Friday, August 1, 2014

My Top 5 List of Things I Want To Do in my Bucket List

My bucket list seems longer than I thought.  And so, I forced myself to choose the top five items that would make me most happy before I leave this earth.  After so much deliberation, I surprised me!

Top 5:  Dub a Korean Telenovela

Talk about something totally out of the box and whimsical, this would be it!  I enjoy watching these Korean series. The story lines are simple and fresh.  But what makes them unique is the manner in which issues are tackled.  I also find it easy to relate to the characters.

Why are we so engaged by this pop culture? Maybe they reflect parts of our lives. At other times, it would be because we want their lives for ourselves.  The more cerebral among us would say it’s an escape from life’s realities. 

Whatever the reason is, I like them a lot!  So much so, I want an active part in one.  I can’t think of a better way than to be the voice of one of the characters.  It would be a thrill to watch them and hear myself breathing life to a character.  I would like to be part of something current even at my age. It would give me another layer of relevance at this point in my life.

Top 4:  Go bungee jumping 

Ever since I can remember, I have always been afraid of heights.  It’s the high open spaces that make me “scared silly”.  My knees seem to buckle under me when I’m way up there.   It would take so much courage to even look over. 

But I am determined to overcome this phobia.  One problem though, I need to seek my doctor’s clearance.  I suffered a compression fracture due to a bad fall.  Should I get the green light then I definitely will take the plunge!

I’d like to fully understand what total surrender means.  A free fall is simply letting go without qualms, without hesitation.  Much like life, what’s meant to be will happen!  Some things are just beyond our control.  Acceptance on your part will spell the difference.

Top 3:  Learn Argentine Tango

Sure I can dance!   But I was never comfortable doing a number in public.  My friends like to dance and they are really good.  Maybe that is what made me shy away from this art form.

For me, Argentine Tango is a sensual dance.  I see the embrace as an illustration of the connection between man and woman; and the leading, a gracious submission. I want to learn the intricate steps of this dance that echo the rhythms of life.  I crave to feel the raw emotions its music elicits.  The marked counterpoints and articulations are simply divine.  Improvisation is very characteristic to Argentine Tango.  This mirrors life whenever we have to be on our toes to get over our hurdles.

Advancing in years, we somehow forgot our passions.  I guess we nudged passion gently to the side to make way for the other life concerns.  It’s now time for our passions to take center-stage.  Whatever maybe our reasons, now is the instance to embrace it!

Top 2:  Bake a Soufflé

My family claims I’m a good cook.  I have also dabbled in a little baking that produced pretty decent edibles.  But the pièce de résistance of my culinary work would be the soufflé!  It’s a lightly baked cake made of eggs and other ingredients that can both be served as a savory main dish or a dessert.  Many a chef swears it’s not easy to produce one.

I am so intrigued by its delicacy, its temperament and the patience as well as skills to cook one.  A soufflé is an interesting metaphor of life.  We each had our shares of “delicate” moments that made us either “puff” in victory or “collapse” under.  It is at these times that the temperaments of life reveal our true nature and disposition.  Patience is very much needed to live in this world.  And lest we forget, a little dose of humor would do us good.

Top 1:  Start a Blog

I found my “little notebook”!  Scribbled in it are my thoughts over anything that caught my interest and attention over the years.  Of late, I have decided to organize them into writings and publish them as Notes on Facebook.  It was a pleasant surprise that friends found them as good reading. 

My niece, Bianca, encouraged me to start a blog.  While this has always been my top bucket list item, it is scary to do so.  Baring your soul is never easy.  To express my spirit in a way all my own could even prove to be controversial.  To make public my kaleidoscope life is a test of boldness.  But I'm quite sure I shall do it one day soon!

To be able to do one or two of my Top Five before I finally say my farewell would be great.  I realize now I don’t need to tick-off each one in my list.  Daring to achieve at least one is the essence of a bucket list for me. It’s the adventure that is most important.  A change in perspective is to know myself better. To stretch myself beyond my limits would ultimately lead to the real me.

            So cheers to everyone with a bucket list of his own!  In the end, all our roads will merge to new discoveries.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Claim The World

My two sons are part of a band called Orca.  And their kind of music is metallic rock.  They also write and record their own music.  As much as I can, I watch their gigs and try to appreciate their songs.

Once I asked them if they had plans of graduating to other genres.  They simply said no and explained that metal was their “core”.  And that to do so would be “selling-out”.  It took a while for me to totally understand what they mean.

I remember when I was younger, I was very sure of my “core” too.  I knew who I was and was daring enough to show the whole world. I also knew what I wanted and was raring to get them.  Youth gives us a certain sense of confidence and superiority.  When you are young, you take everything with large doses of ambivalence.

But somehow, time has a way of taming us.  While I knew the person within me, I learned to conform to fit into the various groups I was with.  At that stage, it was important for me to be accepted.  Compromise crept into my life.  I don’t think it was “selling-out” at all.  But I understood fully well why I needed to do it.  It was a way of surviving adulthood. 

I did feel the toll of my decision to conform.  There were moments I felt unhappy not really knowing why.  But looking back, the restrictions I imposed on myself were the culprits.  It’s never easy to steer away from one’s true self, no matter how slightly.  It was like asking a willow branch to stay rigid when it is natural for it to sweep down to the ground.

Now that I am half a century and a year old, I somehow feel unafraid to be who I truly am.  While the years have tempered my soul, I know my spirit is free.  I am no longer bound to conform.  Growing old gives you permission to express yourself sans the guilt of going against the grain of society.  Maturity allows you not only to appreciate yourself but also those around you.  I have noticed how tolerant I have become of others too.  And surprisingly, the younger ones find it cool! 

So, it’s not too late to be bold and happy.  It’s not too late to do the things in your bucket list.  It’s not too late to proclaim your true self and worth.  Claim the world – it has always been yours!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Of Books and Memories

I have nothing against e-books.  I have actually read several.  And technology makes it more convenient, especially when travelling, as you don’t have to lug a thick pocketbook.

Call me old-fashioned or even Jurassic, but I do miss holding a book.  The warmth created holding one after several hours of reading is soothing.  It makes me feel part of the story, as if I were truly there myself.  I miss the feel of the pages as I turn them with so much expectancy. I feel a surge of adrenalin rush as I can't wait to find out what happens next.

And then, there is the scent of ink as I turn the pages - that slightly irritating and invasive smell of printed matter. This connects me to the author, as if he wrote the book only for me.  My over imaginative mind sees myself talking to the writer over a cup of java on a rainy afternoon.  Such bliss.... such privilege!

I have a habit of putting bunny ears on pages that I find meaningful.  I even highlight passages I consider moving and beautiful.  All these enable me to return to these pages to read over and over again.  Marginal notes on the pages - inscribing therein my insights and reflections, are sure signs a book belongs to me.  I reread favorite books after a few years.  Imagine my joy at finding out how I felt and thought years back. My notes sort of become a journal into my inner self. 

I wonder if our children even use bookmarks these days.  When I was younger, I remember how my friends and I would give each other bookmarks. They were delightful gifts - beautiful quotes and dainty designs on colorful paper.  Using them made reading more interesting and memorable.

There is a sense of joy I feel looking at my books lined up on a shelf.  You can be sure that the tattered ones are my favorites.  Seeing them is like seeing my favorite book characters leap to life, reliving a memorable part of a story, and realizing what important life lessons they have taught me.