18 Oct 2017
The one Facebook posting I eagerly await happens on the first of each month. My 40-year-old niece proudly, and sometimes tongue-in-cheek, posts her family’s Bucket List for the next thirty days. It is a collaborative effort that reflects the collective but simple pleasures of an 8 and 10-year-old and their busy professional parents. It is how they infuse brightness into a month of gloomy Wednesdays and busy schedules.
This month featured pressing fall leaves between wax paper, a secret surprise trip for an unsuspecting cousin’s birthday who lives a hundred miles away (carefully posted as mystery ride), and making real old-fashioned hot cocoa and homemade marshmallows for a family read-aloud night. This, I thought is social media’s response to the wholesome quality of a Norman Rockwell magazine cover. This was a child’s first foray into the grown up version of a future Bucket list, a Bucket List primer. This, was also an “aha” moment for me.
The common denominator between this primer version and my 60-something version was time. My mostly unrealized grown up version had been a victim of circumstances beyond my control. But time…..well, I could manipulate that to capture the enthusiasm of a 10-year-old. After all, they cared as little about events decades ahead as I did. I was old enough to understand the promise of many years, good health and excess income were not guaranteed. Most of the things that have evolved through the dreams of my decades Bucket list had depended on affluence, excessive time or frivolous desires.
I no longer lust for a 1955 Thunderbird in classic aqua. I’ll never learn to shift gears now and it’s too small for the grandchildren’s car seats. Now, I would much prefer a quiet two weeks of writing time on Block Island to a 7,952 foot climb to ascend Machu Picchu. The Andes will have to go on without me. I’d always wanted a Dandy Dinmont terrier, a rare and expensive breed. But my almost 11-year-old mini Daschund, less rare, has been the “fur child” of my dreams. If there is ever a next dog, it will be a middle-aged rescue.
There are benefits to my bucket list – version 2.0 ( a nod to technology) and I embrace the change.
November 1st is my actual birthday. How perfect ! My gift to me is a new simple list that promises fruition:
- Buy art supplies and sign up for a watercolor class
- Designate two hours every Friday morning to complete the outline for that mystery novel I want to attempt.
- Get tickets to the Museum Of African American history and spend a weekend in Washington D.C
- Have a cupcake decorating Saturday with the grandkids
I’m keeping it simple, but the prospect of the month, and months ahead hold a new excitement. This is better than Machu Picchu or a lost Lottery ticket. This is real. Time is on my side now. All I had to do was tweak it.