Monday, August 23, 2010

Bilbo's Updated Bucket List

You may recall the concept of the bucket list - the things you intend to do before you die (or kick the bucket, as the idiomatic expression says). It was the subject of a 2007 movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, and I wrote a post proposing my own bucket list back in 2008, which you can read here in case you missed it.

That was then, and this is now. Last week Zandria posted "Zan's Life List," her somewhat more upbeat and positive version of a bucket list - 42 things she wants to do or experience in life (as she puts it, things that "...revolve around learning something I don’t already know, traveling somewhere I haven’t been, or bettering myself physically.") I met Zandria last year at a blogger's get-together organized by Zipcode, and believe that she will do a great job of attacking that list, being young and energetic (she's already knocked one item off the list). She writes that her list "seems abysmally low (in number)," but in comparing Zandria's list of 42 to my own bucket list of five - count 'em - five, I think she's not only witty and attractive, but a grand master (mistress?) of the ability to slam-dunk lazy geezers in training.

So Zandria has inspired me to take a look at my own bucket list and revise it somewhat. Here was my original list:

1. Dance at the weddings of all my grandchildren.

2. Hold my first (at least!) great-grandchild and tell him (or her) stories.

3. Visit Vienna (Austria, not Virginia) and St Petersburg (Russia, not Florida).

4. Go on a really long cruise with Agnes...around northern Europe and the Mediterranean, or through the South Pacific.

5. Dance a waltz with Edyta Sliwinska.

To those five items, I'm adding a few new ones:

6. Get my PhD. I've wanted to do this for a long time, but have been put off by two things: the daunting investment of time and money required, and the gentle scolding I got from a George Mason University professor with whom I interviewed, who told me I needed to do a much better job of more narrowly defining what I wanted to write my dissertation about before he could endorse my application.

7. Publish at least one book. I have a contest of sorts going on with John ... we each want to write a book, and we both are finding it difficult to get started. I foolishly challenged him to a competition in which the first one of us published would be treated to ice cream by the loser. I work better under pressure. This is similar to Zandria's #41: Be published somewhere other than online. I'm not getting into a bet with her, though, because she's younger and more energetic.

8. Publish at least one article (in a newspaper or magazine). I've had letters to the editor (of newspapers) published, but that's not the same thing.

That's just a meager three new items for my list, for a total of eight - only one of which (#8) ought to be reasonably simple to do. Now to see whether I can actually get any of them done.

Wish me luck. Wish Zandria luck, too.

Have a good day. More thoughts later.


P.S. - Agnes and I are headed off on vacation later this morning. I hope to be able to keep the blog up to date while we're on the road, but if posts come later than usual, or if I miss a day or two, hang in there. I'll be back.



Amanda said...

8 or 42, both are admirable.

I had a bucket list. I also had that list of 101. things in 1001 days. I have my simple To-do list. But all are incomplete and I feel so lousy about it. I just keep telling myself that I'm not going to attempt any lists until Adrian can put himself to sleep and sleep through the night.

Enjoy your vacation!

Mike said...

I just have one item on my list right now - make a list.

KathyA said...

You've inspired me to do a bucket list. I need to think on it a bit, though. Have a great time in the Poconos.