Wednesday 26 November 2014

Andrea Smith: You don’t need a bum tattoo like Cheryl’s, but you do need a bucket list

Published 23/06/2014 | 18:24

THE X Factor judge Cheryl Cole recently revealed that she got her infamous bum tattoo as part of a bucket list she created in 2010, in the aftermath of her battle with malaria.

The rest of us could be excused for wondering if she was still in the throes of fever-addled delirium, when she decided to cover her pert derriere and lower back with a giant rose inking that cost the equivalent of a “small car.”

Nonetheless while it may not be to everyone’s taste, Chezza was definitely on to something when she admitted that she “created a f***-it list’ because life’s too short.”

It’s unlikely that 71-year-old Sister Catherine Riggs used such choice language last year when her friends helped her fulfil a life-long dream, presenting her with a gift of a hot air balloon ride to celebrate her 50-year jubilee of service as a Carmelite nun.

“Dangerous” is how many brand such voyages, but as she took off in the air, the nun’s actions gave the equivalent of Whoopi Goldberg’s “bless you” sentiment from Sister Act to the naysayers.

“I was not scared,” she said, adding that she’d said the balloon flyers’ prayer’. She popped a bottle of bubbly in celebration upon landing, stating: “I never felt afraid; I just hopped right in the basket.”

Most of us have a set of things we’d love to do tumbling around in the dark recesses of our brains, and we presume that we’ll get around to doing them - tomorrow, some day, maybe, eventually, whenever.

There are places we’d like to see, things we’d love to do, and personal challenges we hope to achieve, but routine daily life has an inconvenient and annoying habit of getting in the way of fun and adventure.

While we think that we have all the time in the world to fulfil our dreams, the reality is that the years go by in the blink of an eye.

We might plan to gaze upon the wonders of the Aurora Borealis, Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls one day, but our graveyards are full of people who thought the same (and whose travels never took them beyond the delights of Bray, Pontins or Lanzarote).

Self-improvement forms a big part of many people’s bucket lists. As we lie on the sofa eating crisps and watching Judge Judy, somewhere in the back of our mind there’s a list of things we’d ultimately love to do. Like run a marathon - maybe, nay definitely, next year.

And won’t it be splendid when we eventually get to climb Machu Picchu, we think? Let’s just hope that we don’t wake up one day and find we left it all too late and can’t do it now because of the arthritis or gammy hip.

Just as Cheryl’s tattoo didn’t appear on her backside overnight, much of what we’d love to do requires some planning.

Ambitions

We plan our career, our family life and our social life, but are so caught up with short-term logistics, that we don’t have time for our vague, half-formed and non-essential ambitions. You know, the ones that might actually feed our souls?

When you look back on your life, it’s the memory of swimming with the dolphins or floating in the Dead Sea that will make you smile, rather than the hours you spent doing overtime or going to the beer garden of your local pub for the 400th time.

So carpe diem, my friends, we’re going to have to start seizing the day, if we ever want to make our dreams happen.

As for me, I’d love to get fit, write a book, go to the Seychelles, move to a house by the sea, have a tryst with Russell Brand (shurrup, it’s my list, right!) and own a pet monkey. Not all are feasible (or legal) but maybe getting up off the sofa and going for a brisk walk would be a start.

At the very least, I wouldn’t have to flash my bum to the world to show that I managed to achieve one of my heart’s desires.

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