Oh, the bucket list! All those things we swore we would do when we had the time, the money, the this and the that. When I was in my twenties, my bucket list read something like this:
- Ride an elephant.
- Visit the great pyramids in Egypt.
- Become an oceanographer.
- Become an archeologist.
- Visit Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and Italy.
- Visit all the islands of Hawaii.
- Visit Tahiti; while there, visit the famous pearl museum.
- Collect seashells from all over the world.
- Collect beautiful minerals from all over the world.
- To marry the love of my life.
- To always have cats.
Well, as life will have it, we don’t always do everything in our bucket lists. At my age, I no longer want to:
- Ride an elephant; too high up for me.
- Visit the pyramids; too hot and dusty, and the camels you ride on will spit on you.
- Be an oceanographer as I am too creeped out by the stuff in it that shouldn’t be there; planes, ships, cars, etc.
- Be an archeologist; too dirty.
- I used to love flying until 9/11. Now I am too nervous to fly anywhere. But who knows; that could change.
However, I’ve hit some of the list. I have been lucky enough to:
- Collect lots of beautiful seashells from many places.
- Collect crystals and minerals; I have lots of great ones.
- I did go to Rome, Italy when I was sixteen, and had stopovers in Lisbon, Portugal and Dublin, Ireland.
- It took a dismal first marriage (or, as my mother would have said, “a training wheels marriage”, but I finally married my second husband, the Crankee Yankee—the true love of my life.
- We now have five cats.
I have yet to visit Scotland, Germany, England, Hawaii, and Tahiti. But those trips may come later on in life; who knows?
Even if I haven’t made each item on my bucket list, there have been (and no doubt will be more) new adventures, life events and changes that have been both scary and wonderful. I now have three amazing granddaughters; two from the Crankee Yankee’s daughter, and one from my first husband’s daughter. I have discovered the pure joy of being a grandma; or in my case, a “Lulu,” my grandma name.
I have been privileged to live in the Northeast and the Southwest, then back to the Northeast again. I’ve had some crappy jobs and some great jobs. I’ve taken up some great hobbies so far in my life; reading, writing, jewelry-making, playing ukulele and didgeridoo (neither terribly well, but fun just the same), hula and cartooning.
I have some great friends, old and new. I have walked through good times, bad times, joy and laughter, fears and tears. I have loved greatly and lost greatly; my grandparents, some aunts and uncles, some dear friends, my mother-in-law (from both marriages) and both my parents. I have walked through those shadows we all fear, and have come out on the other side with new knowledge.
However, so far there has been far more joy than sadness. I was privileged to be present both at deaths and one birth; a baby girl. Both events are precious to me. At my age, the bucket list is more flexible than it used to be. Instead of fiercely declaring what I want to do, I now keep options in my mind.
There is time, there is space for new adventures and possibilities; who knows what they may be? I’m keeping my bucket list open for now.