.  Johnny boy tell me what’s on your mind?  Bantering back and forth at such a young age I try to recall the words she used, the inflection of her voice, things I never thought to think of until they became more creations and dreams than actual memories.  The creation of my mother’s voice echoes in my head…

30 Days Makes A Habit

Today we write.  We write for freedom and for love.  We write for the song that’s buried in our soul.  We write for our mothers and our fathers, sisters and brothers.  We write to be forced to turn off the touch pad that becomes a nuisance.  We write for our aching bodies and bleeding hearts.  We write because we can.  We write because we’re alive.

It never felt so good to be in a place like this.  Chasing a dream, ending up in a better place than you had aimed for.  I look around me and all I see is love.  I see manifestation of the possible.  I see focus and drive.  I see me.

What do you see?

It’s time for NaNoWriMo to begin in less than 24 hours.  For the first time I will participate.  Not only will I participate but I will throw myself into this in unimaginable ways.  Ways that I cannot yet tell you about because, well, they are unimaginable.

I’m posting this mini blog for self inspiration.  For a reminder of my commitment.  For the thought of public humiliation as a muse for days where writing will feel like a curse.  I’m also posting this for you, members of the blogiverse; readers and writers alike.  What challenge can you or will you take on and conquer during the month of November?  30 days makes a habit.  Let’s form new ones together.

I’ll end this one with my favorite quote from the NaNoWriMo team, “In November, embrace imperfection and see where it takes you.”

The Crow and The Cherry Blossom

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mshades/2370379317/

Expo Crow, Osaka

Trickling down the river flows the essence of the trees.  The place where each lifeblood comes together, forming new isotopes, dredging among the earth.

All things that breathe whisper in the wind and the waters.

Crow flies down, drinks.  Cautiously his guard waits.  Calm and still warning signs of their own.  Petals float haphazardly into the stream while crow blinks.  Trigonometry in an instant.

Wherewithal of crow embodied unto me.

I Don’t Care Too Much About The Weather

The car from my presently past future.

The weight of the weather hangs heavy on my shoulders and I look to the past, the future, the place in between; always so uncomfortable, in the here and now.  Sick of reading about how life is what you make it.  Too many inspirational messages have become cliché by the powers of Facebook and trend-of-the-minute social media outlets.  Checking in to check out.  Spreading the love/hate.

Tell me one more time everything will be alright, one door closes another one opens, or my personal favorite, “everything happens for a reason”, and I’m likely to try and take my own eye out with a pencil.  Only the blind survive this mass media world, spared the harsh imagery and tactical planning of the mysterious “they”.

The curve comes up on me like a crashing tidal wave and I slip, spilling my coffee on freshly pressed pleated pants.  Cursing under my breath for keeping two wardrobes.  For selling out.  For being anything less than me.  In a past life I’d be happy my old battered wreck of a ride was still intact.  Today I look at my Porsche and curse it for its smooth handling.  For allowing myself to daydream.  Where was I before all of this?

Of No Particular Consequence

I didn’t know it would come down to this.  He looking over my shoulder, me waiting for him to disappear.  But then again I guess we never really think anything Of No Particular Consequencewill come down to the way it does.  That’s life.  More circumstance than planning.  Have you ever heard anyone say that everything actually went according to plan?  Travel plans occasionally maybe.  That’s as far as it goes.

He kept sitting there.  Just looking.  Over my shoulder.  His breathing a steady hum drum of white noise in my ear.  My hair tussled, mind disheveled.  If only the path were more clear.  Circles, always walking in circles never finding the end.  Until it is the end.  Do you know it when you find it?  Is it as simple as exiting the hedge maze, after hours of searching for just the right pattern of twists and turns, exhaling in relief at the exit.  Or is it something more.  John Green’s idea of the Great Perhaps.  Though it wasn’t born in him he’s disseminated the idea to the up and coming generation.  I get it.  I follow.

But that gets me nowhere from here.  With him.  Breathing.  Over my shoulder.  Need to shake it.  Erase it.  But in order to do that I have to answer the question.  What is the question?  Is he the mad hatter?  I don’t know.  Wandering.  Wandering inside my own mind… pull out.  What do I see?  Nothing.  Just me.  And he, breathing.  Breathe.  Focus.  Blink.  Breathe.  Repeat.

The screen of my laptop comes into focus before me.  As if it hadn’t been in front of me for the last hour.  “What is it I’m supposed to be looking for?” I ask.

“Something of consequence” comes his dry reply.

“could you be more vague?” I quip

“no” he states simply and our brief banter comes to an end.  So I go back to staring at the blank screen.  What will please him?  I’ve been given no direction other than to find something of consequence.  Such a relative statement.  Everything and nothing can be and is or is not consequential depending on the state of mind, timeframe, and mood.  Any greater combination of things can drag into this subjective equation of no mathematical background and poof, you have consequence.  Drivel.  Spewing drivel to stall and spare myself.  What exactly?

I type into a Google search “consequence” and he immediately shoots it down.  I tell him not to criticize research skills and that I’m gearing up.  Connect the dots.  The chain game.  All patterns and linear thinking that can arrive at a place you hadn’t yet thought of and so I go.  First result, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary version of the word.  Of course I click in, there’s never one simple definition of an English word.   At least one that I’ve yet to find.  (If you come across one, let me know)

con·se·quence noun

1. the effect, result, or outcome of something occurring earlier: The accident was the consequence of reckless driving.

2. an act or instance of following something as an effect, result, or outcome.

3. the conclusion reached by a line of reasoning; inference.

4. importance or significance: a matter of no consequence.

5. importance in rank or position; distinction: a man of great consequence in art.

Take The Past And Shove It

I want nothing to do with the life that involved you.  I’ll take the furniture I bought.  The kids we had.  The stories, remembered more fondly than they were earned.  But as for the house, the town, the job, and the majority of the friends, I’ll leave them all behind.  Surgically removed like a tumor.  Exacting my revenge on your misery I take the treat of rebuilding a new life.  One where you are all but forgotten.  I know you feel me erasing you too.  You show it with the hesitation in your voice every time you speak to me.  Knowing that you willingly gave up all that you had and yet still unsure exactly what for.  Is it better now?  I wonder sometimes but it’s a fleeting thought at best these days.  Then again I never really knew what “it” was anyway.

The road before me is paved with golden sunlight, a multitude of flowers in full bloom.  Nearly any road before you looks like a blessing when you’ve wandered forth from the pits of hell.  Subjected to fire and evil by those sworn to love you.  Love isn’t something I’ve given up on.  It is something that is always present, forever around me, and true.  No I will never give up on love.  But I did give up on you.

But you gave up on me first.  Ultimately that singular fact is what gave me the power to walk away.  To remove myself from the toxic poison that you heaved upon my chest.  To see light.  To see opportunity.  To see me.  The me that is still reeling, tiptoeing across the surface of my life seeing the depth below the frozen water ready to plunge but afraid to die, again.  Not literally of course.  Perhaps all humans die a thousand deaths before they take their last breath.  Each death bringing new life.  My obsession with the Phoenix, explained.  Plain.  Black and White.

For a person of so many absolutes I’m always coming up with varied shades of grey.  Pantone effect. It’s the place that bleeds in between the absolutes where I find life.  That yin and yang.  What were you to me anyway?  A lesson learned?  A deeper look into what could be?  A stain to give me appreciation for the unscathed?  No.  Too cliché.  You were… everything I couldn’t ever be.  Or at least that’s what I used to think.  Sick, sad, beautiful and true.  Even if truth was something I could never get from you.  At least you taught me how to lie.  Too bad the only person I ever lied to was you.  Karma.