I recently watched The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I found the movie interesting, as it dealt with two terminally ill men who create a bucket list of things to do before they die. Simultaneously humorous and sad, the plot raised a question to my writer mind.
We all die. That’s a given fact. Would I rather know when I was going to die or die suddenly with no warning?
I decided I would rather know. Armed with the knowledge of a time frame, whether it be a few months as with The Bucket List characters, or a few years, I could spend every moment savoring my last moments before I met God. I know there are those that say live every day like it was your last but I find that hard when a day job and life intrude. Knowing an approximate date would ensure that I would be able to complete everything on my list and then some.
I would travel and see all the beautiful things I’ve seen pictures of or read about. I would visit family and friends and remember old times and create lasting memories. I would show and tell my kids every day how much I love them and help prepare them for their life ahead of them. I would continue to do volunteer work and support my favorite charities. I would continue to touch people’s hearts with the stories I write.
Being a writer was on my bucket list long before I knew what one was. In fact, I’d never heard of the phrase until that movie was released. I realized I always had a list in my mind of things I wanted to do and wanted to try and even managed to do a few. I learned a foreign language. I got to live in two foreign countries and travel through Europe.
As a young girl, I was a girl scout, and when I had a daughter of my own, became a girl scout leader. I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time volunteering and doing good for our community. Each time I look into my children’s eyes, I know that I’ve done the best job I could in raising them. I got to be a cheerleader for a week, even if it was only for a catalog. I got to see a play on Broadway in New York and walk around Central Park.
Last year I got to see the fireworks go off over Cinderella’s castle in Disneyworld. This summer I finally get to go to the Shore, despite having spent part of my childhood outside of Philadelphia. One day I hope to travel to Australia and see the fireworks go off over the Sydney Harbor Bridge on New Year’s Eve.
Of course, there are several things that would make a list of the un-bucket list or things I would never try—skydiving being at the top of it. Or participate in the Running of the Bulls in Spain. Or go into space if the opportunity arose. I like my feet firmly planted on the ground.
So what’s on your bucket list? What’s on your un-bucket list?
Go ahead. Dream big. Dream crazy. Dream the impossible. It may not be out of your reach after all.
Nothing is certain but death and taxes. But then again, that’s life.