Bucket List? What Bucket List?

Even though I’m a big fan of both Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, I don’t have a bucket list.

This phrase pops up frequently in our modern society, and when I heard it the other day, it made me think.  For those of you who don’t know, a bucket list is a list of all of the things you hope to do before you die, and usually it’s a pretty grandiose list.  You know, stuff like skydiving and climbing Everest and getting an actual live person on your first try when you call customer service.

Anyway, like I said, this got me thinking.  I don’t have a bucket list.  Now, I have goals and dreams like anyone.  I want to build a house, and I have more dreams for my kids than I care to put down here in writing.  But those aren’t really “bucket list” things.  In fact, about the only thing that qualifies is my long-time desire to have Anthony Hopkins read a Robert Frost poem to me. (Don’t ask.)

We can spend so much of our time wishing for things that may or may not ever happen to us.  What if, instead of thinking of the things we haven’t done, we check off a list of the wonderful things we have done?  Here’s what I have so far:

  • I stood in the spot where Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, and walked the path of Pickett’s Charge.
  • I watched twilight settle over New York City from the top of the Empire State Building.
  • I have seen and been inside the Statue of Liberty.
  • I have watched the sun rise over the rim of a dormant volcano……
  • …….and also watched it fall back into the Pacific.
  • I have stood on the deck of a boat in awe as whale song echoed over the audio system from underwater microphones.
  • I watched a humpback whale rise out of the water just a few yards from where I stood.
  • I watched as a country was torn apart by a terrible act of terrorism, and then watched as it pulled itself back together and united, stronger even than before.
  • I stood with the man of my dreams at the front of the church and started a wonderful journey that I hope never ends.
  • I lay on a ratty old second-hand couch in my living room and felt a baby–a baby!–move inside my body, where only a few short months ago there had been nothing.
  • Then,  I was there when two whole new people breathed the very first breaths of their lives.  (This was, of course, followed by the first spit up of their lives and the first poops of their lives.  But that’s okay.)
  • I have watched as these two new lives grew and learned and changed, and I will see them grow–too quickly–into adults.

It occurs to me that I could make this list go on forever.  There have been hard times in my life, but I can honestly say I can look back over an abundance of joyful experiences, and most of them have happened since I got married and had kids.  I don’t need a bucket list.  My life is busy, and hectic, and sometimes quite stressful, but it’s also a full life, and I am so glad to have it.  All of the items I can dream of for a bucket list are already crossed off.

Well, except for that Anthony Hopkins thing.

What about you?  Have you already lived your bucket list?


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