I don’t have a bucket list – those lists that some people create of things they must do before they die such as ‘jump out of a plane’ or ‘insert something edible into a body cavity’ (*tick*). Instead, I have a deadline list which lists certain milestones that I should reach before it’s too late. And sometimes, my idea of too late is not a physical limitation, but a perceived idea that some things are just not appropriate past a certain age e.g. leopard print boob tubes past the age of 22 (*unfortunately tick*)
Although, thinking about it, what I actually have is bucket list – with deadlines. I’m not one for the idea of doing the things on my list ‘one day’, I’m interested in doing things while I can and I’m fast approaching that age where the press of those deadlines is palpable.
My done list includes things like:
- Live in a foreign country
- Get married
- Get divorced (wasn’t on my to do list, but ended up on my done list anyway)
- Learn a language
My to do list includes banal things like:
- Live in a hip, inner city apartment
- Have sex with a random person I just met
- Give someone a tip and don’t feel ridiculously self-conscious about it
- Go to the doctor and actually get all of the things that are wrong with me checked out to the nth degree so I can stop worrying about those niggling feelings…it’s not a tumor! (or it might be…)
- Do stuff that not everyone does (half-marathon anyone?)
But my to do list also includes some scary things like:
- Have a child (if I ever decide I want one)
- Live in a place I want to be
- Be happy
And these scary things are either things I don’t know how to achieve or things that I don’t want now, but I may want in the future and if I’m going to want them in the future, I’d better fucking hurry up and make that decision before it’s too late.
My problem is that I’m a hedger. I like to always minimise risk and disappointment so I tend to separate my eggs into a variety of baskets and keep my options open. My choices in subjects at high school were a good example of my hedging. I chose my subjects not according to what I wanted to study or what I was particularly good at, instead I chose what would give me the most options later on if I decided to go to university. Hello chemistry and physics!!
Or maybe my problem is that I’m really fucking indecisive and therefore I have to leave my options open so that when I do some to some sort of a decision, I have some choices.
I’m currently thinking about whether I want to stay in my present job and stay in Perth. While a job that is enjoyable and meaningful is on my deadline list, I also realise that I’m starting to get to that age where I can’t change my job willy nilly so if I’m going to change, I need to do it NOW. Ditto for leaving Perth. While there are plenty of worse places to live, I also think that I’ve done more than my fair stretch of time in Perth, but if I’m going to move, I need to do it NOW. The longer I stay, the deeper the hole I am digging for myself.
I keep feeling a sense of pressure by these deadlines that I’m making for myself, even though there isn’t really any need for urgency. What is it that I’m trying to escape from?
Or what is it I’m looking for?