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Thursday, December 10, 2015


Posted by R. Ann Siracusa

Our December theme has, no doubt, a slightly different meaning to each of us, depending on age and where we are in our lives.
In my late teens and early twenties, I would have immediately thought about bad dates—like the guy who had snot in his moustache and didn't know it, then tried to kiss me. We only dated once.
In my late twenties, it would have been a declaration that I'm not going to have more children. And I didn't. Three were plenty to keep me in a state of constant agitation. At one point, I did bring up the subject of having another baby. My husband replied "maybe" and then waited until I went bonkers over something one of the kids had done to agree to have another child. That closed the discussion for at least five years. By then I'd come to my senses—or maybe I was menopausal—and we never mentioned it again.
My thirties and forties were dedicated to my work as an architect/urban planner and my family, which included dealing with a son who had 40 turtles and a room full of snakes. I even learned to give them shots. Then, of course, there was riding motorcycles in the desert. I even raced a few desert races and made part of the Barstow to Las Vegas ride once. Never doing that again.
Now, I'm old as dirt, and the theme immediately translates those words into "Bucket List". The things I want to do before I—excuse the cliché—kick the bucket. That's not the same list as the things I need or ought to do, such as clean out my office and my garage, and throw away seven or eight boxes of drafts manuscripts of novels (some of which should never see the light of day).

When I Googled the origin of the term Bucket List, I was surprised to read statements like the following on "I'm not sure I had even heard the term bucket list until the movie came out."
I don't think so!
What planet do these people live on? I'm sure the term harkens to a much earlier date than 2007 when the movie The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman came out. I have no idea where I heard it or when, but I've had a Bucket List (called by that name) since 1993 when I went to Egypt.
According to June Thomas, Kicking the bucket, the phrase used light heartedly to refer to dying—and most likely, the origin of the more recent term Bucket List—has been used since 1785. It's not much of a stretch to come up with the idea of the Bucket List.
Bucket metaphors have been used in the computing industry (and there for in technical literature) since the 1960s, often referring to algorithms for a way of sorting data, called a bucket sort. A bucket or bin may be used to refer to a buffer, or place to discretely distribute data, and can be of fixed size.
How it got transferred to the current terminology is debatable, but many references credit Justin Zackham, screenwriter of The Bucket List as the originator. Personally, I don't believe that, but no one asked me, either.

In my research, I discovered that more people than I thought find the reference to a Bucket List either offensive or depressing. I agree in a way. It definitely implies time is running out. On the other hand, the people who have Bucket Lists are usually doing things and crossing them off the list. That's a positive.
I've decided to focus not on what I haven't done but all the things I have done, and call it my Kudos List. Items fall into two categories: Let me Try That One More Time and No Thanks, Never Again. Things I wouldn't do again are, in most cases, because physically I'm unable, not unwilling.

Let Me Try That One More Time

●Hot Air Ballooning

                                                 ●White water rafting on various rivers
●Dog Sledding in Alaska
●Trekking on Shennong Stream, China
 ●Cruising the Amazon fishing for Piranhas 
 ●Climbing to the Acropolis, Greece
 ●Ogling ice bergs & glaciers in Antarctica

No Thanks, Never Again

●Racing motorcycles in the desert

●Para Sailing in Cabo

●Riding camels in Egypt

●Riding elephants in Africa and India
●Getting lost in the Medina in Tangiers, Morocco
I wouldn't want to do this again ever. Able but unwilling.
  ●Climbing Machu Picchu, Peru
 ●Climbing the Great Wall in China
 ●Zip Lining in Puerto Vallarta,Mexico

There are still many places I want to go and things I want to see. The next trip on my schedule is to Australia, the seventh continent and the only one I haven't visited.

The last two activities are sky diving and bungee jumping. I'm saving those until I'm ninety. Then if something happens, it really won't matter.
Trust me. Do it now! There will never be a perfect time, and you many never get the chance again. The things people most regret in life seem to be the thing they didn't do rather than the things they did do. 

Leave a comment about whether or not you have a Bucket List or about the most exciting thing you've done or want to do.

with a novel by Author R. Ann Siracusa
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Melissa Keir said...

What an amazing list, even the ones you won't do again. I am not a traveler. I love seeing other people travel and wish I could but I won't leave the comfort of my own home or location. Kudos to you for doing it!

As far as my own bucket list...the only thing on there is to remind myself to be kind to others each day. I'd like to think that people will remember that when I'm gone... Other wise, I'll try what I can and do what I enjoy. I used to have a big list but seemed pointless when I knew I'd never do them. Taking the time to be nice and love others...that I can do!

Cara Marsi said...

Ann, I'm in awe of everything you've done. I love to travel but haven't done nearly enough of it. I crossed everything off my first bucket list and am working on my second. One thing on the second list is to visit Australia again where I have relatives. Also to visit Scotland and Wales for the first time and London for the second time. I'm planning a river cruise through France this summer, another item I can cross off. You are such an inspiration and an adventurer.

Rose Anderson said...

So interesting! Wow, Ann, impressive.

vicki batman said...

Hi, Ann! I love your lists. I want to raft down the Grand Canyon. Go to Machu Pichu and the Galapagos. Visit England and Scotland and Australia. Visit more of Canada. I'll do ziplining anywhere anytime. Same for hot air ballooning. Lots of hiking. Fun!!!

Judy Baker said...

You have a great list. I want too go on a Viking Cruise, parachute out of a plane (my husband thinks I'm crazy - why would anyone want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?), and return to Scotland again.

R. Ann Siracusa said...

Judy, I don't think I'd have the guts to parachute out of a place. I'll leave that one for when I'm 100. Scotland I would do again. Ann

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