“I know what we can do,” my daughter piped up from behind her laptop. Set in my solitary, sedentary ways as I am, I had thought we were already doing something and hadn’t realized we were in need of another activity. But she – being young and spritely – was much quicker at emailing and Facebooking than I, and was ready to move on.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“We can make ‘sixty before sixty’ lists.”
“What’s that?” I asked again, since it is such a multi-functional question.
“It’s a list of 60 things you want to do by the time you reach 60 years of age.”
We had previously been talking about New Year’s resolutions and goals and how they differed. I had mentioned how I preferred to set annual goals rather than make resolutions. Somehow goals seem more tangible, more measureable and therefore more attainable than resolutions. I guess it depends on how you word the resolution. But a list of experiences one wants to encounter by a set age (a “bucket list” as some call it), now that sounded more fun than either resolutions or goals. I was game to take it on.
Since I am much closer to age 60 than my daughter, I decided to modify my endeavor and shoot for a “twenty in twenty” list: 20 things I want to do in the next 20 years.
Coming up with ideas was more challenging than I thought it would be. We googled bucket lists and found sites with ideas we could use. The vast majority of peoples’ lists contained travel goals: Italy, France, India, the Congo, outer space… you name it, someone wants to go there. Others wanted to see things: the Mona Lisa, the Grand Canyon, Ferrari World (home of the world’s fastest roller coaster). I leaned more toward the experiential ideas: attend a murder mystery dinner, get a professional massage, take a train trip somewhere, fly first class. My daughter liked some of the more daring ideas: go to the airport and take the next random flight.
So far I’ve come up with 11 ideas for my list. Some of them will be relatively easy, like “visit The Grotto Christmas light display in Portland, Oregon.” Since I live nearby, I might actually do that in the next week. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but now that I’ve written it down as a thing to be accomplished, I am more motivated to make it happen.
Other items will simply take time (i.e. “write 1,000 blog posts”). Still others depend on finances (“visit Vermont in the fall”).
Writing a bucket list is a good way to examine one’s priorities. In my case, it is also a way to look at my self-limiting beliefs. I have to fight the “I’m too old… (too broke… too out of shape…)” mindset. I have to be willing to take on something more challenging than sitting in my living room reading emails and checking Facebook.
I’m glad my daughter came up with the idea, and I will continue to work on compiling my list and begin working on making the items come to life. After today, I’ll only have 878 more blog posts to write. Don’t worry, I’ll spread them out over the next 20 years.
What’s on your list?