My all new improved Bucket List

On my 37th birthday, way back in September 2013 I wrote a blog detailing my bucket list. It had been a traumatic year and at times things had been a bit life and death. A little brush with mortality made me evaluate things, boil down my priorities into a to do list. But nearly two years on I’m still here, but how have I got on with my bucket list?

1. To see my son grow up strong, happy and confident
So far, so good. He’s happy and thriving and the glittering star in my existence.
2. To see the Northern Lights
This hasn’t happened, I remain in hope but I think I might have to actually go to Norway rather than just staring balefully out of my bedroom window.
3. To return to Gothenburg, Sweden and enjoy the city where we honeymooned
This hasn’t happened yet either, though it is our 15th Wedding Anniversary this year *coughs and looks at hubs*
4. To get a tattoo
Oh dear, I’m not doing very well here am I? I know what I want and where I want it, but I need to nod from hubs and a dose of bravery. I’d like a white feather to cover a self-harm scar on my hand.
5. To see The Wonder Stuff live
YES! Well no, I’m actually going to see them on Sunday, so barring disaster, that’s one off my list!
6. To get half decent at photography. I love it.
Still dabbling, but occasionally I take a picture which blows my socks off. I need a more advanced fancy-pants camera really.
7. Be a passenger in an Aston Martin DB9 going flat out round the Nurburgring
Still a big dream of mine. I doubt it will happen, being thrown about in a luxury car will probably be the thing which will finally paralyse me.
8. Have a go at some wild swimming
Still looking at it, still trying to pluck up the courage. It just needs an unbearable hot day, a swimming costume and a body of water not filled with shopping trolleys!
9. To go for (another) meal at River Cottage HQ. Yum.
YES! Well sort of. I’m booked to go on an amazing blogcamp at River Cottage this September. So I’m counting that as a yes
10. Spend at least a year living in North Devon
I strongly suspect this will not happen. The small boy is starting school in September and I don’t think I can be too far from my neurosurgeon just in case. It’s not all bad, there are worse places to be than sunny Didsbury.

my bucket list

Would I add anything? Probably.

I’d like to write something, a book or a series of short stories, something that I can hold in my hand and say “I wrote that” and have my family and people I love be proud of me.

I’d like to see my other “bucket list band” Shed Seven – which I will do in December.

I’d like my kitchen ceiling painted. No really, it’s needed to be done for 3 years now, it’s going on my bucket list. If I die and it’s not been painted I’m coming back and haunting someone.

I’d like to not be in chronic pain, but that’s something I can’t change. Maybe I just need to adjust my thinking and see the upsides to being a bit broken.

I’ll keep my thinking cap on and add to this list as I go on. My bucket list is always changing, which is how it should be, because so am I.

Courage, dear heart

“But no one except Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.”

– C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I’m struggling a bit right now. My life is nothing but a messy sea of madness. Too many different paths ahead of me. I don’t know which one to take, which one is the best, for me, for my family, for my future. I’m confused.

Some paths will lead to happiness; some will be incredibly hard to traverse, but ultimately amazing; some mean playing the waiting game and I’m fed up of waiting; some paths have hidden dangers, vipers waiting under rocks. No path is clear to me, but I know I can’t stand here forever, but I don’t know where to go, so I’m stuck, rooted to the spot like I have been for years.

Last year I found the courage to change my career and go it alone. I found the courage to get the better of some personal demons and I found an inner strength which is almost beyond my comprehension.

I’ve got good people behind me, friends who know me almost better than myself. Friends who I can speak to about absolutely anything without fear of judgment or condemnation, only wise words, encouragement, hugs and whisperings of courage; courage, dear heart.

I am almost consumed by indecision now. I want to follow my heart, but my head often speaks loudest. My brain lives to plan, plot, organise and rationalise. It’ll find its own way, but the hardest thing will be to find the courage to walk the path I choose. To walk it with conviction and not turn back. To deal with the vipers under rocks, the things that will trip me up, the storm clouds overhead. To know that my choices are the right choices for me, for my family, for my life.

I need to find my inner courage. Courage in my convictions and I need to trust my instincts. Overthinking only causes paralysis. So, courage, dear heart. Courage.

Courage, dear heart