Monday, January 28, 2013

Before We Kick the Bucket...

Anita and I spent an hour yesterday creating bucket lists.

We had talked about it before – and about specific entries that would eventually appear on our lists – but we never felt like spending the time racking our brains and actually putting ideas to paper until yesterday afternoon.

Once I started typing things into my Excel document, I was tripping over myself to get everything down. Anita, on the other hand, found it helpful to check out other folks’ online lists for ideas. As I write this, in fact, she hasn't finished her list yet. But I’m fighting the urge to lengthen my list beyond the 100 entries I speedily compiled.

We haven’t yet shared our lists. Anita’s traveled more extensively than I have so I expect there are fewer references to other countries and locales on her list than on mine. (I want to see the Great Wall of China, for example, and the Hoover Dam and the Taj Mahal, among other landmarks.) And as I’ve written before, Anita couldn't care less about celebrities so I don’t expect “See taping of television show,” “Meet Motown artist(s)” or “Have dinner with famous person” to appear on both of our lists (unless the famous person was, say, noted astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson).

We argued briefly about what’s listable and what’s just a life goal. My position was that losing weight or attending our kids’ college graduations, for example, were worthy goals but not the kind of things to go on a bucket list. Riding a zip line, seeing the Northern Lights and meeting the President of the United States were more listable, I insisted.

It was at this point that she told me she was about to add, “Get Pat to mind his own frikkin’ beeswax because this is my list and he’s not the boss of me” to her document.

We did agree that we could put things down even if we've already done ‘em. We each relished the sense of accomplishment we derived from placing an “x” next to some of our entries. When I counted up my x’s and saw that over half the entries on my list have already been achieved, I felt cooler than before our little exercise.

There were some things – some events and memories and accomplishments – that I didn't include even though I thought they were listable. (Examples include sitting on Dolly Madison’s couch in the White House and eating jumbo shrimp or taking professional quality photographs of my laughing child on a merry-go-round, both of which I've done.) And some ideas weren't added because their time has most likely come and gone (like running across the country like Forrest Gump, for example, or competing in the Tour de France) or they’re painful to think about (like reconciling with my firstborn or visiting my birth father’s grave). But there are still plenty of challenges to tackle before my number’s up.

I’m sure I’ve left off some noteworthy ideas, and maybe I cheated by including so many things that I’ve already done. But I’ve already lived for five decades; it’s not like I’m just starting out on this amazing journey. I’m printing my list below (italicized entries have already been done). Tell me what you think, and how does mine differ from yours?

Pat’s Bucket List

Touch water from all five Great Lakes
Touch water from the three major oceans
Drive down crookedest street in America
 See Hollywood sign 
See Mann's Chinese Theatre 
Meet President of the United States
Tour White House 
Be on television 
Be on the radio 
Have name appear in a book 
Have photo appear in a book
Write/publish a book
Create a blog
Visit India
Visit Brazil
Visit China (and see the Great Wall)
Go to the Super Bowl
See taping of television show
Drive along Pacific Coast Highway

Travel across country
Go skydiving
Ride in hot air balloon
Canoe down remote river
See Grand Canyon (and skywalk)
Go whale watching
Go on a cruise
Experience "Taste of Chicago"

Visit major aquarium 
Go behind the scenes at a zoo
Travel by train to Chicago 
Travel by train to Toronto 
Go hiking in national park
Hike part of Appalachian Trail
See Mt. Rushmore 

See Statue of Liberty 
Find the Love of My Life
Rent/own RV and travel country w/LOML
Meet Motown artist(s) 

Work in executive branch of state government
Work in legislative branch of state government
Work for self 
Serve as pallbearer 
Give speech in front of crowd
Sing in front of crowd 
Ride in a helicopter
Visit Hawaii
Drive a motorcycle
Drive a speedboat
Graduate from college
Make my kids laugh
Set foot in all 50 states
Appear in a movie
Have sex outside 

Own a house
Visit Italy
Visit Amsterdam
Visit France
Visit England
Visit Bali
Learn how to play piano
Shave head 

Grow moustache and beard 
Get tattoo
Ride a horse
Have dinner with famous person
Hold a snake
Go to Disney World 

Go on a ski trip
See an opera
See a play on Broadway
Have coffee at an outdoor café in Europe
Witness major surgery
Be the boss at work 

Witness childbirth/cut the umbilical cord
Ride in a small plane
Attend Cannes Film Festival
Ride in a limousine
Ride on a zip line
Stay at Hotel Coronado on Catalina Island, California

Visit Meteor Crater in Arizona
See Hoover Dam
See intersection of Florence and Normandy in LA
Meet Muhammad Ali
Cut down my own Christmas tree
Work out with the help of a personal trainer
Visit New Orleans' Ninth Ward
Travel to the top of an active volcano
See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
Swim with dolphins
See Andy Warhol's ‘Campbell's Soup Cans’ at MoMA

Fire a gun 
Sleep in a hammock
Play the Old Course at St. Andrews with Anita
See the Northern Lights
Visit Times Square 

Visit the top of the Empire State Building
Ride a roller coaster
Shower in a waterfall
Visit Niagara Falls
Visit a winery

1 comment:

  1. Touch all 5 Great Lakes: done. Be on TV: done. Be on radio: done. See a taping of a TV show: done. Canoe down a remote river (does the Rifle River count?): done. Train to Toronto: done. Hiking in a national park: done. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail: done. Pallbearer: done. Speech in front of a crowd: done. Visit Hawaii: done. Drive a motorcycle: done. Drive a speedboat: done. Graduate from college: done. Have sex outside: done. Own a house: done. Grow mustache and beard: done. Shave head: done. Ride a horse: done. Dine with a famous person: done. Hold a snake: done. Go to Disney World: done (rode Space Mountain the year it opened...1975!). Be a boss: done. Ride in a limo: done. Hoover Dam: done. Active volcano: done. Fire a gun: done. Sleep in a hammock: done. Roller coaster: done. Niagara Falls: done. Winery: done. Ride in a helicopter: done.

    Skydiving would be next on my list, but I need to lose about 20lbs beforehand, since I currently exceed the weight limit.

    Some of the international travel might be inaccessible, since I currently have no passport or disposable income, but I had fun with the rest of your list. May you do the same!