A bucket list is a good thing to have throughout life
I have always had a bucket list, but it was always tucked away in my mind; probably not a very reliable place to keep it. I remember the movie about a bucket list staring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, which was very serious, however, very funny. There are a lot of people who have a bucket list of things they want to do in their life and I’m guessing that too many wait too long and never get it done because they don’t have the time or the money. Since it looks like many of us might outlive our retirement funds, maybe we better get to the list before we have health or funding problems.
Your bucket list doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, it can be things that you have always wanted, always wanted to do or always wanted to know. For example; my bucket list includes finding out why gasoline in Oxford is 15 to 20 cents higher than surrounding counties and towns. I’m sure if we just knew who to ask we would get an answer, the problem is nobody knows whom to ask and probably no one wants to answer.
One of this country’s largest problems is that no one in Washington, D.C., has a bucket list and probably doesn’t know how to make one. If asked why they don’t have a bucket list of things that need to be done, the response would probably be; “Elect me again and I’ll work on one.”
My list doesn’t have a lot of long-distance travel because I really don’t want to fly on airplanes anymore. When I retired, and moved from Atlanta to Oxford I had well over 500,000 miles on Delta alone and that’s enough world travel. It’s not just the flying, it’s the whole experience of in and out of airports, airplanes and the expense and hassle of all that. Oh, did I mention that I no longer have a corporate, unlimited expense account with a Platinum American Express card? Yes, that does make a difference.
Recently on my list was downsizing to a smaller home with less upkeep. We have now accomplished this and we’re here in Oxford instead of living in the county. The sad news was leaving our very close friends next door. I’ve realized that the older I get the more attention I pay to my bucket list. The term, “go and do it while you still can” seems to be a wise statement.
Then there are the warm, fuzzy things on the list. Making sure my wife knows how much she means to me having been married for over 54 years. She knows she’s got the top spot on my bucket list. Family: They are all on my list because they are very important to my life, especially my mom who lives here in Oxford. My list says to stay in close contact, and be there if they need me. While air travel is not on my list, driving to small towns and beautiful beaches still takes a high spot. We drive and spend time in wonderful small towns and visit the Gulf beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida whenever we can. We also spend a lot of time in the Memphis area because we have three children and their families in that area, not to mention that Costco is there and also on the list.
Community service has always been important on my list even though I’m starting to slow down. My list is fairly simple. There’s no bungee jumping, parachuting, deep sea diving, singing in a rock band, owning a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, or the thousand other wishes some people have.
Okay, I lied about the Ford Thunderbird; it’s always been on my list. I’m down to keeping it simple including convincing myself that my list should include getting healthier and taking care of myself, something that I should do a little better. I am thankful that my family has always been healthy and provided some great genes. What’s left is convincing a higher power that I’ve tried to do my best and be a good person — that effort will never come off my list.
OK, get out a pencil and paper and start your bucket list — it’s never too late.
Jim McCauley is an Oxford retiree. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.