On Biking and Bucket Lists


My son E isn’t very active. That is, he doesn’t like doing things that are purposely physical in nature. He loves to play pretend, and if at one point he sweats while fighting off a troop of invading orcs, then so be it. But he won’t exercise for the sake of exercise–it has to be wrapped up with something that is attractive to him.

The other day was the perfect summer day. Hubby, J and I were rejoicing in the warmth of the sun. E did not join our celebration: “I don’t like hot, sunny days. They make me sweaty and thirsty.” Our Eeyore, however, changed his mind later on, but not because of anything we said. He simply wanted to play for a bit outside, and not even nasty old Mr. Sun could get in his way.

How he ended up on his bike, I cannot tell you. More, why he decided to finally learn to ride his almost-outgrown-bike shall remain a mystery. But I’ve learned that with this particular son, once he puts his mind to something, it gets done just like that.

So it was that our family found another reason to celebrate: our E has finally learned to ride his bike. See, we’ve been trying to get him to learn. But every time we’d ask him to practice, he’d use a litany of excuses: too hot, too hard, too tired, don’t want to get hurt, I can ride my scooter, too lazy, don’t need to ride a bike, I can walk, don’t want to. Or he’d get on the bike and you’d have to push him around, without him even trying to use the pedals. It’s quite the work-out, considering how heavy the boy is.

And now he can do it! We taped him riding his bike. We took tons of pictures. We applauded and yelled encouragement. It was an exciting moment in our family history.

And after all this, my husband turns to J and says, “One down, one more to go.” Then they both look at me. I walk away. Oh no, I won’t even try.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

So just this morning hubby picked up where we left off. “So, don’t you want to learn how to bike? Isn’t that like, on your bucket list or something?”

My bucket list. I don’t think I have one. But hubby’s still talking, “So what’s in your list anyway? Why am I asking? So I know. So I can help you fulfill them.”

Hmmm. That almost makes it worth coming up with one.

Visiting PEI during all four seasons. Visiting New Zealand, where they filmed the LOTR trilogy. Publishing my first (and second and third…) book.

There must be more, but I can’t think of them right now. {And I’m pretty sure riding a bike isn’t one of them. In fact, I know nothing too physical will make it to my list. Which makes me realize E might take after me after all.}

Do you have a bucket list? It must look much more daring and exciting than what I just listed. I’m pretty much set on a few things, which also serve as life goals. And I don’t feel pressured to achieve them all right away. My attitude has evolved into pretty much the following: If they happen, how awesome would that be? If not, then there must be something else…”

I guess it’s because of how I see death.

For some people, death is the deadline by which life must be lived to the fullest. Once death comes, there is nothing to look forward to.

I see death as some sort of graduation, a moving on to the next level. And what lies waiting is so much more than what I know and can imagine that the sting is taken away and I can actually look forward to it. And while I appreciate this life, I do not find its eventual end a threat.

Of course, this doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy myself while here. And since hubby said he’d love to help me fulfill my bucket list, I’m leaning towards printing one out and taping it on his side of the bed. Nothing better than a constant reminder of a promise, and of all the things to come.

In the mean time, I still won’t try to ride a bike. The one and only time I ever got on one was when my cousin was trying to teach me back when we were about nine or ten years old. It was a rickety old thing, and it obviously couldn’t hold us both. We crashed into some bushes and emerged with scratches and bruises. And that was the end, and will remain the end, of that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lastly, check out Steven Delopoulos and the rest of the guys from Burlap to Cashmere as they explain why death shouldn’t be feared:

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