Thu | Aug 24, 2017

Life is for living

Published:Tuesday | September 8, 2015 | 9:00 AMPatria-Kaye Aarons, Contributor

"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." - Pope Paul VI

As a child, I saw success as having a fridge with an ice dispenser in the door. That sophisticated appliance, to me, was the sign that someone had arrived; they had made it. No more setting ice trays and running them under the tap to loosen the cubes to get a cold drink. The refrigerator, and in my mind, the world, were at the command of the fancy fridge owner.

My views have come a long way from that perception. I no longer measure success by what people have, but more by what they have done. Who will remember you and what will they remember you for? Have you left the world better than how you found it? Have you lived?

At 33, I am nowhere near successful. Sure, my fridge has an ice dispenser, but I owe Courts for it. Possessions mean very little to me. I measure my life now in memories.

Success for me now is a swimsuit tan. Physical evidence that I've taken some time for myself to sit on the beach and enjoy a simple life and some sunshine.

Success for me now is stamps in my passport. The world is big and beautiful. I want to travel, to meet people who don't speak my language, and learn about those things that connect us.

Success is happiness. The ability to laugh. Carefree, unpretentious, bellyful, can-hardly-breathe laugh.

Success is making a difference. Sharing a story with someone who feels motivated to better themselves. Encouraging someone to care less about problems and more about other people. Giving a damn and changing the world for the better.

Every day I see people get up, go to work, pay the bills and repeat that until they die. What's the point? Work isn't life. Work should only finance life.

Life is for living. So here's my bucket list. 30 things I want to do before I am but a memory. If ever I complete this list, I would have lived - really lived - and I would consider myself truly successful. I've already started checking off quite a few. Many more to go.

1. Do a massage course.

2. Jump in Trinidad carnival (check).

3. Visit Japan.

4. See Table Mountain in South Africa.

5. Backpack through Europe.

6. Serve Christmas dinner/

breakfast from my own home (check).

7. Go to a wedding in India.

8. Take a cruise with my mummy.

9. Get married.

10. Have babies.

11. Adopt a child.

12. Take a roller-coaster ride with my high-school friends (check).

13. Stay a weekend at Sandals (check).

14. Attend one Olympics.

15. Have Clovis draw me.

16. Own a house with a view of the sea.

17. See Stevie Wonder live (check).

18. Be an audience member at a US talk-show taping.

19. Eat from a garden I grew.

20. Gamble in Vegas.

21. Salsa with a stranger in Cuba (check).

22. Go see a live comedy show in the US (check).

23. Run the Reggae Marathon.

24. Start a foundation that will outlive me.

25. Vacation in Greece.

26. See a Broadway play that's new to me in New York (check).

27. Play guest host on radio one day.

28. Have a huge birthday party.

29. Weigh 150lb.

30. Fly my family first class.

What's on your bucket list?

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and findpatria@yahoo.com, or tweet @findpatria.