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Bucket lists change as time passes

September 16, 2012

Life is like a roll of toilet paper.  The closer to the end you get, the faster it goes. 

This was a milestone year for the Class of ’65 and we had planned to milk it for all it was worth. Like Sleeping Beauty, we must have fallen asleep somewhere around Valentines Day and Prince Charming is out on a date with a 30-something year old, leaving us to snooze.

I woke up this morning and discovered it is already September and my “bucket list” has no check marks. A feeling of urgency set in, and I figured it was time to escape the asylum and get out of my comfort zone (aka my easy chair).

Several of my high school buddies try to do something we’ve never done before at least once or twice a year. Since we’ve been taking line dancing lessons, it sounded like a good fit to head up to the hinterlands of Arkansas where we’ll attend a Dulcimer festival and do some folk dancing and hiking. That should be good for a few laughs.

It’s amusing how our “bucket list” has changed radically since AARP got our addresses back in our 50s. Previously we bought into the lofty dreams of jumping out of an airplane (with a parachute attached hopefully), riding the white water rapids in British Columbia or scaling the mountains of Nepal. Suddenly these items seem hopelessly unrealistic unless we want to go deep into debt and we end up as little old ladies eating cat food stroganoff.

So, we rationalized that there’s not all that much difference in Arkansas and Nepal. We also did some serious editing on our bucket list. Instead of renting a villa in Italy, we’ll be staying in a cabin loaned to us by a friend in the foothills of the Ozarks.

We’ll be doing a little fishing and foraging for mushrooms and poke and who knows, if we’re lucky we may have a close encounter with Big Foot, get it on the camcorder and become media darlings.

Instead of flying to Paris to buy our fall wardrobes, we’ll be swapping the ugly summer pajamas out for the uglier winter ones.

Instead of getting some cosmetic surgery to correct our “laugh lines”, we'll put our clothes on backwards and go out in public. That way no one will notice the wrinkles. I got that idea last night when I wore two different shoes to my book club and no one even noticed that my grey roots were showing. But hey, both my shoes were black. Doesn’t that count for something? 

Instead of driving to Florida for some beach combing, we’ll drive through the wrong end of the car wash. Oh, wait, we’ve already done that. Scratch that one off. Instead I’ll just turn on my left turn signal on and leave it on all day.  That always messes with people’s minds. Instead of discussing a great work of literature, we’ll talk ad nauseam about the outrageous price of gasoline. Have you noticed how old people do that?

I think all these things are doable before the end of the year. In the meantime, we’ll be revealing all our dirty little secrets with each other this week, knowing full well no one will ever remember them when we get home.

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement. She welcomes comments at http://www.deludeddiva.com.

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