Angela Otts

Instead of New Year’s resolutions, I’m going to work on my “bucket list.”

The other day, I found a yellow, lined pad of paper with pages and pages of things that I was going to do. The list was made up years ago because I had checked off some of the things that I had accomplished, and as I reviewed them, I found I could check off a couple more. That was pretty satisfying.

My list contains many things that I probably would never do…like winning the lottery. There are many travel wishes. I want to travel through Europe, stay in a castle, visit Sicily, see the Grand Canyon, stay in a mountain resort. There’s a lot on that agenda, and my bones are getting older.

I want to do a sculpture, learn how to make baskets, do needlepoint, decoupage something and become a well known artist. These could be accomplished.

Of course, any bucket list contains the “rich” side of life. I want to stay in a penthouse in a metropolitan city and not pay for it. It has to come with a limo. Who wouldn’t want to live on a boat in the Caribbean for a month? Or own a BMW convertible? Or have a perfectly coordinated house with a swimming pool?

My list also includes activities that I really should accomplish. I could write a children’s book, put my columns into a book, seek out a long-lost friend, become a better photographer, go on a cruise with the grandkids, find the perfect match of makeup and become my long-hiding thin self again.

As I reviewed the long list that I had compiled, I thought I sure could add more to it now. I think my wishes for myself would be a lot simpler, though. They would have to do with my health, my friendships, and activities closer to home. Traveling through Europe and touring the quaint villages of England would be stressful and tiring.

Years ago, I didn’t include seeing museums, taking courses at a community college, reading the classics again, and taking my neighbors out to lunch. I wanted to see the world, as most young people would. I should write a revised bucket list and see what I come up with.

What do you have on your bucket list? What is it that you would like to do before you get too old to do it? I think it’s a great exercise in finding out just what is important to you at this time in your life.

Like me, you’ll find the list again years later and see that you did accomplish some of them. But at the same time, you will find that your whole perspective on what you’d like included in your life has changed. There will be grandiose wishes, for sure. There also will be sweet moments that we just don’t think about very often and should.

Fill your bucket list with those moments. Make them happen, even if they’re just a walk in the woods.

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