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Older Than Dirt: An Empty Bucket

Do you have a bucket list? Having a bucket list seems to be popular these days. Perhaps it was the movie that got it going. It may be a wish to visit another country, jump out of an airplane, or even just ride on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Bucket lists are for things you would like to do or have before you die.

I have no such list. Does that mean that I have fulfilled all the dreams and plans I ever have had in my life? Not necessarily. Does it mean that I have no spirit of adventure? Well, that just might have some truth to it. I just never had the desire to climb a mountain, go on a roller coaster, bungee-jump, or zip-line.

I have never really cared much about owning lots of things, either. I didn't crave expensive jewelry, fancy clothes or trips to other countries.

There is one thing that Sister and I have often spoke of doing. We both agreed that if we ever had a big chunk of money, like a lottery winning or some other huge windfall, we would buy ourselves a big chunk of land and make it an animal sanctuary. Without a doubt, we would take all the dogs and cats that no one wanted, especially the old ones that had little or no chance at a forever home. We would have a veterinarian on call, and provide free spay and neutering, as well.

Funny thing about this is that we have both felt this way for many years. I have to admit that Sister still does have a bucket list of her own, though it is pretty short. She would like to someday participate in the Polar Bear yearly event, the one where they go into freezing water with very little clothes on. (This would be humans and not the polar bears.) She would like to go on a roller-coaster one more time, and now that she has lost a lot of weight, she thinks zip-lining would be fun to try.

I just never liked living on the edge. Most everything I did in my life was pretty safe, never having been a thrill seeker, or a chance taker. Things were usually planned out, thought out, and worked out in my head. Being called chicken never motivated me at all.

I have myself used the expression, "Too little, too late." It usually means that an opportunity has passed and no action or too little action was taken. The ship has sailed, and you are maybe still trying to fix things. I relate that more to personal relationships that perhaps slipped away when not enough effort was given to work things out.

Reflecting on past relationships is quite common among seniors. We will often wonder or wish we could have another chance to make things right with someone in our past. I am happy to say that I have no ill feelings for anyone, and that would include my ex-husbands. Yes, all three of them.

We all hear people talk about how they wish they had done something, but now it is too late. If you are one of them, I hope you won't let your age stand in your way. If it is something you can still physically do, even if you need some assistance, go for it!

I have had to give up taking a bath in a tub. My knees got bad and I could no longer get in or out of a tub. Does it mean I would spend thousands of dollars for a step-in bath tub to do so? Not a chance. I can think of about a dozen other things I would do with that kind of money.

And that of course is not the ONLY thing I can no longer do. At this time in my life I am glad I never water skied or developed a fondness for jumping rope! But wait. Now that I am thinking about it, I also wish I could fast dance. My brother and I so loved doing that together, but alas we both have bad knees. Darn!

Oh yeah, I would also like to be able to get down on the floor to play with my great-granddaughter. That's something I am sure that many other Grandmas can relate to.

These are just some of the minor inconveniences of growing older. Again, not a gift given to everyone.

I would like to make a bucket list. Try as I will, I can't think of anything left to do that is truly important to me and I am still physically able to do. If it were a WISH list, of course I would wish to have many people back in my life - and that animal sanctuary with Sister. I feel that I have done most things I have set out to do.

That does not mean that I do not still enjoy every single day. I do still have small goals that I set for myself. I do try to acknowledge all birthdays, anniversaries, and special days for all friends and family members.

As we get older and have lost many of those we love, we do become aware of how quickly a life can end. Always make the time for those you love.

So, for those of you who do have a bucket list, get that stuff done while you still can.