“What’s On Your List?”
By Taylor Dawn
How are you using your time on this earth?
In the giant picture that we call life, many of us tend to forget what all of this is really about. We are so caught up with trying to find success and happiness, that we miss the things that are right there in front of us. We fail to do the things we’ve always wanted to do because they become daunting tasks that might involve some sort of pain, or even sponge too much of our time. But what if you found out today that you only had a certain amount of time left? What if you were able to look at your life’s clock and see the remaining minutes tick by? Would that make you stop and think about the things you haven’t done? Would it make you kick it into high gear and get to it? I choose not to wait until I hear the tick of the clock hands as they pass by each number. So much so, that this entire premise inspired a book. A book that took on a new life and morphed into so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. So I ask you…what’s on your list?
I’ve had a bucket list for quite some time now. On it are items that some would say are completely out of reach for someone like me. What type of person am I? Well, I’m the person whose spine is partially made up of rods and screws. I’m the person who shouldn’t be able to do much, but I refuse to cave to the fact that I am not the same as I was years ago. My body may be broken, but my spirit burns bright. For my character, London, in Saving London, the same holds true. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was handed a death sentence and expected to go home and wait for the end to find her. But London is a lot like myself. She refuses to rot away and compares herself to a banana. Sitting on a counter and rotting away like a banana won’t do. Embarking on an adventure for her last year is the only way she wants to live for the rest of her time. Would you do that? Would you sell off your worldly possessions to fund the adventures on your bucket list? Me? I most likely would. Like I said before, London and I have a lot in common. We also share some of the items on our lists. Funny how that happened. She was supposed to have her own list, but when you write a character, sometimes they turn out more like you than you expected. And I know the question burning in your mind right now, I can practically see it spinning so fast that smoke is barreling out of your ears. You can slow down that thought process because I’m going to put you out of your misery. Yes, I will tell you what my bucket list consists of. Not the entire thing, but some of the items.
The first thing on my list is to fly a plane. London and I have this one in common. Now, I’m not looking to get behind the wheel of an American Airlines Jet, we have enough issues with crazy pilots as it is. For me, a crop duster plane will do. I don’t want to do the whole takeoff and landing part either. I’d just like to hold the controls for a bit while I’m in the air. I want to feel like it’s me keeping the bird in the air. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Secondly I wanted to visit what I consider one of the most beautiful places on this earth. A place where I could stand and just take in the environment around me and appreciate it for what it was. I was able to actually check this item off my list in 2010. My family and I visited a tiny island off the coast of Belize called Goff’s Cay. Now, mind you, this miniature island was literally no bigger than a football field. White sand beaches, crystal blue waters and breathtaking scenery below the water. The amount of life bustling beneath the surface was a sight to behold. I can still remember standing on the edge of the sand, letting the clear water lap over my toes, thinking “this is it, this is my most beautiful place on this earth.” When the realization hit me, it was difficult to hold my tears at bay. Checking this item off my list was a spiritual experience that I shall not soon forget.
Number three on my bucket list could be comical to some and confusing to others. Here goes…I wanted to make and decorate a three tiered cake. Yes, you heard me right, a cake. I still giggle when I think about it. I’m still not sure why I threw that on my list but there it was. Did I get to do it? Yes I did. It took hours of my time but by the end, I had a slightly lop-sided three tiered cake. But to me, it was beautiful. And hey, topsy-turvy cakes seem to be in style lately. Since I completed it several years ago, I consider myself a trendsetter.
London and I also have “climb a mountain” in common on our bucket lists. In Saving London, she gets to complete this one. And I’ve been able to do so as well. Traveling to Colorado I took on a chunk of rock that was a little over 12,000 feet above sea level. Talk about tiring. But I made it to the peak. I stood there looking down at the tiny town below me thinking “I feel so big, but yet so small.” It was an eye opening experience. You stand at the bottom thinking there’s no way you’ll make it to the top but when you get there, you let out a sigh of relief. I learned a valuable lesson when I climbed. It’s not about the view from the top. It’s the view from the bottom because from the bottom, there’s only one way to go. Up. I took a lot away from that experience that I hold with me to this day. And yes, when I found myself on the top of my mountain, I cried tears of joy. How could you not?
I think I’ll round this out by telling you just one more thing on my bucket list. I don’t want to share the entire thing that somehow doesn’t seem right. But the 5th item is to dance with my son at his wedding. He’s only 10 right now, and I truly hope I get to have him lead me around the dance floor on his big day. But as with everything, we will never know what the future holds.
Life doesn’t offer guarantees. Its rules aren’t written in black and white somewhere for us to find. I believe that we must live each day as if we may not wake tomorrow. Smile plenty, love with all your heart and take stock in the little things that life has to offer. Someday you’ll look back and realize those small things were actually the big things.
Peace, Love and Pages
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