I Wish I May, I Wish I Might….

I’ve never been one for making New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t take any particular issue with those who do, it’s just not for me.  In fact, at the end of an old year, I tend to find myself thinking back on all the things I had planned to do / accomplish and didn’t by year’s end.

It’s an incredibly cynical perspective….come to think about it….and pretty much anti-New Year.  Perhaps it should be my New Year’s resolution to stop doing that.

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In my defense, in recent years I’ve felt the pressures of time ticking far more loudly in my head than ever before and I’m pretty sure I have cancer to thank for that.  It’s not unusual for me to chastise myself a bit over missed opportunities or too many days not lived to their fullest.

This New Year holiday, my gramma has joined my family and I at our lake house in Maine for an extended visit and we’ve all enjoyed our time together.  We’ve relaxed, reminisced, done a bit of shopping at the quirky antique shops in the small towns throughout our area, read, played games and randomly….we’ve been re-watching old seasons of Survivor.

The other night, we were binge watching episodes from Season 2, Australia.   In one of the episodes, contestants Colby and Jerry, win a reward challenge that includes a day trip to see the Great Barrier Reef.  As the camera panned across the landscape, my gramma somewhat sighed and said, “I wish I’d been able to see that.” 

It’s not the first time someone I know has made a similar comment….I’ve  lamented on past regrets myself….but there was something about hearing my gramma say it that hit me in a very profound way.

It was if she had concluded there wasn’t the time remaining in her life to make the trip a reality….and it’s probably likely she’s right.

When I look at my gramma, I see an incredibly strong woman who survived some incredibly difficult times….none of which are my story to tell….yet despite those moments, she’s always had a spark of spunk about her and she loves living her life and staying active.

I call her a gypsy, because she’s never been afraid to pick-up and move to a new place, to hop in her car for an extended road trip all by herself, or to seek out new friends.  A few years ago, I attended a surprise birthday party for her and I was surprised to see the huge group of friends she’d made in the few years she’d lived with my aunt and her family in New York.

I’m sure she has regrets and a bucket list with things left unchecked, but I also know she’s lived a full and joyful and spiritual life too.

Still, her words resonated with me.  I’m not naive enough to believe I’ll accomplish a life totally devoid of regrets, but when the time comes, I want to know I lived it as fully as I could.

So this year, instead of making a  resolution, I’ve decided to compile a 2016 To-Do list of all the things I’ve said in recent years that I would like to do, but didn’t, along with some things I have done, but would like to continue to do.

Some of the items will be easy, some will be a challenge and some probably won’t happen and that’s OK.  They’ll move to a list for 2017, or possibly beyond, but I’ll make as many happen as I can.

So, here it is:

  1. Take my son on his first overnight backpacking trip.
  2. Visit the summit of Mount Washington.
  3. “Dump the Frump” with visible results by year’s end.
  4. Visit my home state this year.
  5. Write at least one blog post a month.
  6. Complete another section of the Appalachian Trail.  Even if it means going solo.
  7. Spend a long weekend with my family in Acadia National Park.
  8. Snowshoe
  9. Take a ride with my son on the Conway Scenic Railroad.
  10. Refinish the kitchen table and chairs at our lake house.
  11. Read five books.
  12. Disconnect from my cell phone completely when home with my family.
  13. Take my son to Santa’s Village next winter.
  14. Make a new friend.
  15. Volunteer.
  16. Plant an herb garden.
  17. Visit my grandmother and spend some time learning as much as I can about her life.
  18. Go horseback riding.
  19. Clean-out / redesign our home office.
  20. Meditate at least once a week.
  21. Take my son apple picking.
  22. Visit a working farm with my son.
  23. Teach my son to golf.
  24. Take my son on a hayride.
  25. Bake Christmas cookies with my son.

I’ll let you know how I do!

Happy New Year everyone!  May 2016 bring us all peace, friendship, happiness, tolerance and kindness!

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