Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bucket List

I realize that I am hovering somewhere in the neighborhood of middle age (as strange as I find that concept) and suppose I need to be composing my bucket list. A few years ago a movie came out that inspired a number of people to quit waiting for "someday" and start living every day with the importance it deserves. I think that's a noble concept...and as much as I enjoy listmaking, I'm a little surprised that I haven't given this much consideration.

With all of the possibilities out there to explore, I suppose I'll start with the easy things...those items that are most definitely NOT on the list. Things like skiing, jumping out of an airplane, or climbing Mount Anything. I'm also not intrigued by the idea of traveling to any continent other than the one I'm on, Europe, and possibly Australia. I don't feel called to mission work in parts unknown, and I'm not really that enthusiastic about vacationing in Central America either. A video a friend posted about the dreaded bot fly pretty much sealed that one for me. If you are headed that way, more power to you. Post your pictures on Facebook so I can feel like I've been there too.

I don't want to own anything from the animal kingdom except a small dog and a cat that stays outside and doesn't require anything but food and an occasional scratch behind the ears. Okay, that's a stretch in that there appears to be grooming bills that I'd really rather not think about right now. Rebel and Dixie both visited the groomer this week and it was fairly ridiculous cost-wise. Rebel looks like he's being recruited for some military K-9 unit right now, and he's on my list for growling incessantly during the visit. That gave them just cause to charge me another $20 for being hard to handle. Good thing that the daycare didn't charge that fee when Jill was little.

I am not interested in anything that involves me wearing a bathing suit, a costume, or protective gear. Frankly, I find pantyhose challenge enough in the costume arena after shedding them six years ago and never looking back. And the bathing suit? I think that this will be an impossibility unless I can someday afford some major plastic surgery or the suits from the 1920s somehow come back in vogue.

I am hopeless at other languages, can cook well enough to survive, and have as much house as I've ever wanted. In fact, when it comes time to actually clean the house, it feels surprisingly large and burdensome.

Cars don't impress me, I've never accessorized particularly well, and all of the things I've needed and most of the things I've wanted have either been received or the desire to have them has evaporated. Sometimes that evaporation process has been watching other people try to figure out what to do with whatever it was...and being glad that it was them and not me.

Yes, my children survived not having a four-wheeler, golf cart, or Barbie car. We've gotten by without beach or lake houses, farms, or vacation homes in Highlands. Those things are nice, and I think it is awesome that other people have them. No sour grapes here. I just love that I can visit them when invited and enjoy them too. Kind of like the difference between children and grandchildren.

In short, I'm pretty content with my life as it is. I've learned to be that way because whining about it does absolutely no good. Trust me...I've tried. And just when you think you have life all figured out, anyway, you inevitably learn that you could not be more wrong.

But if I must...I will say that I would like to visit London and Paris again...which is a strong possibility in 2011.

I want to call Merry Maids for a thorough cleaning, I want the pool liner placed, gravel in the driveway, and the porch ceiling fixed. Actually, that all sounds more like a "honey-do" or a wish list than a bucket scratch that.

I want to attend the graduations of both of my children...high school and college. Granted, I will probably only be in one of the photos because I'll be behind the camera, but whatever.

Seeing my children grown and happy (and hopefully married if that's what's in the cards for them) and laying eyes on any grandchildren that God may bless our family with is a sincere and strong desire of my heart. Of course, many of the people in my family have gotten married and/or had children in the past five years, and I now have fourteen people related to me now than I did in 2005. At this rate, we'll have babies in the family for awhile. So, I'm good...for now.

Being completely debt free and able to bless other people anonymously is something I've always hoped to do more than I've been able. I love supporting kids going on mission trips, helping people who are starting out, and making someone's special days even more special. It's just hard to do that when you are trying to get Capital One, Chase, or American Express off your back.

I'd like to revisit New York, Pennsylvania, California, and St. Augustine, Florida within the next ten years because I have family there that I love living there, and there's no reason not to visit. I'm headed to Texas this November, Lord willing.

I'd like to weigh less, and I'm working toward realizing that dream, but surprisingly it isn't as important as it should be to me. Funny how a lot of things we just think we can't live without are exactly like that. I want to look better, feel better, and keep my folks from worrying about me. And I'm going to get there...eventually.

Seeing some great concerts, visiting Las Vegas, writing something amazing that resonates with people, running in a race, and being here for whoever needs me round out the list.

I'm not that difficult to please, you see.

I don't really know what life has ahead for me. I know that I am hoping for a long and happy life, but I think everyone hopes that this is the default setting. But I've actually realized most of the dreams for my life already...being the overachiever that I am...and when I got to a few of them I felt like the price to enjoy the panorama wasn't worth what it cost to get there.

Except for that karaoke thing with the girls at Stubby's Pub a few months back. That was totally worth it. I'm sure that the young men filming it to put on "YouTube" probably thought so as well. I don't think that "Hen Party" is going on a world tour just yet. But I do look forward to getting the band back together at the reunion next year. It will be our 30th. That hardly seems possible.

I think that bucket lists are great ideas for keeping us focused on the possibilities in life. Everyone has different dreams, goals, and ambitions, though, and where my list is pitifully small, other people may have a lot of ground to make up.

It really is fun to see people do just that.

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