The other day, someone suggested I might add an item to my bucket list, then stared in disbelief when I replied none existed. How was it possible I didn’t have a menu of items to be accomplished before I expire?
Ever since the 2007 movie Bucket List came out, it has become expected that one compiles a list (foolhardy or not) of unfulfilled dreams before one “kicks the bucket.” The truth is, I don’t want to think about it. Who needs that pressure at this time of my life?
Numerous websites have been set up to help the unimaginative among us compile a collection of reckless feats, risky places to visit, and dangerous things to eat that may or may not actually bring your final day closer to reality.
Seeking inspiration, I perused some of these sites and found them very helpful. My bucket now contains at least 101 challenges I enthusiastically hope never to meet.
For example, I’m sure I can live happily for the rest of my
life without the experience of
ziplining. The mental image of me hanging from a thin wire makes my shoulders hurt. Ditto for skydiving, hang gliding, parasailing and bungee jumping.
When I was younger, rock climbing or mountaineering held some attraction. Now, the greatest physical challenge I care to accept is reaching behind my back to
fasten my bra.
I love sea life, but I’m not crazy about water. So scratch cliff jumping, swimming with sharks, scuba diving, and surfing. I’ve been whitewater rafting and came away unscathed, save for a mild case of PTSD, so I’d rather not push it.
Despite the fact that it’s landbased, Zorbing (rolling down a hill inside a large
plastic ball) serves little purpose except to experience the adrenaline rush of
I don’t want to get a tattoo,
although it might be interesting to
adorn my body with more color
variety than just brown spots.
And nix the Brazilian wax. I think
I’ve passed the expiration date for
undraping on a nude beach.
And if I died tomorrow, would
I regret never sampling chocolate
covered grasshoppers, being chased
by bulls, or taking tuba lessons?
Life has been good so far, and
I’m thankful for the opportunities
I’ve had and the pleasure of visiting
many places. But whatever I have
left undone is far from mandatory.
So, unless you know someone on the writing team of Saturday Night Live who may be looking for a white-haired intern, I will remain Bucket List Less.
Susan Goldfein holds a doctorate in Communication Disorders from Teachers
College, Columbia University, and enjoyed a successful career as a clinician,
teacher, and consultant. For more essays filled with wit, wisdom and irony,
visit Susan’s blog, www.susansunfilteredwit.com. Her book, How Old Am I in Dog
Years? may be purchased on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com