A bucket list. Yes, THE bucket list. I think we’ve all mentally carried a bucket list in our heads, but it never really becomes an OFFICIAL bucket list until you write it down and begin the journey to complete the list and check the items off one by one through the years . . . or, for some, days or months.
Now, I’ll start out by saying, I’ve made many, many lists throughout my life and usually, almost always, I lose them. Sticking to lists for tasks such as the grocery store or errands or chores has never been a strong point. In fact, I generally dislike lists. But my BUCKET LIST is more of a “life achievement list,” things I want to do before I die (and most I have to do before I’m too old and weakened by the infirmities of age). One of the items on my list is to mush a dog sled. Seriously, I don’t believe I’ll be attempting that very late in life . . . that is, if I reach the average life span age for a woman of about 75. Between the cold, the extreme physical and mental requirements, well . . . need I say more?
So let’s get on with the story.
So let’s just say I’ve probably done several things a lot of people would put on their list. I’ve jumped from an airplane that was in perfect operational order (and I lived to tell about it); I’ve mountain-climbed (in the southeastern United States, not Everest or Kilimanjaro); I’ve performed the recreational task of spelunking; and I’ve ridden a bucking bronc . . . in a bar. So those are crossed off the list of things to do. The list I’ve started is more of a “locational list,” places I want to visit, and I will preface this with, “places I want to visit and photograph.” You see, I’m a professional photographer and I can’t get enough of being behind the camera. But I won’t go into that right now. I’ll just get on with the list.
Probably very near the top of the list is to live for a week in a lighthouse . . . a real lighthouse . . . a remote lighthouse, an old lighthouse . . . weather out a storm manning the light. Actually, a week would probably not be enough, but I don’t know many lighthouses on the market for sale where I could take up residence. Plus, with most not being equipped with an elevator, it could prove tough maneuvering those steps several times a day at the ripe age of 80.
Probably not in the top 25 percentile of the list, but riding a camel IS on the list. Now, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a one-humper or a two-humper, and it doesn’t have to be in the desert of Asia, but I’ll just say, I prefer it not to be at a county or state fair where I have to stand in line on a paved parking lot behind lots of folks partaking of “fair food” while inhaling the lovely scent of camel poop. So the fun may be in the chase to find a camel to ride in a more natural habitat.
Moving on through the list, there are many places I would like to visit for the pure delight of photographing. The Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, is near the top of the list. This is a work of art created by many of which are volunteers. It’s a place where you can stand and see the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. What an awesome experience.
Moving out of the cold and into the warm, the statues of Easter Island in the southeastern Pacific . . . WOW! That’s very near the top of the list. The Coliseum in Rome, Diana’s grave in England, Stonehenge . . . the list goes on.
Learning to play the guitar, swimming with dolphins (and not in a fish tank in Florida), mush a dog sled . . . have dinner with (and those of you who know me, don’t laugh) Harrison Ford . . . well, he would probably eat, I would drool (your cue to laugh), and it would also be amazing to have the opportunity to meet Annie Leibovitz.
One of the big items on my list is to write my children a letter telling them things they need to know at various stages of their lives (from my perspective), a letter that would be given to them at certain milestones, and in that letter I would include lessons that I had learned in my life. One thing I would stress to them is that no matter how long you live, you never should give up dreaming. For many of us, a bucket list is the dreams we hold deep inside, the things we yearn to do, but life gets in the way. There are things on everyone’s list that are more easily accomplished . . . things like learning to play an instrument. More often than not, it’s the time involved in learning to do so. Time is a big hurdle all of us must get over. Before we know it, our time begins to run out. We put off things till retirement or say we’ll do it when we “have more time.” Children grow up, they leave the nest. We think we’ll have “more time,” but we just seem to keep running and putting things off.
To end this mumbling, I want to say one more thing, and this is, one of my biggest bucket list items is to sit down more often and have conversations with God, to try to find answers to so many questions, to feel him closer, to feel warm and calm and know I am blessed by His love. There should always be time to talk to God, but it’s so often that we don’t take the time. What we do is take for granted that He’s listening when we mumble. He probably is listening, but we’re not focusing. With Him, all things are possible . . . probably even the Bucket List.
Until next time.