Sunday, 4 March 2018

The bucket is empty...or will be soon

Pen drawing of a bucket (from Linzé's journal)
Two days ago my husband mentioned that it is a month to go before we go on our annual vacation. It has long been a contentious issue between us because of the cost to visit the UK. The South African currency is horrible when compared to the pound, and Francois has always used that point to counter any argument I had in the past. We finally sat down and did a budget and realised that this year we could afford to go. 
Then we started planning the vacation because I finally got my wish to do the number one thing on my bucket list: visit Scotland.
While I could regale you with long and eminently dull tales of why a visit to that particular country is in the prime spot on my list, I will save you the tears.
My husband, with his no doubt innocent and excited remark, got me thinking about that bucket list. And I realised that pretty soon it is going to be empty. Let me tell you; it is not a good image to carry around in one's mind.
Of course, it was not the only thing on my list, but the other things have secretly wound their way to the outside world over the years. Write a book: check. Publish a novel: check - number four was published about a month ago. Be self-employed: check - did that for ten years, and loved it. Be financially secure for retirement: check. So what now? After Scotland, that bucket will be empty.
It is damn near impossible to describe how it feels to have nothing I want to do, no matter how farfetched or big. Sure I can put stuff in there like space travel and an Olympic gold medal in archery, but those are not my dreams. Although I do like archery.
Our trip is a month away, and I am thinking about what to pack and what to leave behind, but underneath all the excitement this empty list is bothering me. More places to visit? I do not know. I have been to the one country in Africa (outside of my own that is) that I wanted to see, more than once. I have been to other countries in the world too, although there are many more to go if that is what I want to do.
And here we get to the crux of my predicament: what do I still want to do? As I sit here contemplating the words of this post, I have no freaking clue. I think that any new destination can be delayed since it would only be fair to go someplace Francois wants to visit. Since he is a photographer, I doubt that it would be a chore to accompany him.
And my bucket will still be empty. I am not sure how to handle this. It is a very odd experience this not knowing, or at the very least have a vague idea. There is nothing looming in my subconscious either.
Then a thought struck: do I need a bucket list? Surely, it is not the end of the world if I no longer have some big dream to chase? I do have my goals, and are those not some form of a bucket list? Perhaps what I need is a change in perspective, not another big and/or impossible thing. Who says it has to be impossible...again a shift in perspective perhaps?
Some things to ponder in the weeks ahead while I pack my suitcase for Scotland.