Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Bucket List

“Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65 or 75, and you never got your memoir  or novel written: or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid?  It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.”    
   Anne Lamott 

 I came across this Anne Lamott quote  a few weeks ago.   I am half way through the 65 to 75 age bracket she speaks of  so I can certainly relate. But more than that, when I shared this quote with my friends they all thought I had written it.  Even my husband who has edited every word I’ve written since our marriage saw my voice in this quote.    It rings true because I have been working on my memoir and a novel for eons and it will probably never be finished.  Since I can remember I have had jiggly thighs and my tummy is the most prominent part of me. Perfectionism has long been my middle name and people-pleasing is second nature and has always come before myself.     

Between the lines, I keep reading it's time for a bucket list.  I never heard  the term “bucket list” until 2007 when the movie of the same name came out.  But, as someone who has been keeping journals since elementary school I certainly have one.  Most of the things left on my bucket list have more to do with the places I would love to travel to, and the people I want to meet.  The first entry on my list  was made when I was in sixth grade and read a library book about growing up on the coast of Maine.  Since then I have added many places with my last entry made only a year or so ago.  

Image result for bucket list quotesMy thoughts keep coming back to the same few places I have fallen in love with from the travel photos and stories told by friends and coworkers.   I imagined, over the years, the smells of the beach, the sound of waves on the coast or how I would sound if I could talk like a Mainer.  The restauranteur in me also wonders what the taste of dinning would be like in places like Mackinac Island, Myrtle Beach, San Padre Island and atop the Space Needle. 

Yes, there have been some opportunities for me to travel but the destinations were always selected by someone else or planned for the pleasure of others with me as the chauffeur or chaperon.  Often the inability to arrange time off from my multiple jobs simultaneously caused vacation savings to be used to help care for someone who needed basics more than I     needed a trip.

At this point in my life I realize my only contact with the places on my bucket list will come through books and films, and I am alright with that.  I know I have tried to be the  best person I can be and because of that many others have not had to suffer through the same trials I have.   

Perhaps the best item to have on a bucket list and be able to complete is being first a decent human being and I hope all my friends and family will agree that I have completed that task.  



  1. I had not heard the term 'bucket list' either till the movie...and mine would be filled with places I wanted to travel to, too. I have so many things I wish I had done, so many regrets that it is best not to think about. Like you say, too busy living. Always some reason to delay them...except for one. And why we never got a potter's wheel is beyond me!

    As for adding something, tree shot, to pinterest, you are welcome to post it to Pinterest. I take it as a complement...

  2. Until last year I hadn't heard of Anne Lamott ... but I love the way in which she thinks!

    The last sentence from your first paragraph may well be used to describe me. (.....and quoting from Willie Nelson, "There's little I can do about it now."

    When I'm not scaring myself to pieces about where we'll go/what we'll do in a couple years ... I remember your "Last Hurrah" road trip. That was such a splendid idea; I'd like to do the same thing!

  3. That quote could have been about me too. Me to a fault. I don't even have a bucket list. I wonder if I am too old to start!!

  4. Back in the day, I did create a bucket list. It didn't take me long to realize that it would take more money than I'll ever have to accomplish most of it. I haven't looked at it since. I do strive to do a lot of things that I want to though. They are much closer and easier to get to.