Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bucket Lists

Years ago, there was a Morgan Freeman-Jack Nicholson movie called The Bucket List, about two older gentlemen with limited time to live setting out to do everything they'd ever dreamed of doing before it was too late.  Lots of people make themselves "bucket lists."  And they usually have things on them like "run a marathon" (and though I admire marathon runners enormously, that item will never find its way onto any list of mine!), or "climb Mt. Everest" (come on, really, why would anyone in his right mind want to do that?).
For most of my life, I've had a very short bucket list, with very few "must do" items on it to check off.  All I ever really wanted out of life were two things: 1., to get married; and 2., to become a mother.  God answered both of those prayers when I got married to my high school sweetheart, the love of my life--the boy I started dating at 15, the man I married at 22--in 1980 and then we were blessed with five baby boys between 1983 and 1993.  Those babies are all grown up now; they're sweet, loving, smart, handsome, funny, talented, successful young men (and yes, I may be a bit biased; but no, I'm not exaggerating).

For the longest time, those two things were the only items on my list.  Check...and check!  But as my boys got older and I began to see a future with daughters-in-law and grandchildren in it, I added a new "must do" experience to my list, something I wanted almost as badly as I'd wanted to become a mother: to become a grandmother.  Again, God answered my prayer--with gusto!--when our oldest son and his wife welcomed twin baby girls into the world in 2011.  Check!  [Sigh.]  Life was good; life was very, very good for this wife/mother/grammy.

Those three items were the big ones, the trifecta; there was only ever one other thing I hoped to accomplish in my lifetime, a crazy little pipe dream that I figured would never be fulfilled: I hoped one day to write and publish a novel.  Now, as I look forward to the upcoming release of Finding Grace, I realize that my life has surpassed any and all of the dreams I had for it.  I feel like the luckiest woman alive.  If I live to see the rest of my sons as happily married as my first son is, and to meet some more darling grandchildren, my cup--which already runneth over--will be refilled a hundredfold.

I don't care that I'm only in my fifties and might have (God willing) a couple of decades more on this earth to get things done.  I'm not going to add things like "travel to India," "become fluent in three foreign languages," "ride in a hot air balloon" (if you made me do that, I would feel like I was in some kind of horror film!), "go bungee jumping" (AAAARRRRGGGG! Isn't the horror film over yet?), or "swim with dolphins" (hmmm...I must admit that's one thing I wouldn't mind having the opportunity to do).

Actually, I just thought of something else I wouldn't mind having the opportunity to do: "travel to Rome with my husband."  I'm not going to write it on a bucket list or anything, however.  If I ever get to do that, it will just be gravy, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top--it will just be one of those oft-used food references.
What about you?  What's on your bucket list?  (If climbing Mt. Everest is on there, I commend you--and please disregard what I said earlier.  I'm just an indoorsy person with a fear of heights.)

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