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There’s a hole in the bucket

April 30, 2012 by Momma Bear

I have quite a few goals for 2012… kicking cancer’s ass being at the very top of the list.  Not far behind it, though, is one I have had a lot of trouble with –  and that is starting sentences with, “My therapist says…”

Epic failure, here we go.  Because, MY THERAPIST SAYS that I should make a “bucket list”.  (He also told me is going to be REALLY pissed at me if I die, so I don’t think his point was that I was kicking the bucket.  No pressure.)  We’ve all heard it before, though, right?  I think it was Erma Bombeck that made the concept famous.  Use the good china, already!

One time in a life that seems so far away now, I was leading a workshop.  A man in the front was making me feel like a rockstar.  He would sit with an intent look on his face, get a flash of excitement in his face over something I said, and write furiously.  For the whole 4 hours he did this.  I was feeling like the queen of training workshops!  When the workshop was over, everyone stood up and left, but he had left his notes behind on the table.  Wait!  I couldn’t have him lose his record over what had obviously been such a transformative learning experience for him!  I went to snatch the notes up and give them to him – and when I looked at the notes… WOW.  Not workshop notes at all.  Nope.  The man didn’t listen to a word I said, because the whole time he was making a BUCKET LIST.  Four hours of sitting there thinking of all the things he wanted to do… and not getting a thing out of what I was teaching.  It’s only occurred to me in hindsight that maybe (if he had actually remembered the list) it would serve him a lot more than workshop notes.

But when my therapist suggested it, I was like, “It would be really boring.  ‘Cuz all I want to do is love on my kids, spend time with my family and friends, decorate my house and hang out in it… I don’t want anything crazy.”  Even though I always want to ‘live like I am dying’, I really don’t have any desire to go skydiving, Rocky Mountain climbing, or go 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.  (I do like that song, though.)  I really AM pretty boring, and I really do like my feet best on the ground.

I can admit now that it was such a dark and horrible time when I first learned about the extent of the cancer (and surgery and all the narcotic drugs they give you  do bring about depressive tendencies… lesson there) that there was a part of me (just a part) that was pretty ambivalent about what would happen to me.  Life was HARD, and I think it really was only the pressure of my kids that kept me going.  My Effexor and I are so happy to report that those days are long gone – and every part of me now wants to live that sweet, boring life.  And I am going to HAUNT THE HELL out of my cubs if I do die.  (There’s a whole post coming on that topic… some other time.)

Those that know me personally know that I love Dr. Seuss.  It’s a deep, unreasonable kind of crush – kinda how I feel about margaritas on the rocks.  His nonsensical and rhyming quotes are just my style, though.  I have lots of favorites, but this is one of them:  “Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.”

It occurs to me that it’s not just that I am boring, it’s that I am too caught up in WAITING.

So, enough is enough!  No more waiting for me, Dr. Seuss, and oh, the places I’ll go!  No more waiting until the test results to know what to do with my life.  No more waiting until I get the chemo weight off, or my hair grows out, or I stop being so tired.  No more waiting to swallow my fish oil when I know it’s good for me.  No more waiting to exercise.  And I’m still not riding a bull named Fu Man Chu, but I might borrow some other things from the song… I’m going to love deeper, and speak sweeter and give forgiveness I’ve been denying.  Fishing will still be an imposition (thank my ex for that memory) but being the friend I’d like to have sounds really good.  And, yes my cubs, I’m still going to yell less.

What’s the lesson here?  People keep asking me what they can do for me.  Right now, I don’t need much help besides being 2 places at once with the cubs’ sporting events, and occasionally moving big heavy things.  I hope it always stays that way.  I was thinking, though, if someone REALLY wanted to do something for me, they would pay attention when I’m leading a workshop.  Kidding.  They would share the love by doing just one small thing that they know they should.  It could be anything… if you are still reading, I know the wheels are turning and you are thinking what it could be.  Stop waiting for something to happen first… live today.  I’d love to hear from you what it will be.

And, hey cancer???  FUCK YOU.




  1. Michelle Zepeda says:

    Hey Jess, I love you :)

  2. Gretchen says:

    I smiled, chuckled, awwwwwed, and had goosebumps through this entire post. Here’s what I can do. 1) I am strong as an ox and I have been known to haul furniture upstairs while I’m 9 months pregnant. If you need any heavy lifting, call me. 2) I’m a few blocks away and I am a good drop off point for your cubs if you need me to be. 3) If you need to shove food in your face and pour wine down your throat,but feel weird doing it alone, I’ll be right over. 4) if you want to sew little voodoo dolls, one wearing waders and the other a suit, I’ll bust out the sewing kit. 5) I also kill spiders.
    I will live for today, I will live for tomorrow, I will welcome joy and slam the door on sorrow. (my best Dr Suess. Love love love

  3. eileen says:

    So on MY bucket list is spending a weekend with you somewhere fun, & enjoying fancy cocktails, with no time limits. Let’s make it happen!

  4. Denise says:

    My life is so much better because you are my friend. :)

  5. Randee says:

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss

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