"The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats."
- James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times

Monday, November 10, 2014

How real is your bucket?

A friend of mine was talking about her version of a bucket list. She keeps a list of what she would do if she won the lottery. It's not really a bucket. More like that imaginary box that mimes get stuck in. What struck me was that she is doing some of these things now (no, she hasn't won the lottery). Painting the house, replacing flooring, furniture, etc.

"All these things were on my list," she said. "But I'm not excited about them."

She chalked it up to a general feeling of blah.

I enjoy nice things, don't misunderstand. I'd love to get new flooring and new furniture in my house. But I know it won't make me any happier than I already am. It's not about the stuff anymore. I could live in a trailer park. It'd be okay.

My bucket list is about experiences. I'd like to attend the Oscars. I'd like to visit Wales, maybe Scandinavia.

My imaginary box is fuller, but not of goods, or even experiences. In my imaginary box, I want to be more than I am now. I want to shed my skin and fly, not just through the air, but through the dimensions. I want to know what isn't knowable.

I want my tombstone to say, "She was the muchiest person who ever lived." Okay, either that or, "She was really, really old."

What's in your imaginary box?

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