Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Bucket List

We went to see The Bucket List this weekend. Despite having two wonderfully skilled actors –Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson—in it, the film was mediocre at best. The story is that of two older men who are each given only six months to live and decide to make a list of the things they should do/want to do before they “kick the bucket”. A lot of things on the list were predictable and, though there were great photographic scenes of the Pyramids and the Himalayas, the storyline was at times boring and predictable.

Yesterday when I was sitting waiting for Con Ed to finish its work in my home so that I’d have heat and access to my computer, I grabbed a piece of paper and did my own bucket list. Until two years ago, I’d done something fairly equivalent during the week before Christmas—a list of things I hoped to do in the upcoming year, the upcoming ten years, and at some point in my life. In 2006 and 2007, we were traveling during that last week of the year so I’d let the habit drop. Yesterday’s bucket list takes the place of the 2007 list, though without the three category breakdown.

Much of what I put on the list continues to be in the same three or four categories-- travel, music, water activities, gardening, and the arts—as when I used to do the old list. And a lot of the specifics are even the same because family responsibilities, work obligations, and money issues continue to make many of the items on the list impractical, if not impossible.

New this year would be my desire to be able to grow enough vegetables to sustain our family through a year, though having a greenhouse –even a small one—remains right next to that on the gardening part of my list because I’d still like a chance to raise African violets and orchids. Travelwise, my first choices of places I’d like to see still remain Greece, Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef (which I’ve dreamed of snorkeling since I was a kid), and Poggio Rusco (especially during Carnival in February). The activity I’d most like to learn is to sing well, and then to improve my guitar and flute playing to go with it. As bad as I am at it, making music (along with being in or on the water) continues to give me more delight than almost anything else. The bucket list has a lot of water- related activities on it—keeling a catamaran, swimming through an underwater grotto, kayaking surrounded by a pod of humpbacks, and of course building the sailboat that I dreamed about when my mother and I bought her the place up at the Cape way back in 1981. And then there’s hang gliding, and riding horses on a beach, and acting, and learning to make stained glass, and learning to fence. There’s probably not enough time in one lifetime—no matter how long I live or how healthy I remain—to do all the things I want to try.

But of course there are also the more mundane things to enjoy. Right now I've got bread baking and stew bubbling away on the stove and the house smells wonderful from them—so I’m more than content!

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