I’ve never been a fan of the idea of having a “bucket list,” mostly because I don’t like the idea of having a set list of goals that I need to reach before I “kick the bucket.” How am I supposed to know now, in my middle age, everything that I still want to do with my life? And what am I supposed to do when I finally cross the last item off my list? Just check myself into the nearest nursing home and wait for death? I think not.
But I am a natural procrastinator, so I do see the advantages of having some actual goals for the second half of my life, as long as they are appropriately fluid and on-going. After giving the matter some thought, I finally came up with a bucket list I can live with:
1) Travel somewhere new as often as possible. It doesn’t have to be far, as there are lots of interesting places I’ve never visited within a two-hour drive from my home, but it does have to be somewhere I’ve never visited before. Discovering someplace new and wonderful is a joy I’ll never outgrow, and few things match it for making me feel young again.
2) Once a month, do something I haven’t ever done before. It doesn’t really matter what it it is….just be brave and get out there and try something new. Not everything will end as badly as my attempt at water-skiing. (Note to self in case I ever try that again: keep your feet together when the boat pulls you up out of the water. Doing the “splits” on a lake is just as painful as it sounds.)
3) Try to make a new friend at least once a year. I’ve heard people say they don’t want any new friends because they can barely keep up with the ones they have now. And while I understand that from a time-management aspect, I am not willing to limit myself to the friends I already know, no matter how much I value them. (And that’s a LOT!) But some of my favorite people are those I’ve only gotten to know in the past few years, and trust me, they’re worth the time. When it comes to adding good people to my life, I believe there’s always room for one more. Always.
4) Never, ever stop thinking of new goals and new ways to make sure the second half of my life is as interesting, fun and meaningful as I can possibly make it. Because when I’m not willing to do that, then perhaps it really will be time to find that nursing home….