I'm a simple girl with a li'l dream, of seeing her humble works in exquisite print, to share with all who feels for words, written with
an unsupressable urge. So indugle in my fantasies, and plow your way through my memories, greatly appreciated you will be,
if you can leave your comments here for me.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

10 Things To Do Before I Die

John Steinbeck once wrote, “It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure on the world."

I am fatalistic. Or at least, I think I am.

I like to imagine the various ways I would die. Sometimes when I lie in bed at night, staring at the plain white ceiling, I can even see my soul hovering over me - looking down at ME - looking up at my soul. It's freaking eerie.

Heck. I even have a grand plan for my funeral.

Then I start ticking off the things I have done in my life. Things I have not done. Things I should have done. Things I must do.

Sometimes the list changes - depending on what I am going through at that point in my life. But it does not differ too much from this not-so-exhaustive list. Unlike Suspicious Bastard - I don't wish to be God. It just takes the fun out of everything because being God gives you absolute power to do whatever you want.

Then what's the point of having a wish list?

The sado-masochistic streak in me love the long, agonizing, torturous process of getting what I want - so that I can ultimately die a truly gratifying death.

After staring at that ceiling for quite some many years, I figured I can finally settle for this list (for now at least).

10. Visit Jerusalem. I'd see it as the most humbling experience of my life to retrace the final steps which Jesus had taken before his crucification - on the rugged stones of this ancient city .

09. Write Memoirs of My Freaking Life - Vols. I - III. Trilogies and beyond get readers hooked as proven by Rowling's Harry Potter series, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings epics and the most recent James Lee's Mr Midnight teenage horror trash. It's about time to exhume those skeletons in my closets...

08. Publish A Magazine. I ought to do this before they hammer the final nail into my coffin. I figured a magazine not only fulfils my insatiable appetite to write, it offers a channel for the remarkable writers that I know a chance to pen their works too. Another dream? Possibly....but not entirely impossible, is it? Success comes to those who dares to dream, or so I was told.

07. Chill out in Maldives. Appallingly extravagant but absolutely de rigueur. The magnificent sapphire, glistening bed of waters beckons to me, and stirs up a yearning so deep that I can almost taste the sea on my lips.

06. Teach. Something I have always wanted to do. The kids I have taught in the past awakened a part of me I never thought existed. They are always eager to please. Perpetually attention seeking. Their innocence sometimes almost makes me feel guilty about being an adult. If I can choose to make a difference, I would like to make a difference in their lives.

05. Volunteer. Too often, I convince myself I have much more important work to do. I have been greatly blessed and have yet to pass these blessings along to someone else who needs it more. There's no excuse and there shouldn't be any. For I have eyes, but yet my heart's blind.

04. Keep a pet. A dog preferably - I prefer wagging tails to feline claws anytime. It will probably be my only best buddy left when my human companions are snugly six feet under.

03. Backpack. That means to explore the world with the clothes on my back, stake out budget hotels, snare cheap exotic buys and make new friends on my travels. How about a travel blog to immortalize those breathtaking landscapes and grandiose infrastructures, and record unique happenings, if any?

02. Aging gracefully. The worst thing about growing old is watching yourself waste away. Nothing can be more depressing than to allow yourself to decay physically, and meekly accept the inevitable deterioration of the spotless mind. The best revenge against the sands of time is to age beautifully - by living an unconventional life, honing our skills, developing life's wisdom, enhancing our body, mind and soul - and most of all, continuing to believe in love.

01. Complete the Bible. There's a reason why this book is the bestseller of all time.

Fiction has it that the moment before you die, your life is played back in 8x rewind speed. History cackled to live and in those flashbacks, you'd wish there are some things you haven't done, and some that you have. If only there is a formula to determine when our time will come. Then we can plan on a timeline the stuff we need to get done before the "deadline" (no pun intended).

Death rolls out no red carpet for anyone but rather - wields a cold, menacing scythe over your head like an impending thunderstorm. I could never dictate when I am going, but I can decide what I want to do before that.

With this list, I am hoping that when my life is being rewound, I would not feel that stabbing pang of guilt which eats into you and makes you feel you have just wasted your time on earth.

I'd say, weave your own red carpet - so that when you hit that rewind button, there will be no regrets.

“Live life so completely that when death comes to you like a thief in the night, there will be nothing left for him to steal.”


mel said...

sounds great but what bout that other list on the right? heh

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

mel: that's a wishin' and hopin' list. if i don get those, not a big deal la... but if i do get them, it would be fatabulous! haha.

Richard said...

Well, I can certainly go with:

Publish a magazine
Age gracefully

Certainly I have volunteered. I have taught at my church. And I used to hike quite a bit (locally though). I've had a dog (well, it was the family dog).

I think all my wishes, hopes and desires are to accomplish things. To make a difference i nthis world. Maybe I have. Certainly I know I have touched some people in my life, but somehow it was without effort.

Maybe the problem is that I think it accomplishing something means it must have been difficult and required effort. I think the story of Naaman reflects this:

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy.

So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha's house. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean." But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, "I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! He turned and went away in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, "Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, 'Wash, and be clean'?" 14 So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.

2 Kings 1, 9-14

Runaway said...

If you don't mind, I will shorten it to 2 or 3 items at most. At my age I think people know the amount of energy one is left or ever has. Anyway lovely post there!!!

surfie77 said...

looks pretty doable.... shd be not much of a problem, if got the time and money that is. If you read the bible 1 chapter a day, can complete it in a year...

paranoid said...

hmm..... nice post.....

anyway hAPPY CNY!

Jade Falcon Elite said...

I kinda wanna comment on this particular post of yours.

These 10 things would be nothing without a companion. I figured that a companion who would support and go through your 10 things to do before you die would ANYTIME be mroe precious than doing any of the 10 things singlehandedly. Ever wondered why a dog is a man's best friend and not a woman's?

You are the sweetest girl I know. Happy Chinese New Year!

Bee said...

Intresting wish list you have. I have accomplished #01, 03, 04, 05 and 06 so far. Now my only wish is to maintain a life that is sensitive to the needs of people around me and be a channel of blessing to them as much as I can.

I guess the best wish out of 10 you have is #01 (complete the bible), which is also something you can start doing now and accomplish within a year. :) A suggestion for you which I personally find helpful:
1. You may like to use Our Daily Bread as a reading guide (I have been using it for the last 3 months).
2. Find a bible-reading partner (hmmn... JF can be a good choice? :P). This is so that both of you can encourage each other when the going gets tough.
3. Blog your bible reading thoughts daily if you have the time.
4. Apply what you learnt.
5. Reward yourself every month for having persevered for that month.

May all your wishes come true soon.

suspiciousbastard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Siao Bei said...

seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given
to you as well

Matthew 6:33

It takes more faith to believe in an UNSEEN God, that silently watches over us.
Than it took for Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.

When you put all your hopes, dreams and aspirations into the creator's (elohim) hands, he will ensure that it will be pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap
(matt 6:38)

The question is, do ou have the faith, courage and patience for God to work?

On a lighter note: Who knows, we might have a "Renna's bible" set, just like the ones "precious moments" have...har har har

palahniuk said...

sounds good, start working on them already!

eisen said...

Apostle Paul mention in the Bible, "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain..." Philipians 1:21

Frankly speaking, your description on death seem rather morbid and cold. I, on the other hand, find death as a celebration knowing that I have finished my life and will b in the transit while waiting for the ETERNAL LIFE that was promised to me (which I CLAIMED it as well). Remember Kelvin? His sharing was with much joy and enthuasiam. This guy is dying, and dying young. Yet I see Christ's hope in him when he shares. Yes, there are many things that he wants n probably plans to do. Still, he felts that through Christ, he has accomplished all that he's suppose to and waiting for Him to bring him back to the Father.

Look on the sunny side of death, that what has been portrait as cold, dark and menacing scythe is often anything but the true meaning of death. Let the Light of Christ shines in your heart and put on a smile upon your death. For the eternal life comes after...

Pet fanatic said...

Someone is loooking to buy a new pet?


For Dogs, you can always try the Dog farms along Pasir Ris Farmway.

The one closer to the main road, pricing is a bit more steep than the inside ones.

Find a friend with a car, do take yor time to tour the area, they sell all kinds of animals from fishes(marine to frshwater), to birds and all your little furry animals. (prices differ with each farm) They are open on Sundays too!!

Last resort, try SPCA (Silly People Chasing Animals), but they Dwags there are usually picked off from the streets. but prices are generally reasonable.

Unfortunately, I'll bring you for a tour around there myself, but For reasons I cannot explain, I am forbid to reveal my Identitiy to you.

you can Kill 2 birds at one time, backpack and find yourself that Dream PET of yours. Who knows with all the walking invloved, it may do some good to that breathing problem of yours, strengthening your lungs in the process.

ok, that's all the tips I have.
Do have a great life ahead. cheers.

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

Richard: Your story got me thinking quite hard. Is it true that one has to go through some tough challenges in order to feel that he/she has achieved something? I guess the sense of achievement is greater if you have invested more effort and time, and in comparison - you will feel you have accomplished more. But you may be right. Sometimes achieving the simple things in life could be as good as any other achievements.

Jade: A dog can be a woman's best friend too. So can a man. If I can have both, that will be so cool. haha

Bee: Thanks Bee. Actually the list is not what I want to accomplish - because I have also done most of them. I have taught, volunteered, etc before...but I want to do it - on a more regular basis. Maybe make teaching my career. Maybe make volunteering something as regular as church going. Not something that I do when I fancy. That's what I meant.

As for the bible, I am a subscriber of the Daily Bread too! Now the challenge is to be disciplined enough to read it every day.... :P

Eisen: Thank you for the inspirational comments. Happy belated Birthday dude!

Pet Fanatic: Thanks for the tips. You puzzled me though by saying you are "forbidden" to reveal yourself to me.... Is your life under danger if you do? What's with the big mystery anyway?

pet fanatic said...

Danger, Hardly, I'm the beast-master. I thrive on Danger and Bad Luck... hee hee..

anyway, to cure your curiosity, I promised my benefactor not to reveal any information about myself.

Rather give you some information on what you require.

tips Part 2:

Anyway, the one on the outside is called "ericson pet farm"
it's quite popular as it's nearer the main road, it's alongside the pet motels (Pets *DWAGS* have better lives than us!!)
The puppies there are REALLY cute.

they claim that the hamsters they sell "bite", I think just to keep the children from touching them and ruin their fur...hahhahaha

The inner one is called "pet movers"
They have this big playground for you to walk your dog... so don't spoil the sense of adventure for you, take a look at the place.

If you still have no idea where the place is, it's around Pasir Ris SAF camp.

If fate permits...you'll get to know me...

For now..I'm off to tend to my pets. Adios...

suspiciousbastard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
suspiciousbastard said...

I don't have much to say for this one, but I'll just like say that you proved me wrong. Don't ask me why, though.

Elvina aka LaoNiang said...

Suspicious Bastard: That's super mean! You made a comment like that and I am not supposed to ask "WHY"? geez. Now I am not going to be able to sleep the whole night, trying to figure out what exactly have I proven you wrong.....

Pet Fanatic: Thanks. Donno about this whole mystery thingy. Seems a bit fishy to me. But...whatever.

Nameless said...


I can kinda relate to your post. There are so many things I want to do, none more than to be closer to God and feel His presence again. But the devil in me always tells me to have fun first and there is always that day when I will wake up and start going to church and cell group again. Haiz.......

Shewin said...


Don't be so mean....
it's not worth it.... trust me ..

juz_A_ga| said...

ooh. publish a magazine.... when you do, call on me for some labour ya? haha!

Siao bei said...

Miss Reena,

Apologies for my previous post, I read the thing you wanna do as "Compile" the bible instead of "Complete" the bible.

Must be gettin Old, eyes playing tricks on me.

This can be done in 1 year. No worries, only challenge is the word, "discipline"

pet fanatic said...

Smells fishy ah??

Generally I Love Fishes... kept 2 tanks in the office and started my planted tank at home. Fishes are so much easier to keep. best is still planted tank. no need to clean. all you need is LIGHT!!

*sniff* sniff*....
Nope, last time I checked, my Eu de toilet (toilet water) wasn't ESSENCE of FISH.

My benefactor says, if you know who he is, you might suddenly grow cold towards both of us. I think that's a problem between you and him. I'm just a bystander.

DaEMoN said...

In response to #1 thing to do: Even the DaVinci Code and Harry Potter are well-popular books. But if you think they're good, I beg to differ.

busybee said...

Elvina said: As for the bible, I am a subscriber of the Daily Bread too! Now the challenge is to be disciplined enough to read it every day.... :P

Well, you are welcome to be my Team Member and join me at Time Alone if you like. It's fun doing devotion together. :)

Life is beautiful said...

Babe, we share one thing in common. I've planned my funeral before too. Love your wish list, more specifically, the idea behind it.
Am inspired to do one too. =)