It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Living Life to the Full. Maybe.

Hannah did a meme from the Daily Mail. I decided I would do it, too. Memes are so eeeeeasy, and this one was sort of interesting, and, like Hannah, I miss memes.

I take issue with some of these, and there are others that belong on a ‘living life’ list, that aren’t here, but here are my responses to the list as provided.

1. Stop worrying about money.

I love Hannah’s quote on this one. It’s easier not to worry about the stuff when you’ve got lots. While I agree that lots of people worry too much about not having enough when really what they need to do is exercise a little self-discipline and stop spending so damned much, it’s too easy for someone with more to tell someone with less not to worry.

I worry about it as much as is responsible, and act accordingly … so I don’t need to keep worrying. Seems a reasonable balance.

2. Stop worrying about what other people think.

For the most part, I stopped worrying about what other people think in my mid-twenties. I did love Hannah’s caveat, though, that “the social contract falls apart pretty quickly if you never consider how other people are reacting to you.” Absolutely!

3. Take two holidays a year.

I’d worry about money a whole lot more if I did that… However, if by ‘holiday’ you mean ‘time off’ as opposed to ‘travel someplace new’, I do that. I just don’t have the money to go anywhere.

4. Enjoy little comforts in life.

Ooooh, this I do! Every morning when I walk the dogs, I come to the hill overlooking the river and feel a great wash of gratitude and appreciation for the beauty. Every.Single.Morning. It never gets old. I love the sound of rain. Mozart and Etta James. Walking. I love my tea mug with the bright red flowers. That first cup of tea in the morning. Sunrises. I love the smell of almonds. Being alone. My down-filled pillow. Baby laughs. Giving myself pedicures. Nail polish. Singing. Flirting. My dogs. Summer dresses. Stockings. (Not panty hose. Stockings.) Windy days. Laughing. The list goes on and on and on and ooooonnnnn

5. Experience different cultures.

Experience, as in live there? I’d love to! I did spend a month in England, years ago. Experience, as in read their literature, listen to the music, eat the food? Whenever I can!

6. Work to live rather than live to work.


7. Pay off all debts.

That’s top of our marital to-do list. Last year it was impossible, in any meaningful sense. This year it becomes so, and we have begun. It will be a several-years-long process, but I am very excited about this! I hate, hate, hate being in debt.

8. Be true to yourself.

Harder than you might think, but yes, I am.

9. Concentrate on what you have instead of what you don’t have.

It’s a life’s credo of mine. Yes.

10. Use money on experiences rather than saving for a rainy day.

Oh, that’s just dumb. Be the grasshopper, not the ant? So the choice is between being a miser in a cold, dark castle with dusty piles of unused gold, or being free and happy and living life to the full in the moment? Surely you can do a bit of both? Even more: Surely lots and lots of “experience” can be had for free? And if you really can’t have both, are you so very sure that your memories of all your experiences will keep you warm and fed when you’re old and poor?

11. Make time for family and friends.

I could do better.

12. Try all types of food.

Yup. I like food.

13. Find true love.

Done. 😀 Had a false start, but got there in the end!

14. Travel to at least 25 different foreign countries
HA! This meme originates in England. This is MUCH easier when you live in Europe, where you can freaking walk into four adjacent countries… (Or, if you’re in England, a 20-minute plane ride will do it.) But yes, it’s a lovely goal, and maybe one I’ll achieve when I retire.

15. Go outside more.

I could do more in the winter, I guess… But I doubt I will. I make up for it in the summer, when I’m outside hours every day. Yay, summer!!!

16. Learn a new language
Always wanted to. When. When??

17. Be well thought of by family and friends.

This one’s silly. First: How can this be on your list, if you’re not worried what people think of you (cf #2, above)? Second: If your friends don’t think well of you, they’re not friends, are they? Third: You have no control over what people think of you. You may be perfectly lovely, and some rotten person despises you anyway. Nuttin’ you can do about that. This doesn’t belong on the list.

18. Help a member of your family out when they really need it
Yes, though I did better at this when I was younger. Perhaps it’s just that when I started having kids of my own, ‘family’ got redefined a bit. I could do better here.

19. Lose a stone in weight.

Done. A stone is 14 pounds. I lost about thirty pounds five years ago, and it’s still off. Of course, this assumes you have that much to lose. Lots of people don’t!

20. Treat each day like it’s your last.

Hannah’s answer to this made me laugh out loud. I’ve always wondered what people mean when they say this. However, do I appreciate my life? Damned straight I do. Every day. Would I appreciate it with an even more fervent attention if I knew its duration was severely limited? Of course, but that doesn’t mean I’m wasting it now.

21. Visit all of Britain’s historical landmarks
I’ll go with Hannah’s response to this: Because I’m Canadian, I’d like to change this to “visit every province and territory in Canada”. I have always wanted to do this. So far I’ve been to BC, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. That’s a lotta country unvisited!!

22. Book an impulsive last minute holiday.

Oh, maybe a weekend getaway that we could drive to. Anything bigger than that would give me a panic attack. Besides, on whose money? Booking a pricy last-minute getaway would have me worrying about money, and, as per point #1, above, I’m not supposed to be doing that…

23. Volunteer for a good cause.

I do this intermittently, but would like to be more consistent. Fitting it in is the challenge, though I am playing with the idea of taking the tots to visit a neighbourhood senior centre once a week. An outing and a good cause, at once.

24. Take up a challenge.

I’ve just joined a gym. Right now raising my arms above my shoulders is a challenge. Does that count? Losing those 30 pounds was a challenge, too. Three medication-free births, another challenge. I like challenges. My favourite type are the ones I set for myself. I don’t generally like competing with others.

25. Go on safari.

I dunno. This is only one of the dozens of possible travel ideas I’ve had, and far from top of the list. Maybe one day.

26. Blow a load of money in one shopping trip, just because you can
What, what? WHY, now? “Just because I can” is a stupid, stupid reason to blow a load of money. If I really want, and/or really need, and really love what I’m buying, the money’s well spent, but “just because I can“?? Just because I can?!? Whoever wrote this list has some gawdawful stupid ideas about money.

27. Learn a new instrument.

I play the piano. I have played the oboe. Another instrument would be fun, but squeezing in the time is the challenge. I took fiddle lessons briefly a few years back, didn’t really enjoy it.

28. Be married for longer than 20 years
I was married for 13 years to the first guy, and am approaching 6 with the second. That’s 19. Does that count?? Seriously, wonderful husband and I have been together for 16 years, so by my reckoning we’re closing in on 20. (It took me that long to get over the trauma of my first marriage and be willing to try that again. It was well worth the wait!)

29. Have enough money left for the grandchildren to enjoy
Meh. I’ll enjoy my grandchildren while I’m alive. They can fend for themselves in life after I’m gone, just like I did when my grandparents died. I never expected my grandparents to set me up. Odd notion.

30. Start a family.

Done. Well past started. I have a grand-daughter, and look forward to more grandchildren in the coming years.

31. Earn more than your age
None of your business. I’ll talk about my sex life more openly than I’ll talk about how much I earn.

32. Have a pet.

At the moment, two dogs. But over the years, we’ve had dozens: dogs, cats, guinea pigs (love those things), hamsters, gerbils, a rabbit, rats (don’t love those things). Lots of pets.

33. Drive a really fast car
Yes. Though I drove it slowly. Well, speed-limitly. It wasn’t mine.

34. Travel alone


35. Be able to keep the kids on the straight and narrow
As far as it was up to me. Now it’s up to them!

36. Meet strangers
Yes. I rather enjoy chatting with strangers. That’s one of the perks of travel, and of living in a travel-destination city. (I like chatting with obvious tourists. Fun!)

37. Move away from home to an unfamiliar place
Yes. Moved from tiny village to mid-sized city for university, and a different mid-sized city for teacher’s college. Then to large city after university. Then to a different country, where my eldest was born, then back to the large city. Now in a different large city. All except the out-of-country move were within the same province.

38. Have a one night stand
Yup. It was fun and no regrets, but no need to do that again.

39. Pass your driving test.

Done. First try. Of course, I was 34 at the time…

40. Get a degree.

Done. Twice. Two bachelor’s. Would love to go for my Master’s some day.

41. Rescue someone so that you’re a hero for a little while.

Yes. I gave a home to a teen who was in bad home situations and needed a safe place. Sat beside her hospital bed all night after a suicide attempt, too. She’s in university now and doing well.

42. Date someone exciting but completely wrong for you
What a moronic idea. You know he’s wrong, so you know it won’t last, but, just so you can cross it off your Life Experience List you involve yourself with him. And if he then genuinely cares for you, then what? “Oh, sorry guy. This was just, you know, for the experience!!!” You don’t play with other people like that. Jeez.

43. Get a promotion.

Kinda hard, if you’re self-employed. (Was it a promotion to go from being a mom for free to being a mom for pay???)

44. Reach the desired career peak by age 40
Whatever the hell that means. I guess if you’re self-employed, you can decide for yourself if that’s happened. Therefore yes, I did reach my peak! (Over ten years ago. Jeez, that’s just sad. Wait, no! No, I did not! No peaking yet!)

45. Have an all-night drinking session.

Ugh. No. Never have, never want to. Can only imagine how sick, sick, sick that would make you. What could possibly make that kind of sick worthwhile? Ugh.

46. Perform something on stage in front of others
I was in the high school band. I was in Sunday School. I joined the high school drama club briefly. Lots of stage time for me.

47. Snog a stranger.

This is included under “one night stand”, above.

48. Plan a surprise party.

For my son’s 18th birthday. Fun! Also for myself, at age 29. One day I’ll tell you that story, maybe.

49. Embark on adrenaline-packed activities such as sky diving or bungee jumping
God, no. I feel the same way about this as I do about all-night drinking sessions. Blurgh.

50. Spend time with children even if they aren’t yours.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Who in their right mind would want to do that??

May 15, 2013 - Posted by | memes and quizzes | , ,


  1. I’m intrigued, how does one plan a surprise birthday party for oneself?

    I love the idea of taking the tots to a senior centre – I wish I had visited what we call “old people’s homes” more when I was younger, then I wouldn’t have felt so unsettled visiting my grandparents during my teens. Also it would probably be very appreciated, and very cute!

    The birthday party story: My first marriage to a man who, by the time we’d been married a very few years, was woefully inattentive. My 29th birthday passed with nothing at all. Not a card, not a gift, nothing from the kids (who were young enough to need a parent’s help), no acknowledgement of the day at all. I was peeved. So, six months after my birthday, in the summer, I threw myself a party, and told everyone it was a surprise … because I wasn’t telling my husband about it.

    Forty people showed up and we had a great time. (I did end up telling him about it the morning of or the day before. “I’ve invited a few people over to celebrate my 29-and-a-halfth birthday, dear.”) He got the point. For my 30th birthday, I got a party. 😛 (One year this man actually didn’t get me anything FOR CHRISTMAS. There we were, around the tree, each person with their pile of presents … and me with … nothing. I kid you not. We were separated before the following Christmas came around!)

    We have a senior centre within walking distance and I have taken the tots there in the past, but never regularly. I think they actually have a parent-and-baby drop-in organized; I should look into that.

    Comment by May | May 15, 2013 | Reply

  2. Wonderful meme – enjoyed all your answers…and the birthday party story :). I love making personalized gifts and no one does them for me, so I do them myself – a mug, a card with pictures, etc. I don’t mind it at all. A visit to the senior center would be fabulous!

    Comment by Shachi Thakkar | May 15, 2013 | Reply

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