Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

“Make a list,” prods another Caitlin, so I try again and again and again. Lists of places to go. Dreams to interpret. Careers I might have enjoyed. Enormous statues I want to see. Languages I have learned and promptly forgotten. My line items are alternatively boring, plausible, unlikely and all of them seem to include an unmet Canadian need to drive a Zamboni.

What strange math. There is nothing like the tally of a life. All of our accomplishments, ridiculous. All of our striving, unnecessary. Our lives are unfinished and unfinishable. We do too much, never enough and are done before we’ve even started. We can only pause for a minute, clutching our to-do lists, at the precipice of another bounded day. The ache for more — the desire for life itself — is the hardest truth of all.

—  Kate Bowler, from “One Thing I Don’t Plan to Do Before I Die Is Make a Bucket List”. At 35, the doctors tell me I have Stage IV colon cancer and a slim chance of survival. (NY Times, August 28, 2021)


  1. Life is fleeting

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It seems a brutal truth that we often only appreciate things when we are faced with losing them. Desperately trying to avoid this trap, yet recognize full well how hard it is to slip into a day-to-day routine that takes certain things for granted and becomes irritated or fixated on things that, in the end, just do not matter.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. No words.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. “Our lives are unfinished and unfinishable”…heartfelt 🤍🕊

    Liked by 5 people

  5. This was profound and heartbreaking and so well written. I didn’t realize other Canadians had a need to drive a Zamboni as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve never felt a burning desire to drive a Zamboni. I was just fine with finally getting a riding mower. But on the real topic, aren’t we lucky if we reach middle age without losing our lives! Many don’t even have that chance. Every day is a treasure.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Michael Zahaby says:

    This really touched me on a deeper level. I lost a wife to stage IV Colon Cancer. She went back to the doctor who misdiagnosed her for years and told him that he not only cheated her out of survival, but he cheated those inner city Philadelphia school children that needed her, not only for education but for “hope”.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow Michael. This moved me. Thank you for sharing.


    • oh Michael; (much) belated condolences – but certainly for sharing your late wife’s ‘story’ (isn’t there a better word? – this is so not a story, let’s say experience) – her remark about depriving those children of HOPE made me weepy and her words fell deeply into my heart. Yes, we maybe should also be beacons of hope, not only for our own outcome, but for those around us….

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So much to think about…. Read her article, THANK YOU for sending it! Found out what a Zamboni is (!) Pondered all of this – yes, that one sentence (and many others) about unfinished lives. Gripping, crippling. What a load on this young woman’s shoulders.

    I just ‘found’ another one of your posts that I didn’t see before. Either I’m losing track of my friends’ posts or else I blame the Universe – but this is not about blame, it’s about the fact that your posts become more and more ‘inwardly’ – you seem to ever more look in the very depth of the hearts of your authors chosen to read (and thankfully share with us) – and I for one like that very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. On a different note, I’m quite shocked to see that you are not getting those large numbers of comments any more. Either I’m not alone in ‘losing’ posts or the lives of ALL of us have changed so much that a blog post can’t be taken ‘into consideration’ any longer. And that would worry me to a great degree, as some bloggers (hello Dave) are well worth our time, consideration and possibly commenting.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Life is now, isn’t it? What a great read her whole article was. Seems to me these lists would only serve to make us feel we missed so much instead of focussing on what’s around us. I suppose some would want to create this to also create hope. I am so not ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Whoa! Kate Bowler with her adorable face and twinkle in her eyes certainly looks very alive. I had to retrieve her piece from the NYTimes–I had tossed it into recycle bag because I find the idea of a bucket list about as boring as it gets–but, her take on that topic is moving and profound. Thank you for sharing about your fellow Canadian, and Zamboni lover. …back down to living in the present moment as key to living….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: