This assignment asks if we ever made a mental bucket list of things we ever seriously or jokingly wanted to do. Heck, I live by lists. Lists for the grocery store, lists for what to do tomorrow, tonight, this month, next month, for you, for me, for the dog. Wait–I don’t have a dog! Darn lists…. If I don’t keep a list, then it all gets stuck in my brain. So out it comes, out of the brain and into my phone, on the back of a receipt or on the printout of my weekly Outlook calendar.
Today, I’ll do another run of My Bucket List. Let’s call it 65.1, since it’s the first one this year of my birth. The Assignment, Number 1738, calls for at least five things to put down on this list. Easy peasy. But this list is getting more time- and health-sensitive and has changed since I’ve accomplished many items from previous lists. My bucket isn’t bottomless anymore.
The cool part of all this is that even though my bucket list isn’t bottomless, I’ve filled it over and over again for decades. What fun it has been! What Joy! Now, even though Age is plugging it up, that’s okay. It’s just a different phase. Now, I’m looking for the penultimate experiences, the second to last of all my grandest experiences. There will still be the Ultimate experiences yet to come! But I do need to plan a little bit and be realistic. I have dozens of years left but health could rear its ugly head so its time to pack everything in and get serious! As one friend suggested, if I have 20 items on my travel list but I can only go to one great place every year, that means I have to stay healthy and financially capable for the next 20 years! Is that realistic? No one knows, so I will plan as if I will be fine for 20 more years. Will I travel by myself, or can I count on someone to go with me each and every time? This is all very real now, compared to when I was 17 and heading to Alaska on an adventure by myself for a month with no agenda, no plan. God willing, I’ll get this bucket emptied and with a lot of fun and the Joy of Travel and Experiences and “Gettin’ ‘Er Done”:
–Soaking in as many natural hot springs around the world as possible, but not the commercial types, not ones you have to pay for.
–Visit and photograph the Angkor Wat temple.
–Tour the Mongolian Steppes and find a falconry tour with the Kazakhs.
–Dive and photograph the Great Barrier Reef before it dies.
–Laugh at a campsite in New Zealand with new friends drinking wine and eating fabulous food.
—White water raft through the Grand Canyon, and I don’t cook or pitch a tent.
—Train through the Northern Rockies into Banff and Lake Louise.
–Go on a cattle drive by horseback, with great food, no labor, and with scotch and a guitar around the campfire.
–Take cooking classes with Gordon Ramsey.
–Ask Oprah if she’s really mad at me or if it was just business.
–Take up Ballroom Dancing.
–Get into Drift Car Racing.
When thinking about this list, it needed to be a variety of activities that is away from my future work which will be more sedentary and close to home. My daily life will encompass writing and gardening, so I need to expand in every other direction. I hope a few ideas on this list will entice my family and friends to join me so the anticipation before the events and the memories can all be shared with someone else.
It was not hard to develop the list because most of these ideas have been in my head, talked around and about with my people, and some have even been written down in various forms. What is different at this time of my life is how I approach a bucket list. There may be constraints and restraints ahead so I need to get in the more arduous, physically demanding ones now, before I end up making accommodations.
FYI, I did look at the examples in the Assignment Bank, but I’m simply in a different place in my life and needed to step back and think about what a bucket list really means to me. I’m not thinking about settling down and raising a family, creating a career, buying a home, starting a business–been there, done all of that. I’m in the fulfillment phase of doing whatever I feel like doing, so as long as I get out of bed every day, take my vitamins and continue to make some contribution to this world, it is a good day.