Tuesday, 16 June 2015

132. A different kind of bucket list

I only follow one other blog. It's by Kate Granger, a young doctor who is now in the late stages of terminal cancer.

Kate has only written two blog posts since I signed up, but they are poignant. In fact the one from two weeks ago has stayed with me every day since I read it, and it has lifted my spirits, so let me share it in full.

The things I love about life…
This is my list. What would you put on yours?
My family & friends
Being a doctor 
Lazy Sunday mornings with no alarm clocks
Cuddles with my nephews & niece
My flute
Cherry blossom
British asparagus
Podding peas in my parents’ garden
Strawberries and cream
Crunching autumn leaves
Band practice
Exploring new places
Going out for dinner
Sunday roasts
Willow trees
Clean bed linen
Spa days
My kitchen
Afternoon tea

It's the clean bed linen that has me gasping.
This is a different kind of bucket list. It's not Things I've never done and I want to do them before I die, but Things I love about my life, and I want to appreciate them again and again before I die.

Savouring the little things in life, the things that make life beautiful.

It's not the big aspirations, the bungee jumps, the travels around the world (unless you're into that kind of thing of course), but the things that we may take for granted. The things we would miss most and the things we might not even realise we enjoy.

That is exactly what I would want to focus on if I only had a little time left. It's what I wanted to focus on when I was ill. It's what I am hugely appreciative and grateful for now. The Moonwalk or the trip to Iceland may well be on my list (as "Exploring new places" is for Kate) but they are outnumbered by the ordinary day-to-day things.

Clean bed linen, definitely. Not forgetting the electric blanket. (I know, I know, it's June, but aahhhh, the bliss of sinking tired bones into the warmth of said blanket.)

The feeling of water on my skin.

Playing a board game with my daughter.

But why wait until there's only a little time left?

When you are ill and tired, your list shrinks, but there is always something on it. I couldn't play a board game when I was coping with chemotherapy, but I still loved the electric blanket. And the daughter herself, without the board game.

Reading Kate's list reminded me to enjoy and appreciate these little things. The wind on my face. My husband opening a bottle of wine when it isn't even a Friday night, and getting two glasses out of the cupboard. Singing in the choir. Tulips. A tidy kitchen.

(Children, if you happen to read this: A Tidy Kitchen is on my list, one with a sock free floor and the margarine in the fridge, not next to it. Believe me: happiness will follow.)

So... what's on your list?

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