I have had mixed emotions about turning the big five-oh. Part of me is eternally grateful that I have escaped any tragedy that would foreshadow my own early demise or that of any of my loved ones. Thankyous all round to the Universe at Large for that one. The other part of me says...sheesh, my mother, maternal aunt and maternal grandmother only got another ten years thanks to the Cancer Fairy, so if I'm going to accomplish my life's work, I'd better get a wriggle on!
Now that might sound simple enough. Go. Write that book. Travel the world. Take up an extreme sport. Only problem being that I still have a young daughter, AND a disabled 19year old son. Both something of a hindrance to any or all of the above life fulfilling ideas. Not that I regret their presence in my life. On the contrary, I am forever enriched for having my son, who shows me every day that being unable to blow your own nose, scratch your own scrotum, or get up and wander around aimlessly when bored is no obstacle to LIVING. As for my little Princess, well, what a blessing she is. Anyone who has raised boys all their life, to be finally blessed with a daughter will know what I mean. It's one of those 'you don't know what you're missing until it's here' things. A bit like a real French Croissant dipped into real Hot Chocolate. You don't know how different it is until you experience it...and then nothing is ever the same. Again, thanks be to the Universe at Large.
Oh, and did I mention that I have other children? Several grown sons who have wives, and some, children of their own. If anyone ever tries to tell you that adult children grow out of needing their Mums, they are lying through their teeth. They all need their fix of 'mum'.
Anyhoo. Reluctant as I am to call it so, here is my Bucket List. That seems to be the current 'trendy' term for things one wants to accomplish before heading off in a psychedelic cardboard box to the ever after.
1. Be nice to me. Man, that's hard for Mothers, isn't it?
2. Finish my current rambling book, and move on to the next one. It's a cookbook with a difference. Although I've discovered recently not that different all of a sudden. What is it that they say that as soon as you have an idea, 50,000 other folk in the world will have the same idea? Anyway, it's a memoir with recipes and references to music and pop culture. Sounds dull, but even my family think it's a good read...and they're tough critics. The second one will be a witty tome on living with a child with a disability. There's all too much doom and gloom reading out there, and quite frankly I'm tired of it. Living with a person who is of lesser ability can be downright hilarious at times. More on that later.
3. Live in France for six months. Have a sinking feeling that I couldn't stand to be away from my loved ones for that length of time, so maybe a month will have to do....six times.
4. Visit the 'other' great cities of the world. For me, that's Tokyo, Rome, Vancouver, New York, and Vienna. There's probably several hundred others, but that's a start. And if that's as far as I get in my life, I'll go happily to my grave.
That's it really. I had a discussion with my Gyno after my Mum passed as it's quite likely we girls in the family all have this gene. He made a very good point. He said "Just do all the things you want to do in your life, and then, no matter what happens, you can be at peace." What a wise man.
Wish me luck!