I know, everyone has one . . . a bucket list. I was inspired by another blogger, though, and I have to admit I’m gleaning inspiration (read stealing her idea) here.
Sure, the list is there, just like everyone else’s I suppose. The difference is she didn’t write it in an effort to have dreams that she suddenly realizes once she’s closer to death than to youth. No, she’s written the list and the number of checkmarks on it far outweighs the number of things on my entire list.
But it’s not the list or the comparison that made me smile. What got me was how she describes it. It’s not the things she wants to do because someday she’s going to die. It’s the things she’s going to do because she wants to live!
It’s funny because I’ve started looking at life in the last year and a half as far more an adventure than it used to be. I told a friend of mine recently – a former reporter – that in the last year I’ve started to just take opportunities as they come. I grab for it when it’s there because, frankly, I realized last year how tenuous it all is. It’s not that I was content or that my family was even holding me back before then. I was very happy most of the time. But when I lost my wife, Andrea, in 2011 the status quo just seemed so . . . pointless. Plus, I came to the realization not long after we moved to a new home that it was falling on me to make the decisions. If I’m deciding, why am I deciding to do things the way we always did? It’s silly to think that.
So did we climb half-dome or hike the Mojave? Well…no, but I suppose we could. There are things that I wanted to do and we’ve done some of them already:
I took my daughter to New York. I’d been before, and while I meant to share a weekend with my wife like this I didn’t. Abbi always wanted to go and critics be damned…we did it and:
Saw a Broadway show. (we laughed until we cried)
Walked the beach in San Francisco – I know this isn’t hard, but do this without your love and it’s not easy
Saw a Jazz Great on stage – the amazing Kenny Burell in Los Angeles
I have done some amazing things thanks to my job:
Went to a War Zone
Shot a machine gun
Visited the Old City of Jerusalem
Had a conversation with one of the engineers of the Apollo Space Program
Flown in a biplane
Flown in a C-17 – (that’s me in the red&white shirt)
Saw the Pentagon after 9/11 – before it was rebuilt
Wrote, voiced and edited a (2) documentary
Played Papparazo in Los Angeles – even though I’m not
But I did lots of others:
Met a hero: BB King and even got to spend a half hour picking his brain. Abbi met him, too!
Played guitar with musicians better than me: that was before Andrea died, sure, but since then . . . even moreso: check out the woman whom I met: Julia Sinclair
It’s not that I had things so bad with my wife, either. Thanks to her I got so much:
Spend the entire day in bed with someone you love – even if my kids are reading this, I did. I loved it, too. Yes, it was Andrea . . . and yes . . . the one on the list in that link was my idea to Rene.
Go to the US Capitol – Yes, I was at work, but Andrea pushed me to do it
Start my own band. Yes, Andrea didn’t understand my being a musician, but she really didn’t understand why I was playing with someone else when I could do it myself.
Go Storm Chasing – Yeah, I did it in my job . . . but I did it in my job with her first!
Climb a Waterfall – Yep. She made me do it in Jamaica. The only high point of that trip
So what’s left?
Stand on a corner in Winslow Arizona – Now…if a girl in a flatbed Ford shows up, so much the better
Visit the Pyramids – Really no other reason than it’s the pyramids
London – Again, just London.
My absolute, probably won’t happen but going to try anyway?
Be a bad guy on Doctor Who – Yeah, that’s a stretch, but Mr. Moffat – Sherlock would do! You’re not shooting either new season yet! (hint, hint)
Play a gig at the Fillmore – This is actually realistic, if we ever hit the road. I think we could pull it off, but it’s a dream. Same place, same stage as the legendary Allman Brothers’ Live at the Fillmore? How could I not?
Record a solo project – Yeah, I can do this, but I haven’t
Get published – Just so you know . . . the book’s written. Editing now. Quereys go out soon!
Dance at my daughter’s wedding – either one, really
There’s so much more, and maybe this weekend I’ll list my bucket list itself.
But let me ask you this: Are you fulfilling anything on your list? Are you waiting to do it, or do you see the list as things you should be striving for?
After all, my friends . . . I hit the biggest one on the list, too – I fell in love. So is that checked off the list? Yes.
But does it mean it can’t go back on the list?
I never said that . . . time will tell.