Ticking Off the Bucket List

26 Jul

In the next few weeks, I will (hopefully) tick off two items from my bucket list – you know – that list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket. The first is to attempt the City to Surf (14km fun-run), the other is to commence further university studies. Note that I have not set myself the goal of finishing either. Of course, completion is my aim. But there are obstacles in my way – they’re called children. But they are also my inspiration and my motivation.

Before you have a baby, everyone tells you the same thing – your life will change. No, really? I thought babies loved nightclubbing? It goes without saying that you enter into parenthood realising that you won’t be out every Saturday night, dancing till dawn. No, a rocking Saturday night involves take-away on the couch watching the footy. And that’s just fine with me. I reached parenthood at a time in my life when I wanted a change. I was more than ready. I didn’t want to be out on the tiles on a Saturday night. So, before you get that crying newborn in your hands, you know things are going to be different – but nothing can prepare you for how your changed life will feel. It’s mostly joy. Utter, ridiculous, joy. There’s also frustration (for the 50th time, eat. your. dinner), occasional boredom (not Dora the Explorer, AGAIN!), and definitely guilt. For me, the guilt arises when I have ‘me’ time. This comes in the form of going for a jog, using the computer, or trying to read a magazine. These activities are not aided by the presence of children, so I try to avoid them (the kids) while I do them (the activities). So, it comes down to trying to squeeze it all in while they are asleep. But with my two bucket-list projects, that’s just not possible. Uni studies are going to take up 12 hours a week, and City to Surf training takes up about 6 hours a week. 18 hours altogether. That’s a part-time job. Fortunately, I have great family support, which allows me to even contemplate these crazy projects. I guess the question I keep asking myself is – is now the right time? With two very young children who need their Mummy, a lot, is this the right time to be undertaking projects that require a fair chunk of solo time? Is it fair to them?

My conclusion is this – there will never be a right time to tick off these bucket list items. There’s no point in waiting for our lives to get less busy – it ain’t gonna happen. Once you become a parent, life seems to be put on a trajectory of busy-ness which only goes in one direction – and that’s up. My brother and sister have school-age children – and from what I can tell – school doesn’t seem to free up much time at all (for the parents, that is). So – now it is. I’m already really feeling guilty. But I’m also coming to the realisation that my bucket list projects are also important for my kids. Being a parent involves a couple of things – showering your kids with love – but also – being a good role model. Sounds a bit pious, doesn’t it? But the reality is – the way a parent lives their life is incredibly influential on the way a child lives out theirs. I want my girls to understand that it’s important to set goals, and work at achieving them. I don’t want them to be afraid of trying new things, and I definitely want them to know that learning doesn’t stop in your early twenties. So what’s the best way to teach my girls these ‘life lessons’ – well, I think for me, it’s to live them. And that’s what I’m going to try to do. Wish me luck. I think I’ll need it. That, and babysitters. That would be help too.

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One Response to “Ticking Off the Bucket List”

  1. Anonymous July 27, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    good luck.

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