A different view of my life
It's pretty easy in my situation to sink into a vat of depression about how futile the future appears. Even after my surgery, from which I can feel that I'm a lot better off than I was before it, I still have a limited life, and I don't like that. I have so many things that I still want to do in my life, and I'm always feeling incapable of fulfilling those dreams. And off I go into my own little pity party. But yesterday Rhea at the Boomer Chronicles posted a meme of sorts, and although I'm loathe to do memes (no 25 of anything from me!) this one perked me right up.
It’s called the bucket list. You have to review all 100 items and put in bold the ones you’ve already achieved in life. So, here — with my annotations — is my bucket list:
1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped -- HA! As if!
12. Visited Paris — Many times
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked — all over Europe and the middle east
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - watched plenty of them, though
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse -- Both solar and lunar.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors Brooklyn and Brookline!
35. Seen an Amish community -- Ate at Plain and Fancy, too.
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa — North African only, and I'm not sure that counts. But I've been to Casablanca!
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted -- Not painted, but drawn. Nude. And no, I'm not posting it!
48. Gone deep sea fishing -- HATED IT. Cannot kill anything.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business — Ran my own tech doc biz for 10 years.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia — this is the land of my ancestors, yet I have no interest in going
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching -- Countless times in both Atlantic and Pacific
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma -- Not allowed to due to my heart issues
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades -- Don't do buggy places.
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury -- and was sequestered!
91. Met someone famous — many times
92. Joined a book club -- Been in the same one for about 20 years now.
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby — or two?
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake -- Been there several times but no swimming. Have gone swimming in the Dead Sea though.
97. Been involved in a law suit -- Sued the city of Berkeley CA and won big!
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee -- seriously allergic
100. Ridden an elephant -- ridden a camel though
All of which goes to show you that I've done a ton of shit in my life, most of it fun, positive, and slightly dangerous. That was all it took to get me out of my funk, to see what amazing things I have already done, and it also got me to travel down memory road to remember many of these items that I haven't thought about in years. OK, not everything was pleasant. Food poisoning rarely is, especially if you get it on Thanksgiving. Oh yeah!
But look how many cool things I've seen and done in my life. How much travel there has been, a wanderlust set off in early childhood by my family's insistance on month-long car trips across the continent every summer. I've been to 49 out of 50 states, all across Canada, and to Mexico. I've seen some of the more bizarre things America has to offer, like the Corn Palace, Peace Garden, and Paul Bunyon Land. Most of which have been gloriously preserved on film with me waving madly at the camera every time it passed me by.
I've lived a lifetime of good experiences. And I've also lived a lifetime of some really crappy experiences. I could let the crap weigh me down, but I'm just not into that anymore. I have my days, we all do. But really, it all boils down to what you remember that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and so many of these bucket list memories did just that.
Try it yourself.