Death. It’s inevitable. But still, it’s the one topic no one wants to talk about. When we hear of tragedy, we are thankful that it didn’t happen to us. We spend a major portion of our lives convinced about our own immortality. And still, death strikes. And when it strikes close to home, it forces us to look at death head-on.
So why is death such a scary monster? Is it because we are scared of leaving those we love behind, or because we don’t know exactly how long we have left on earth? Or is it because it’s the great unknown – after all, no one’s returned from the dead (and here I’m discounting near-death experiences) to tell us exactly what happens next. Or could it be because we still have so much more that we want to do…things that we’ve been putting off for a “later” that never comes?
Maybe that explains the popularity of bucket lists. But if you’re like me and want to do so many damn things that you know one lifetime would never be enough to do them, and that leaves you paralyzed wondering where to start, this TED Talk by Candy Chang may show you the path.
I love the idea of a Before I die wall, but I’m not brave enough to start one in my community. Instead, I’m adapting this idea for my personal use, and by sharing it here, I’m hoping that you, my community, will join me on this journey.
I’m going to keep it simple and honest. No showing-off like I was prone to do in my bucket list – don’t ask me why! I just thought it was supposed to be this list that should make everyone’s jaw drop!
So for my Before I die wall (or rather list), I’m going to spend some time really thinking about things, questioning each life to-do: Would I really regret it if I never went to Las Vegas? Nah! But I would regret it if I died without ever wearing those gorgeous earrings that I was “saving” for a special occasion. Because isn’t that just sad, that I never thought that my birthday or anniversary or any other day was special enough for those earrings?
And to keep it real, I’m going to limit it to a short list. A very short list. Just 3 to 5 things that I would really, honest-to-God regret not doing before I died. As I strike things off the list, I’ll add some more.
Here’s my list:
1. Learn how to make Tiramisu. It is my favoritest desert in the whole wide world, and it’s supposedly easy to make. But I’ve never tried it. So, I am going to learn how to make Tiramisu, exactly the way I like it.
2. Print out and frame photographs that I’ve taken. Considering how much I enjoy photography, most of my shots are on the laptop or shared digitally. Isn’t that a shame? So, I’m going to go through them, choose some of my favorite photographs (and that means pictures that do not feature family or friends, because I already have created a collage of those) and create a gallery wall to showcase them.
3. Spend a weekend close to nature, alone. Just me, some books, my journal and a camera. In a beautiful, serene space. Alone. At least for a weekend – if possible a week.
Your turn: Do you think a Before I die list could help make your life more meaningful? What’s on your list?