Things Hoped For

There are a lot of things I hope for.

Things I want to own. Some sensible, some not so much. Some purely vain and materialistic, but I still hope to have them. I’m not typically a vain or materialistic person. I quite sensible in most things, which is why when I ask for something off the charts for Mother’s Day, it’s met with, “You want WHAT?” I don’t believe that gifts should always have a sensible purpose. I don’t want a blender for Mother’s Day just because our household needs a blender. You can buy a blender on Tuesday. I want XYZ instead. I got XYZ. I love it. I’m happy with it. I am not now, nor will I ever be ashamed of it. I’ve wanted it since I was 16, and I finally got it. Achievement unlocked.

There are places I hope to see. Places I hope to see for the first time, and places I hope to see again. Places I didn’t truly appreciate the first time. Places my dad always wanted to take me, and never got the chance. I don’t know if it would be important to anyone else for me to see those places, but I like to think that if he somehow were able to follow me, to know what’s going on in my life, that he’d appreciate me seeing them. It doesn’t really matter to me if anyone else understands. I do.

There are people I’d like to meet. People I know and love and would very much like to see again. Even if only for an hour or two. Even if only to see from afar. There are people I’d like to spend hours with picking their brains, and learning from them. People that used to live here and have moved. Maybe I was the one who moved. Either way, we’re apart, and I’d like us not to be. There are people that live near me now, and I don’t make the effort. Why? Will I regret it when they’re gone? Probably. There are people for whom I would drive a thousand miles just to say HI…

As of yesterday, I have completed the first part of my (somewhat over-thought) Bucket List. I say first part, because I have it all written down now. The second part is to create a chart listing places to go (Country, City, Landmark, etc.). For example: I don’t want to get to California and miss seeing the sunrise over the ocean, miss taking a whale-watching tour, or miss In-n-Out Burger (that is an extremely unlikely thing, but I do forget things). So I will have it listed out according to large place, smaller place, main thing to do there. Kind of like my own (OK, I admit, supremely over-thought) filing system. I haven’t quite worked out all the details, that’s why I’m still on the first part.

I hate that title, “Bucket List”, but I’ve been unable to come up with a better title that doesn’t include the word “DIE” in it, and Google was no help, unless I want to call it “Beverly’s Bucket List”. (I think Google missed what I was going for)

So far there are approximately 550 entries.

That is a lot of things to want to do/see/experience/eat/drink/whatever.

There are a few I have already completed. They’ve been on the mental list for quite a long time (like my Mother’s Day present) and I felt it was right to include them. And then to check them off. I put the date, any people I did it with, and where I was, if the item is not a location. For example: Ride an elephant. Summer 1988. San Diego Zoo. With Suzy G. (See also: Ride a camel)

I’ve been gathering ideas for quite a while now. Making a mental note, or jotting something down. I was able to throw away quite a lot of little pieces of paper.

What I’m trying to get at is this:

I have dreams. I have goals. I have a lot to accomplish. So much, that I may need to ask for more time on the earth to get it all done. Some are very costly. Most are almost or totally free. They just involve being in the right place at the right time. For many there are several things I can do once I get to a general location. Several birds, one stone.

I saw something this morning that read, “97% of what you worry about never happens”.

That’s good news for the times when I hear creaks in the night, or hear a door close when I’m home alone and in the shower. What about the times when my kids are out and it’s getting dark, or I’m watching my son at a track meet and some strange, creepy guy walks up to my daughter while she’s closer to the fence than I am so she can see her brother run? (I got to her very quickly, and the guy literally ran away-after I got up in his face and snapped a picture of him, just in case.) If I could worry less about that stuff, it would be great. I won’t, of course…

Then I thought, “What about the stuff I hope for? How much of that is never going to happen? What about all the dreams and goals and wishes and hopes I have?”

97% of anything is a lot. Almost all.

If this is the case for my Bucket List, then that means that 533.5 of those things will never be done. Goals I will never accomplish. Feats never attained.

It means there are only about 17 things that I will actually accomplish.

If I were to narrow that list down to 17 things, what would they be?

What are the most important things on my list? Should thoseĀ things be the most important? Why or why not?

How do I narrow it down?

I won’t, of course, it just made me think.

I just counted the things I’ve done. I have already completed 36 of the things on my list.

Maybe I’m ahead of the game.

Maybe I’m not going to do anything else.

Maybe hopes and fears are very different, and I’m foolish to even correlate the two.

Hopefully I’m just getting started.

The Mom and The Girl go to The Zoo

I surprised my daughter, Ainsley, with a trip to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium on Tuesday, 3 July, 2012. She has always loved the zoo. She wants to work at one some day, so I try to keep her exposed to them as much as I can.

I love aquariums, so this zoo is the perfect place for both of us to go. I love all things water-related, so any excuse to see water, or be near it, will do. Getting to spend the whole day with my girl: icing on the cake!

Here are some photos from our adventure.

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It was a hot day! About 106 with the heat index. We made sure to spray each other with sunscreen (although you can see my sunburn…she missed my shoulders), and drink a lot of water. We tried to stay out of the sun as much as we could. Thankfully there are a lot of trees all around this zoo, and we took advantage of that. We didn’t go to the very far end of the zoo, as there were less trees there, and by the time we got there, it was the middle of the day. We did take the train all over the zoo, so we still got to see that part of the zoo, just (thankfully) from the shade of the train.

Speaking of the train, I would highly recommend getting the all-day ride pass. It’s a bit pricey, but you can ride any ride you want, as many times as you want, and at $4.00 round trip for the Skyfari, Train, and Tram, it paid for itself.

All in all we spent almost seven hours at the zoo. It was a great day. We got along splendidly, and even got an IMAX movie in during the 2 o’clock hour. (I was wiped out by then and needed a cool place to sit for a while.)

After we left the zoo, she wanted to see where she was born. We’ve lived in Boone for 9.5 years, and it’s the only place she remembers. I took her on a tour of Griswold, Atlantic, and Anita, Iowa, so she could see some of the places we’ve lived over the years. The pictures of the rolling hills are from that area. I’d forgotten how much I love driving that part of the state. It’s so beautiful with the farms, and the rolling hills and valleys. sigh.

The picture of the building is the hospital where she was born.

And I learned when we stopped for supper, that she likes to eat her chocolate chocolate-chip muffin with a fork.

I want to make memories with her. I want her to be able to hold onto these memories. Good memories, with her mom.