Bucket List Fail

Courtesy of www.buzzfeed.com

The kids are back at school. This marks the end of my hiatus from the working world. My first extensive break since I was fifteen, (unless you count maternity leave, in which case…OH MY GOD, don’t get me started…).

When this summer began I was all determined to put my dreams on turbo-charge and get my life working like a well oiled machine by Labour Day.

It’s cute how I start out all optimistic.

I’m a bit of a list maker. Every night before bed I write down all the things I want to get done.  It makes me feel like I have a plan. By mid afternoon I’ve added so much all I can do is look at it and eat chips. Repeat cycle.

You would think having this knowledge of myself would stop me from creating projects like a Summer Bucket List. I know you’re laughing, but I did it anyway.

Bucket List – Summer Edition

1. Get Published – Didn’t happen, but my nasty letter to the editor almost made it into the local paper, but they went with some “feel good” story instead. Cowards.

2. Write Another Book– In February I had an idea for a plot. So I went to Staples(because every successful project starts with shopping) where I indulged in my obsession with school supplies. I laid out the story line. It looked fantastic. All bright and everything. Very motivating. This is what it looks like now. I haven’t written a single sentence.

See the pink board? That’s it. Behind it is my Vision Board.

3. Brachioplasty – What you say? It’s plastic surgery for the back of the arms. My Nana had big saggy triceps…so naturally I inherited them. No amount of triceps’ kickbacks help. But the truth is, I’m a coward and cheap and neither of these things are qualities to have if you want plastic surgery.

4. Organize and De-clutter The Entire House – HAHAHAHAHA. Not one drawer.

5. Lose Twenty Pounds – In a fit of defiance I threw my scale and shattered it on the garage floor.

What was I thinking? Clearly my expectations are too high. And holy shit, I was home with children not at a secluded country club with maid service. As far as I’m concerned the bucket, can fuck it. In fairness though I thought this list was tame considering my five year plan:

  1. Cottage – I have no money
  2. Italy – I have no money
  3. Mercedes – I have no money
  4. Brachioplasty – See?
  5. Horse – What the hell? Really?

Someone (okay, my therapist) suggested taking baby steps towards the bigger goals. In fairness to him, he hasn’t known me long. I’ve never taken a baby step in my life. I prefer instant gratification. But I decided to give it a try. So considering how I like to overshoot the mark, I created a less intimidating list of goals just for this week. It may not help me in reaching my five year plan (wish is under evaluation) but I have to start somewhere and it has to be doable. So, without further ado:

Doable Things I Didn’t Get Done Over the Summer List

1. Eyebrow Shaping – I have good intentions to keep up with them, but before I know it there are two dead caterpillars on my forehead and from then on whenever anyone looks at me, all I can hear is, “They’re totally looking at your hideous eyebrows and will unfriend you on Facebook.”

2. Eat Breakfast Alone – All summer no matter how many times I asked the kids if they wanted anything, as soon as I sat down with food someone would be there to announce they were starving.

3. Watch Adult Television – I’m tired of Zeke & Luther and having to censor my shows because the kids are still up. Is it too much to ask to watch a heroin addict shoot up in peace?

4. Publish a Blog – Done! Here it is. I didn’t say it had to be a good one.

5. Look for a Job – It’s time. I’m not exactly making millions off this blog. I know, it’s shocking. I’m just not good at time management. I need a pay cheque and a boss breathing down my neck to motivate me. I have good intentions at the start of the day, you know, with the list and all and then before I know it, “Hey, Judge Judy’s on…”

So that’s my scaled back fuck-it list. Hopefully by next week I’ll be a bit more willing to put forth more effort, but for now this is all I can manage. Plus, I started this blog last week so…


Okay, so this is my first post. So exciting and so appropriately named. It has taken me forever to write this because every time I sit down to do it, my mind goes blank and I have nothing to say. Nothing! Can you believe it? It’s so unlike me. I’m fully aware if I want to be a writer, I
must write, but things just keep coming up that have to get done or so I like to tell myself. My procrastination is much like an addiction really, I get angry, ashamed and swear never to do it again and the next thing I know, I’m cleaning toilets because evidently I would rather scrub fecal matter then throw a few sentences together. I’ve also made going to the gym everyday a priority,
clearly choosing physical pain over my fear of failure. That ladies and gentlemen is the ultimate procrastination and I am a master.

Well, no more! Because a few days ago I decided enough was enough so I packed up my writing stuff, blanket and snack and headed to the pier on the lake.  It was a beautiful day. Sunshine was what I needed.  A little Zen in my life, to quiet my mind and let the creative juices flow.

On my ride over, I felt the sun baking into my skin, my sprits lifting, envisioning how peaceful it would be; no distractions, no heaps of scattered laundry screaming at me from my bedroom floor. The quiet, the water, the sun, breeze and people gathered peacefully eating their lunches…everyone needs this once in a while. I deserved it.

I got a great parking spot and headed down to the water. I immediately felt something wasn’t right, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  My favourite spot with the clear view of Toronto was empty and as I arranged my blanket I realized it was louder than
usually, like a lot louder.  I looked out to the water at the glorious sail boats gliding along the pier heading out onto the lake and then dipping out of sight behind the cranes.

Wait…cranes?  Yup, cranes. Two massive ugly cranes.

They were digging rocks out of the water and let me tell you, steel against rock does not a peaceful soundtrack make.

But, I soldiered on, sat on my blanket and arranged my things all around me thinking I could get past the noise. A writer has to get used to some distractions, right?  I
checked my Blackberry, Facebook, Twitter, SMS…you get the picture. Eventually
so did I. I put the phone away, took a drink of water, contemplated my apple, then
finally took a deep breath and mentally kicked myself in the ass.

I begin to write, well, doodle really, until a high pitched, shrill scream surpassed the already deafening screeching of the heavy equipment. At first I thought someone was in
trouble, so I turned along with everyone else in the park in the sounds general
direction and immediately understood it wasn’t a scream, but a squeal of
delight coming from a grown woman who undeterred by the attention, continued to
shriek and giggle.

I mean who actually sounds like that? It’s not normal.

Not only was she loud and distracting but she was carrying on with this nonsense while perched on top of a balding, middle aged man’s lap. (I don’t know why I needed to tell you he was bald. I guess it gives a better visual. You really need to understand I’m very uncomfortable with public displays of affection in any way shape or form and when the people involved aren’t exactly stunners, you’ve got to admit it just somehow makes the whole thing a bit worse to watch..just sayin’).

You know what else would have been a little less offensive? If she wasn’t totally straddling the guy. I can understand a little lap sitting on a nice day at the park (not really) but she was facing him head on, her stilettos stuck through the slots of the bench
and she was basically dry humping her partner in crime.  And believe me it was a crime. Her face was an inch from his; her lips were on him like a fat kid on a smartie.  It was a whole lot of gross.

I tried to concentrate on what I went there to do and ignore the soft porn with the not so attractive/young people before me. I turned in another direction, but there were distractions everywhere, like a woman who was on the phone the entire time filling everyone in on what a stressful day she had with her nanny…Really lady? Really?

Thirty minutes later I still hadn’t written a thing. But I ask you, who could with all this business going on? And besides I was starting to get concerned for the man. I mean she was no lightweight (not that there is anything wrong with that, just a fact) and he was well past middle age for God sake! She could have cut off his circulation.

Finally, out of the corner of my eye, I see them make a move to get up. Now I’m caught in a dilemma, because something inside me wants to see how she intends on gracefully unravelling her legs and her shoes from out of the bench and from around the waist
of this man. I mean, because of them I had accomplished zero on this little
trip, so one good public fall could, in fact, make my day at this point.  I felt I deserved some sort of redemption.  On the other hand, it occurred to me this woman had been caressing this man for a good long while, which meant he could really be packing some heat when he stood up and that was something I definitely did not want to see. So I looked away. Damn. When they left, I swear I heard a collective sigh over the park, even the lady with the nanny problems put her phone away.

Knowing I was now past the point of no return creatively, I pulled out a magazine and read until the sun’s glare hit me in the corner of the eye and I looked up and followed it to an Oldsmobile coming toward me. The elderly driver and his (who I assumed to be) wife were casually taking a nice drive, clearly enjoying the day, which would have been really sweet except they were driving down a bike path. No shit. Everyone watched them two slowly approaching us as they gazed out to the water, while bikes, strollers and dogs had to move out of their way. It was hilarious! They were oblivious. It was so bizarre, but so cute that no one said anything to them and eventually when he came to a dead end, he just calmly turned the car around and drove back to the road.

So, clearly my day at the lake was done. I mean what could top it? I got nothing down on paper, but I had a whole lot of things in my head. Sometimes things just write themselves. As I walked back to the car I saw this old Asian woman doing Thai Chi and I stopped to watch her. At that moment I realized, despite the distractions I now felt pretty relaxed.  I was reassured that maybe things would come together. Let the writing write itself. It could be the start of a new beginning, the first day of the rest of my life and all of that.

With my car windshield in clear view, I was also reminded of the irony that is my life and why I will never run out of things to talk about. Because that day I witnessed in public (and in broad daylight, I might add) the possible molestation of a grown man and a significant driving infraction down a bike path, but  I’m the one out of all those people at the park that day who ended up with a parking ticket.