Some have five-year plans, and others, bucketlists that include going to the moon. From this sentimental heart that never had endured even a one-year plan, and only accidentally stumbled upon the hint of a bucketlist dwelling within, here is mine, in no particular order or preference:

the-romantic-one1. Having cradled my son as a baby and danced with him to the rhythm of many lullabies, I found myself yearning for the years ahead, to dance with him through the different ages and stages of this greatest Dance that’s Life.

2. A promise I made to my little girl when she turned one: With me, she will never have too many pairs of shoes. With that comes the desire to indulge in all kinds of silly, girlish fancies I was never indulged in growing up – there will be shopping, massages, getting our hair done, dress-ups, tea parties with dolls, and all kinds of superficial feminine delights.

3. When Augz and I were dating, we once got hold of a projector and he played “The Little Mermaid” for me on his bedroom wall and tolerated all my contented sighs and inspired squeals. We have kept our bedroom wall blank with the hope of projecting classics like “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Sound of Music” and “Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang” – on top of “Peter Pan” and “The Little Mermaid” – to be accompanied by popcorn in bed with the little ones. Coming Soon. In a year or two.

4. When Augz had a medical scare months ago, one memory came to my mind – a memory that hasn’t happened yet. We were enjoying a cup of coffee in Istanbul, in a cafe overlooking the Bosphorus River (a river I’ve never seen but written about for ‘Wedding & Travel’ magazine). The descriptions of that river – “where continents meet” – stole my heart then, and this memory that hasn’t yet happened, captured my dreams. It made its way into this Bucketlist.

5. Years ago, while I was writing for CatholicNews, I had interviewed this girl Denise Chng (Secrets of My Nomadic Heart) on her Camino pilgrimage in Santiago. Only then did it occur to me that this is the one and same pilgrimage I had fallen in love with in Paulo Coelho’s “The Pilgrimage” (in my humble opinion, his best book, and my absolute favourite). My heart burned with desire to know that someday, it would be a walk I will take. Probably alone. It’s a walk that can happen only after I’ve taken my Holy Land pilgrimage – the land Jesus walked must be my first pilgrimage grounds – so this would be a long time away.

6. There have only been three promises I’ve made in my life. The second was when I was baptised and promised God I will never, ever leave Him; the third, when I made my vow in marriage. The first was a silly one I made at 14, when I was captivated by all kinds of Greek mythology – I promised to go to Greece, and so to Greece, I must go.

7. My favourite Christmas song remains “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and my favourite stanza, “Here we are as in olden days/Happy golden days of yore/Faithful friends who are dear to us/Gather near to us once more.” My friends and I have a tradition we’ve kept for 18 years – to gather at someone’s home to enjoy a Christmas gathering together. I wish for that one magical night with these same old friends, indulging in sweet old memories and making new ones over real and heartfelt conversations about everything from Santa Claus to the end of the world, from regrets to hopes that still linger, and how Christmas should last the whole year round.

8. To conquer Whistler Mountain on snowboard, something I have yet to do.

9. Have one last date with my exes when I’m old or dying, or both, because they are the only people who still hold onto a piece of my heart whom I don’t meet anymore.

10. Fulfil one bucketlist after another.

May we all live with hope and promise of better tomorrows even as we partake in the adventures of the day while carrying with us, only the best of yesteryears.


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