1. Be original. This post is a complete copy of Bridgett’s idea, and some of my items are also direct lifts from her post. They’re here though because they spoke to me so strongly. I wish I’d thought of this first!
2. Wake up early, full of enthusiasm for the day, full of energy. I’ve never been a morning person. I love the dawn, the early morning hush, the start of activity in a community. I especially love dawn when I am travelling. But I don’t love getting up for it. I don’t love the death-warmed-up feeling I have as I fall out of bed, and usually stays with me for the next half hour. My husband can leap out of bed at 6 am and feel fine. He doesn’t understand me, and I think he’s an alien.
3. Speak a language fluently. I fear I am too old to ever achieve this. Yes, I speak Thai, but I’ve forgotten so much, and the more I learned, the more fluency rushed off ahead of me, daring me to try to reach it. I’ve forgotten so much Mandarin that I can’t really speak it at all now. I’m working intermittently on Spanish, and would dearly love to improve my schoolgirl French, that comes so naturally at times, and completely deserts me at others. Italian appeals too – just because I love the way it sounds (and I could use it to order pasta and gelato, two of my favourite things). This of course is precisely the reason why I can’t speak a language fluently! I find them all too interesting, and too attractive, to focus just one.
4. Ski. I would love to be able to ski. I’ve only tried it once, and the boots hurt my shin bones so dreadfully I had to give up after half a day, just as I was getting the hang of it. I have this romantic notion of swishing down the slopes, of jetting off for ski-ing holidays to Canada or Colorado or the French Alps or Zermatt. The fact I don’t like heights, or the cold, is of course irrelevant in this fantasy.
5. Ride a horse. Oh, I dreamed of riding when I was little. All those English girls’ books about riding and horses and ponies sucked me in completely. But I never got the opportunity. Now I’d worry about the poor horse having to hold me up – but I’d still like to learn. I love the idea of moseying along a trail somewhere in North America, or racing across lush green grass.
6. Ditto for tennis. I can play, but I’d like to be able to play much better. Or live in a place where playing would be easier. Ditto for golf.
7. Stay organised and tidy. I know how to be organised. I know how to set up systems to be organised. I can do all that without difficulty. But I don’t do it. (Another example of doing not as I say.) Then it becomes overwhelming, too hard, and the disorganisation creates further disorganisation. I could take a photo of my desk at the moment to prove this. But I won’t. The shame, the shame!
8. Make my own patterns. I like sewing. Or rather, I did like sewing. I made a lot of my own clothes when I first started working – sewed my own 1980s suits, complete with lining and shoulder pads. I stopped when I got cats. They liked playing with the cotton and fabric, and laying out the fabric on the floor, on the thin pattern tissue paper, was just asking for trouble. They thought I was giving them a game. Anyway, I often have an idea in my head of what I want to make, but when I go to buy patterns, they never have anything quite right. I’d love to be able to make my own patterns, and sew my own ideas. I watch Project Runway in envy.
9. Be brave. It would be nice to be physically brave – to not worry about heights, to be able to hop and skip across a swing bridge, to hike the wonderful scenic routes in the southern parts of this country without fear. And to be brave in other terms – to be brave enough to put myself out there emotionally. I do it sometimes – I mean, taking off at 17 to live in Bangkok was pretty brave. But other times, I don’t even want to pick up the telephone. (I mean, it is a menacing, evil machine at times!)
10. Not worry about what other people think. Yes, I know this is related to #9, and being emotionally brave. Perhaps it is worth noting a second time. Perhaps this is why my latest crush is on Brene Brown who writes about vulnerability. (But I’m getting ahead of myself. More on that to come …)