Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So.... What Is My Bucket List?

Do I even have a bucket list any more? What are my dreams for the rest of my life? I think the grind at the cube farm has killed my dreams, stifled my joy, worn my heart down as surely as my knees are worn out and ruined. I am not sixty years old so I do not think I need to be planning for The Home anytime soon. But, d-a-m-n.....

I am certain that if there is time for reflection upon my death bed, it will not be all the mean things I did that I will regret. It will be everything I did not do that will cleave my heart with a great slicing grief. I already regret a million things with my kids, mostly the time I missed from their childhood because I was working. In those days it took decades to earn another week of vacation. My poor children were hauled out of bed every morning and dragged to daycare where they had to cope with the baby future cube farmers. The great American Dream: grow up to waste away in a goddamned cube for life, most of it without a window. Yay.

Their childhood went by so fast. That is why when I see my grown son now, I must resist the urge to throw my arms around him and smother the top of his head in kisses the way I did when he was a little boy. (I have attempted this and he actually hates it). He will understand someday. I still want to advise my daughter of every possible danger and screen all of her potential plans. That goes over as well with her as the head-kissing does with her brother.

I must let my children go. They are grown now. The time I missed when they were children is truly lost and all we have is now. We have a lot of fun when we have the chance to spend time together. That means they must not be too damaged or resentful of their upbringing.

I have been considering cashing in my 401K, paying off all debt, placing Duke and Ginger in a foster home, and taking off for parts unknown on my Harley. About twenty six years ago I was at this same juncture in life. I had no debts and my daughter was almost grown. My plan was to buy a good used truck and a trailer to haul Ol' Blue, my Harley. I planned to tender my resignation upon my daughter's graduation, setting myself free to live a gypsy life until my wanderlust was spent. Before that plan was put into action, my son was born. He is worth more than three gypsy lifetimes, and all the highway miles in the world.

In present times, those suffering from wanderlust buy recreational vehicles and then travel from campground to campground. To me it is just a mobile version of the cube farm. I cannot live within a mile of anyone now and expect to get along with the neighbors, so I do not think the RV campground life would be a good fit. If I ain't happy, ain't no wandering Americans happy. But, if my hypothetical neighbors did not like me, what could they do - kick me out of the campground - in my easily mobile domicile? Adios, ya bastards.

Hmmmm. I might have to consider that idea in a bit more detail.

I am greatly dissatisfied with my life right now but I do not truly want to give up my home here in the bend of Spirit Creek. I still plan to build a nice little cabin for my golden years. To do that, I need to show up at the cube farm for a few more years. I guess the best thing to do is to take a vacation, thoroughly examine what deserves to be on my bucket list, and then just go for it.

4 comments:

cyberkit said...

As a once and future terminally conditioned 60 year old, I detest the concept of bucket lists beyond literary construct. Most days, I desire to see tomorrow. Some days, not so much.

Maybe I've had too many dreams mugged in too many dark alleys and one too many 'good-byes' in a sun-drenched doorway.

I suppose it could be that...HEY, YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!...What did I come in here for?...

Li'l Ned said...

Never having worked in a cube farm except for a couple of brief summers during college, I can only imagine how dampening it must be to pour one's life spirit into commuting, computing and trying to fit a life into 2 short weekend days. I once heard an interview with someone who had researched and written a book on the Middle Ages, specifically on the sad lot of the serf. Turns out that, crap living conditions aside, medieval serfs worked less days (for their lords and masters) than modern cubists. Bummer. This author commented, "A full time job is a full time life", meaning one can't really have a life spending 5 days out of every 7 in a 'job'.

I send good wishes and hope for escaping the cube, rekindling your dreams and living the life YOU want from this moment forward. Personally, I wouldn't choose the Harley, but whatever lights your fire......

Jackie said...

Geeeze, Li'l Ned, that cheers me up... Middle Ages serfdom required less time than modern corporate serfdom. Coupled with the number of days each year I work until I have paid my tax burden (April 12, according to www.taxfoundation.org) it appears that I have wasted almost all of the last 33 years. Brutal.

cyberkit said...

Gee thanks, Li'l Ned. I've lost track of the number of Saturdays and/or Sundays that I ended up working. Coupled with a fair number of 12-16 hour weekdays which were frequent there was a slim chance at any real life. With the exception of the last 5 (out of 25), I enjoyed my job and the people I worked with. Even so, I'm not sure any of it was worth the 25 years lost.

Excuse me while I go chase the idiot neighbor's kids off my lawn...