Get Born. Survive school. Get a Degree. Travel. Get a job. Get Married. Have two point four children. Buy a dog. Get a promotion. Get another promotion. And another. Move to the country. Buy a holiday house in the sun. Buy a fast car. Visit India. Visit New Zealand. Climb Kilimanjaro. Climb Everest. Do the Inca trail. Retire. Play golf. Don't die too young. Don't die alone. Don't get eaten by Alsatians.
Most of our 'bucket lists' sound like the lyrics of a Radiohead song. You could write it all down and see your entire life described on a single sheet of paper. Of course, most of us don't write down our bucket list, yet we can't help but refer to it when we have done something a little out of the ordinary. When we bag ourselves a new job or visit a country that we have always wanted to visit, 'another thing off the bucket list'. As well as something we refer to ourselves, with the era of social media around us, it is something that we are also bombarded with via pretty photos and funny blogs; places we simply must go, things we simply must own. Our lives will apparently not be complete if we haven't camped on the side of a cliff face and watched the sunrise.
I would like to be the first to say, usually, I like being bombarded with these images, one day I would love to visit every single one of the epic landscapes, and when things are all good it is a lovely dream to have. However, when things are not so good, it’s amazing how fast these images can wear you down. This week has been a hard week, a lot of little things building up and tuning into a great cloud over my positivity. I have taken to avoiding my news feeds because it seems everyone else out there is having an amazing time, when we are, simply put, not. The constant reminder that we should be doing things makes our own life appear incomplete, not satisfying enough, a little bit rubbish.
Perhaps it is time we enthused the lives we do lead. Sure, living in a beach hut in the Caribbean would be good, but there are a lot worse places to live than the UK. Yeah, the job you have may be a little dull perhaps, but it does pay to keep the children warm and fed. When I was younger I had very distinct dreams of my future. I wanted to be a well-loved writer, I wanted children, I dreamed of a sandy haired green-eyed boy... I am constantly reminded that because I haven't jacked my job in, converted a bus, and travelled the world then I cannot possibly be fulfilled, but you know what, I am. I met a stranger yesterday who asked what I do for a job. I was able to reply, honestly, that I am a writer. Once the conversation was over and they departed I stood alone for a moment and felt a sense of warmth. I AM a writer. I have not, yet, written anything life changing. I am not world famous, but I make my living from writing. I had the children I so desperately wanted, I married the man I had always imagined. I am living a version of my twelve-year-old daydreams.
This coming week, I know, will be another slightly trying one, but when I do feel my negativity rising, as I suspect it may do, I will be reminding myself of everything that is good in my life, not of all the things I want to have, or SHOULD have at my age, or could be doing. There are a million and one things I would love to do within my life time, and I hope I will have the chance to do lots of them, but even if I don't, my life is good, and I am happy.