A bucket list

Have you seen the movie “The Bucket List”? Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson), the billionaire, and Carter Chambers (Morgan Freeman), a smart scholarly mechanic, meet in a cancer ward and decide to compose a bucket list – things to do before they kick the bucket. They go off on their bucket list adventure jumping from planes, racing cars, gazing at pyramids, etc.

I watched the movie last year on DVD with my sisters during our sister vacation in Colorado. I don’t think any of us actually sat down and composed a list afterward, but we talked about it being a cool idea. We agreed that our whitewater rafting adventure was something we could cross off our imaginary lists. They (not me) also got their tattoos (not on my list), which was something they had talked about doing for several years, so they could cross that off their lists, too. Instead, I jumped off a bridge into the Poudre River and crossed that off my imaginary list!

Sometimes I think about composing my real bucket list. I wonder what I would put on it.

Here is what I’ve got so far:

  • I’d like to write a book AND have it published AND have it be number one on the NYT bestseller list.
  • I’d like to tour all seven continents. I’d like to spend a year in each one (other than Antarctica – several weeks would probably do it there).
  • Barring being able to do item listed above, I’d like to go to the UK and tour the countryside, see Stonehenge and kiss the Blarney Stone (after I wiped it off with sanitizer, of course).
  • I’d like to see Australia and New Zealand and scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef (without any fear of sharks).
  • I’d like to go to Greece or anywhere in the Mediterranean and drink Ouzo with the locals.
  • Closer to home, I’d like to go to Vancouver, British Columbia, New Orleans and Boston.
  • I’d like to swim with dolphins or whale sharks (gentle giants).
  • I’d like to start my own business doing something so enjoyable I don’t think of it as work.
  • I’d like to break the world record for longest roller skating.
  • I’d like to get a hole in one.
  • I’d like to learn Gaelic.
  • I’d like to take a ride in a hot air balloon.
  • I’d like to learn to ballroom dance.
  • I’d like to ride the Rollo Coaster at Idlewild Park with my sisters.

What I am discovering in creating a written list is that it is hard. There is a part of my brain that is telling me that if I put it to paper, I better get it all down or risk losing my chance of ever doing it. Which is silly, of course, because in reality our bucket lists are in our hearts, not written down and we check things off as we go through life.

So, dear people, what’s on your bucket lists that you haven’t already crossed off?



I read an article about Michelle Pfeifer the other day in which she says turning 50 has been liberating.  I thought, “Huh? Liberating?  Don’t think so. Who is she kidding? Aging sucks!”

And then, after chewing on it a bit, I thought, “Well, yeah, okay, maybe.” So, I looked up ‘liberate’ in the dictionary to see how it might pertain to me.  For purposes of turning 50, liberating means:

To free from social or economic constraints or discrimination.

Let me see how I might apply this definition to my life. 

At work, I’m no longer trying to climb the corporate ladder. I don’t bring work home or even think about it after I leave the office for the day. I no longer dress to impress or attend after work functions that don’t appeal to me. I am not into office gossip. I am no longer affected by the office bully, brown-noser or back stabber.  The office bully can’t get to me or get a reaction from me, because since I no longer care about getting ahead, I’m  not even on his radar and he spends his time bullying others. This same concept is true for the brown-noser and back stabber at work, too.  They spend so much time and effort being petty, that they’re not doing their jobs, which seems pretty stupid to me. 

Life is different at home, too. One huge difference is that there are no children living in the house anymore, which means there’s no diapers to change, school activities to get to and from, no fractions, multiplication tables or algebra to help with and no teenage dramas.  Whether you miss having your children at home or not, there is no denying that empty-nesters have much more freedom to do what they want when they want.

And then there’s hubby. After this many years of marriage, we both know our roles in the household. There’s no arguments as to who should do what or who contributes more or who works harder.  We both know it was me. We know what we want and both do our parts to make it happen.  Oh, sometimes one of us fails at it. But, we’ve learned that even that is not a big deal in the scheme of life. No melodrama, no nagging over the little stuff.  And, on the rare occasion there is a disagreement (argument), neither one of us frets or loses any sleep over it, because we know that at the end of the day, we’re still together and moving forward.

On the social front, one thing I know is different; I don’t take crap from people anymore.  See, I no longer care if everyone (even complete strangers) likes me, or thinks I’m cute, or funny.  That is truly liberating. (Remember Kathy Bates in the parking lot scene in Fried Green Tomatoes?)  Towanda!

I believe that with age comes wisdom and with wisdom comes maturity.  I have experienced enough in life to know what matters and what doesn’t.  Little things that used to bother me when I was young, no longer matter. I’ve learned to choose my battles wisely.  That’s liberating!

There’s a lot to be said about turning 50, but sadly, most of it deals with the frustrations of aging.  So, Michelle Pfeifer, if you are reading this article (dont laugh, it could happen), “Thanks.”


Advice from Mark Twain

I was going to write about aging, but as I started banging on the keyboard, I realized that wasn’t my topic at all.  Why write about something that I really have absolutely no control over?  I can’t stop aging.  Tomorrow when I wake up, I will be one day older than I am today.  And, you will, too.  Next year, on this exact date, I will be one year older than I am today.  So will you.  We can’t stop time.  Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

It can be a struggle coping with our aging processes.  We read health books and diet books and newspapers and magazines that give us advice on how to live longer and healthier.  We want to age gracefully, and beautifully.  We want to keep our agility and our teeth! 

We’d like to eat whatever we want whenever we want.  We’d like not to worry about the fat content or sugar content or salt content of our foods or if the portion size is bigger than a matchbook.  We want to keep our blood pressure down, our cholesterol down, our gout at bay, our diabetes in check, our hearts healthy, our brains alert. 

We take vitamins promising to help the bodies that we neglect.  As a nation, we spend millions a year on over-the counter remedies, doctor visits, prescription drugs, workout club memberships, home exercise equipment, books and videos to help us beat the aging process.

But, don’t worry. Be happy.

My advice? Take Mark Twain’s advice!

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
– Mark Twain