This Time Last Year
Several hours into my 6am shift, I was now 10 tons into my daily grind – lifting and stacking giant 25kg sacks of corn flower. As each sack slammed down into position, a little corn flower would explode into the shipping container air, slowly settling and mixing with the sweat on my face, clothes and skin.
At break, I glanced in the mirror.
“I’m hungry’’ I decided, though I couldn’t tell whether it was the morning’s exertion, or because my face looked like a tortilla.
At that moment, I truly accepted that whatever I ended up doing with my life, I sure as hell wasn’t going to be able to predict it – let alone control it.
“Life is just one damned thing after another’’
I have always been guilty of taking myself too seriously; and the truth is that it many ways it has held me back through most of my life.
As a young boy, I fostered a dream of becoming a lawyer. Come on! What sort of kid WANTS to be a lawyer? Be a bloody astronaut or fireman or something.
I never had what it took to be a lawyer, I couldn’t even read. I mean, yes – I could read the words, but the part of my brain that was supposed to store those words somewhere useful would be replaced with another part that started dreaming about scoring goals in cup finals.
I would never forget that an elephant is the only animal to have four knees, but the rest of my learning was as memorable as a 2am conversation in a crowded bar.
I had a tendency to drift off into a world that I could create for myself. A world that, in my opinion, was just loads better.
Still to this day, it requires a strenuous level of concentration for me to read a page from a book – ironic, considering writing books is something I now dream of doing.
Bucket Lists and Rude Sounding Alternatives.
For those of you who don’t already know, a bucket list is basically a list of things you want to do before you ‘kick the bucket’ – aka stop ticking things off the list.
But how exactly is that supposed to work? Are you supposed to die literally finishing the last item, or do you continually add items to the list and eventually die with the list unfulfilled? Either way, presumably you should put the safer stuff at the end right? Hang on…. That just makes it more likely you’ll tick off nothing.
I prefer a bizarre opposite approach – (feel free to suggest a name for it) – which is basically a list of ‘all the cool stuff you have done and enjoyed’.
It takes away planning, and means you can try loads of new things and keep adding your achievements and the things you enjoyed the most.
That list will help shape your future as much as any other list could. You can start saying yes to more things that complement those things already on your list.
Do you really want to start learning Spanish Guitar at the age of 47? No, of course you don’t. Let’s face it, you want to PLAY Spanish Guitar, but you don’t want to LEARN Spanish Guitar.
On my rude sounding alternative list is now ‘build an escape room’. It would NEVER have been on my bucket list.
That list says I will be a lawyer.