Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bucket Lists And Green Bananas

I recently accepted a speaking engagement with the Flushing Book Club in April, 2013. Pretty optimistic for someone who probably shouldn’t even buy green bananas, huh? I don’t even have a calendar for that year yet. What was I thinking? Well, I’ll tell you. (You knew I would, didn’t you?)

Years ago, when I was a busy, young mom raising a family at home, I made a wish list of things I wanted to see or do in my lifetime. I knew most of the things were only impossible dreams, but hey, it was my list and my dreams. I could put whatever I wanted on it. And I did. Write and publish a book, travel to Hawaii, see a Broadway show, climb to the top of a lighthouse, take a Caribbean cruise, and most of all, I wanted to go to Ireland. Hey, I dreamed big—and often. That part was easy.

Kids grew up and got married. I went back to work and life went on. Then, shortly after I retired, I had a heart attack. Talk about a wake-up call! So, while I recuperated, I pulled out my list and took a long look at it. I’d been to Hawaii a couple of times and taken a cruise or two. The books I wanted to write had never been finished. I hadn’t accomplished half of the things I’d written down all those years ago and even had a few more wishes to add. Having a heart attack had definitely not been on my wish list, but it sure got my attention. It was time to fish or cut bait, folks.

Fast forward a few years. I saw a Broadway show, climbed to the top of a Lake Michigan lighthouse, traveled to Spain, Morocco, South America, Hawaii again, had my first book published and graduated from the local Citizens Police Academy, one of the goals I’d added to my list. It took awhile longer before I finally made it to Ireland, but Book #2 was still not published. I was afraid to buy those green bananas.

Four years ago, I had another wake-up call . . . scary heart surgery. Lots of down-time for reading and working on new manuscripts. Maybe I could buy green bananas, after all. There had to be a reason I was still around to see my family grow and enjoy my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I didn’t want to waste another minute, so I hugged my loved ones, grabbed a bunch of green bananas and said, “Thank you, Lord.”

My third book has recently been published and I’m currently working on a two-book contract for a mystery series. I can’t say my bucket list is complete, either, because I keep adding wishes to it, but hey, I’ve learned to never say never. And I’ve also learned not to take the time I’ve been given on this earth for granted. Blessings can come in unusual ways. Be ready. Pursue those dreams. Count your blessings. Work hard for what you really want.

April 2013, you say? Why, thank you. I’ll be happy to speak to your book club. I’ve always got a few more green bananas just waiting to ripen. And I want to see Ireland again.

And now that I’ve totally bored you with my own wishes and dreams, what’s on your bucket list? How much have you checked off? Go ahead, be optimistic about your ability to achieve your dreams. And for goodness sakes, y’all, don’t be afraid to buy those green bananas. 


Loralee

14 comments:

  1. Oh, Loralee, what a great post! I truly admire your spirit. You are an inspiration to everyone who meets you. I look at what you've accomplished and see possibilities. I sort of started my "bucket list" of places to visit on Pinterest. Choosing my last house in a place I want to live (& not dictated by husband's job) is right at the top of my list. Thanks for a great post.

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  2. Diane, I hope you continue to add to your list. The possibilities are endless if you believe in yourself. There's no guarantee of a fast trip to those dreams, but remember slow and steady won the race for the tortoise. You'll find that perfect place to live, too, and think of all the fun you'll have getting there.

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  3. Hi Loralee! I just loved your post. I've thought out my own bucket list and should write it down, because i think some of the smaller things I've thought of, I've forgotten...lol :)

    I'm glad that you still buy green bananas and I'm glad you keep adding to your list...what fun would it be if you didn't?

    Can't wait to hear about your speaking engagement come April 2013!!!

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    1. Christine, keep working on your list! it's great to have something to work toward. I'll keep you updated on the April event!

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  4. Loralee, what a lovely post! Inspirational, as usual. I hope you are buying green bananas for a long, long time.
    My 'lifelong' goals were to finish writing a novel and get it published, spend the night in a Scottish castle, and learn to play the piano. Well, i've done the first two. And now I'm making my daughter learn piano instead of me! :)

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    1. Ah, Tracy, I remember your tales of Scottish nights in the castle. Umhmm! Kudos for keeping those goals in mind. Look where you are now, girl! You rock!

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  5. Wonderful post, and I, as I'm sure others will agree, am very glad you haven't let those little detours (okay heart problems) slow you down. Keep on buying green bananas and adding to that list.

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  6. Maris, you were the first published author I met at my first MMRWA meeting in Lansing. You generously shared your writing expertise and encouraged me to keep writing. Thanks for the good memories that fill our years of friendship.

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  7. Love your post, Loralee! And I'm so glad you're buying green bananas again. I guess next on my wish list is to publish a second book and to take a trip out West again. And then to write some more books set in the West. Guess I better get busy!
    Look forward to reading your newest release and all the ones to follow.

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  8. Lucy, I hope you get all your wishes and then some. I'd love to read lots more of your books set in the West. Keep 'em coming!

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  9. I just told an agent, I plan to live to 103, one year longer than my maternal grandmother. My therapist is 90 years old. I'm having such fun, re-re-editing 14 MS with all I've learned since I started writing full time in 1999. Who knew deep point of view meant taking out distancing words like 'thought' or 'knew'? The Lord has seen fit to allow me to continue to have fun, learning new avenues of thought. The power and peace are His. Rohn Federbush

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    1. Rohn, what a wonderful plan and proof that learning can be fun! Keep writing!

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  10. Beautiful words from a beautiful lady! I've had so many of the same thoughts. We waste so much of our lives being too busy to appreciate the blessings we have right under our noses. Rosanne

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  11. Thank you so much, Rosanne. I'm a huge fan of yours and your kind words mean a great deal to me.

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