There are movies, there are books, there are websites, and there are all sorts of folks offering advice on the subject. But, when it comes to a bucket list each of ours is a personal thing. What we want to do and what we feel we need to accomplish before we shuffle off this mortal coil is different for each person. The exercise for today, from my great list of exercises to do, is “What is at the top of my bucket list.”
I never thought so much about having a bucket list myself I have things I’d like to do in life, places I’d like to go, and people I want to meet, but I’ve never put them on a list of “things I have to do before I die or I am going to die.” I’m also very happy to say that a lot of the things I wanted to do in life I have already done. Not because I set out with some dogged determination that I had to accomplish something, but because I just did. It’s kind of like the old Nike ad of “just do it”.
Two of the things that I had always wanted to do envolved traveling. The first was to go to Ireland, and the second was to visit England. Luckily my father got invited to speak at a conference at Trinity College in Dublin 1992 and amazingly he asked my sister and me if we wanted to go along. How could anyone turned down such an invitation? We spent a marvelous week in Dublin and some other southerly parts of Ireland enjoying the history, people, poking the Book of Kells (well not really, I poked the case) and generally exploring and having a good time.
Later, on our 15th anniversary, my wife and I got a chance to go to England. She had a relative living just outside of London who kindly offered us full use of their house. They were to be away in Rome that week! Again, too good a deal to pass up – and we didn’t. I don’t think anyone could hit all the high points of the London area to lifetime, but we did a good bit. And I also did something I really wanted to which was visit Abingdon, the home of the original MG factory. Also got to visit Warwick Castle, Bath, and catch Phantom of the Opera at the Queen’s Theatre.
As for my bucket list for the future, I would like to visit Switzerland. My grandfather on my mother’s side was Swiss, and I have always wanted to visit our family there and see where he grew up. The fact that it is a beautiful and interesting country doesn’t hurt one bit either. Oh, and while there, we might as well visit Italy and France right? I mean the big expense is the plane trip across the Atlantic. Once you are in Europe you can just buy a rail pass and run all over the place. Now that sounds like fun!
OK, I know this is boring. I know you are all expecting lofty goals and a huge list. But I have learned over the years not to postpone joy. Life is too short. My mother and father spent years planning the traveling they would do when my father retired. And then my mother died early and suddenly in 1989, and they never got to bring any of those plans to life. My dad and I have talked about that occasionally since then. Planning is a good thing, but so much planning and hoping that it puts things off is not. If something is important to you, do it. Do it now. Gather together your resources and make it happen. If it isn’t important enough for you to do that, is it really worthy of being on your bucket list in the first place?