Today another item I never wanted to have on my bucket list will be quickly added and crossed off.
A needle will be inserted into my chest to withdraw fluid from a mass of unknown origin. I am hoping it is merely an infection. I am hoping it is not Valley fever. I am hoping it can be excised without much trouble. I am hoping.
What happens to items on our bucket list when the unexpected occurrences we never wanted to happen, happen:
I have not been writing much because having something frightening like this tends to silence my words. Even when I have a lot of stories to tell, the fear hovers. It gets stronger the longer I sit and stew even as I want to talk about it and process it with others.
I have wanted to toss it into conversations about completely unrelated topics even when it makes no sense at all.
A spirited discussion of a well written book is overcome by an avalanche of thought in my head that sounds like this: “what if this thing in my chest is cancer? What if this thing in my chest is a danger to my future? What if this thing in my chest is another chapter in my ‘so close but not quite’ which could very well be the title of the movie of my life.“
I miss the discussion that is actually happen and get caught up in my tangled thoughts.
The anti-bucket list item turns into a quickly turning road going nowhere particularly constructive.
I think of making a rag doll to sleep with, a toddler sized one with brown braided hair and blue eyes, a mini-me who might have matching heart scars to mine. Maybe we will both wind up with non-heart-shaped scars over our collective heart space. Maybe that would be cute and sweet and comforting.
This may be absolutely true and how constructive is this path? Creative output does heal – and is this something I really WANT to do with my time right now or is the idea comfort enough?
Maybe this twist in the bucket-list road would be better?
Last night I found myself lying in my bed in a cocoon of pillows like when I was in the hospital, valley fever no one knew I had, sepsis, organ failure, near death. Last night as I settled in the pillows helped it feel so much better than anything else has felt in a long time. It was cloud-like yet solid, so supported I wished I had someone there to read to me. A soothing voice to read from the novel I am reading or to read pages from the book of Julian of Norwich or perhaps even read about how to create supportive loving habits.
For now I don’t have anyone to do that but I do have the pillows. I can recreate soft holding support. Yes! Something I can actually do easily.
The end of the road leads to Ralph Waldo Emerson?
I am reminded of the message I meant to send today, the one inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Today, even after all I have spoken I can still say I am waking up to the thoughts of Ralph Waldo Emerson, he who wrote “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
You might be saying “This does not jive with what you wrote above this fold – you just said you aren’t familiar with the ‘not tragic’ and ‘I never wanted’ and ‘frightening’ how does this add up to “the best day in the year”?
Quite simple, actually.
I am alive. My heart is still beating. I am able to create as I want to create. I have clean water to drink. I have a future in the works. I smelled almond orchards in bloom last night. I walked this morning. I am writing now. I am able to say what I most want to say.
I am awake on this, the best day of my year so far. And tomorrow, I will live the best day of my year so far because I am choosing for that to be how and what it is.
What if every day was a bucket list celebration?
In the meantime, I will be thinking of some other word for “bucket list” because that is focused on death – kicking the bucket – and after two cancers, a couple valley fever episodes, sepsis, kidney failure – I am all about the living and loving and being with whatever is and choosing the best even when it looks like it completely sucks.
It isn’t about the lessons I am learning, it is about the breath I am breathing and the love I am knowing more deeply every single day.
Julie Jordan Scott is the Creator of the Radical Joy of Daily Consistency Course which helps people practice consistency and completion daily in order to experience a more incredible life experience. She also founded the free, private facebook community for writers and creative people at all levels of experience: the Word Love Writing Community. Join us!