When I was a kid, I watched this movie about a girl with leukaemia. She had a list of 50 things she wanted to do before she died, and at the end of the film, I wrote a list of my own. I keep losing and rewriting the list, so I don’t how many of the original items are still there. Once in a while I take it out and replace things with more relevant activities. Other times, I cross them off completely, when they no longer seem worth doing.

Lately, I’ve made a more conscious effort to do the things on my bucket list. Two years ago, I went horse riding, but I didn’t enjoy it. Last year, I went rollerblading. I didn’t particularly like that either, though I did lose quite a few kilos, judging by the way I was sweating. Apparently, rollerblading is good exercise.

In my defence, I quite enjoy ice falling skating
In my defence, I quite enjoy ice falling skating

I’d read about that in books and things, about the fitness benefits of shoes with wheels. And all the instructors at the skater park were deliciously skinny. The girls weren’t quite so small, but then I’ve always heard it said that guys shed weight faster. I don’t know why those wheeled shoes shed pounds. I mean, it doesn’t look like you’re actually doing anything except standing. But between bending your back and knees, maintaining your balance and trying not to break things, you actually do burn calories.

Princess and I had three lessons a piece. By the end of those three hours, I could stand on my blades without falling, get up unassisted after falling, and sometimes stop myself mid-free-fall. Yes, I do notice the emphasis on falling. In those same three hours, the princess was skating backwards, doing rollerblade limbo, and running jumps over street-hockey sticks.

At some point, soaked in sweat and sore from falling, I sat in a corner and watched the kids.  I wondered why it was so easy for them, why they seemed to catch on so fast. My theory is they’re less wary, less self-conscious. They’re not afraid of getting hurt, looking stupid, breaking rules, or doing it wrong. To them, it’s a fun new adventure and a way to move fast. (Apart from the instructors, there were only two adults on skates, with maybe fifteen kids. My fellow adult was skating with her three year-old twins.)

I’d always daydreamed of zooming along the tarmac on my rollerblades, but the actual blading wasn’t nearly as much fun. In fact, it was barely fun at all, just really exhausting. It might be because I was concentrating so hard on not losing any teeth. Maybe if I practice more, spend some time on it, I might start to like it. But then again, it only takes one spoon of ice cream to get hooked, so maybe rollerblading simply isn’t for me.


For some reason, that makes me sad. At least two things that I’ve always wanted to do have ended up as duds. So how many more items on my bucket list are non-starters? And how many things I’ve sworn never to try might end up being fun? Like … oh … I don’t know … bungee jumping? I am so confused right now.

Over the holidays, I went to Lake Victoria for a stroll. I’ve always loved water. Or rather, I’ve always thought I loved water. When I lived in Dar, I’d spend hours at the beach just listening to the waves. I did swim in the ocean once or twice, but it didn’t give me the pleasure I anticipated – the current was too strong and all those sea animals creeped me out. So that’s one more bucket-list item that flopped.

Meanwhile, being at the beach (and inside the ocean) in Mombasa felt like such an anti-climax. The energy was all wrong. It felt almost oppressive. And as for Lake Victoria, rather than the waters being soothing and serene like they are in my dreams and in my poetry, the waves were rough and angry, the atmosphere indifferent.

I’m often accused of spending too much time in my head. Reality will never quite compare, even on the few occasions I dare to take a peek and scope things out. I have no sense of adventure, and I don’t feel the need to experience things for myself. I’m quite content to read books about people doing exciting things and fill the details in my mind. Life is so much better in my imagination, and in a way, that’s really, really sad, because I guess it means that I’m not really living. And yet, for now, I’m quite okay with that.

♫ Wild Thing ♫ The Troggs ♫

123 thoughts on “When reality bites

  1. You made a number of fine points there. I did a search on the issue and found nearly all folks will agree with your blog.

  2. What i do not realize is actually how you are now not actually much more well-liked than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore significantly with regards to this subject, produced me in my view believe it from so many various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be interested unless it is something to do with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. Always care for it up!

  3. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your site in web explorer, would test this… IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge element of folks will pass over your great writing because of this problem.

  4. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with useful information to paintings on. You have performed a formidable activity and our entire community might be grateful to you.

  5. What i do not understood is actually how you’re not really much more well-liked than you might be now. You’re so intelligent. You realize therefore considerably relating to this subject, produced me personally consider it from so many varied angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

  6. My spouse and i were so happy when John could finish off his studies while using the ideas he received when using the weblog. It’s not at all simplistic to simply happen to be handing out things that many other folks may have been selling. And now we acknowledge we’ve got the website owner to be grateful to for this. All of the explanations you have made, the simple blog navigation, the relationships you aid to engender – it is most awesome, and it is making our son in addition to the family reckon that the subject matter is satisfying, which is certainly pretty indispensable. Thank you for the whole lot!

  7. Furthermore, i believe that mesothelioma cancer is a uncommon form of melanoma that is usually found in people previously familiar with asbestos. Cancerous tissues form from the mesothelium, which is a protective lining which covers the majority of the body’s areas. These cells commonly form in the lining of the lungs, mid-section, or the sac which encircles one’s heart. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  8. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your site on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic blog!

  9. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

  10. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is simply nice and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

  11. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  12. What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It positively useful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

  13. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  14. Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” by Albert Einstein.

  15. Usually I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite great post.

  16. One more thing. I do believe that there are numerous travel insurance internet sites of dependable companies that allow you enter your vacation details and have you the quotes. You can also purchase your international travel insurance policy on the web by using your credit card. All that you should do is to enter all travel particulars and you can see the plans side-by-side. Merely find the package that suits your allowance and needs and use your credit card to buy the item. Travel insurance online is a good way to search for a reputable company pertaining to international travel insurance. Thanks for giving your ideas.

  17. Terrific work! This is the type of info that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

  18. I have recently started a site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.