Friday, July 5, 2013

Reflections on Bucket Lists

Ask me "What's on my bucket list?" and I do a double take. I know folks mean, without saying succinctly, what is it I want to do before I die? Since my 83rd birthday is coming up Sunday and I have invited many new friends to a potluck, I expect someone might ask me that very question. I know they mean well, but it frustrates me since I come up with zero. Usually I scramble for an answer and end up stuttering.
First of all, I never heard of the term until the terrific 2007 movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  Secondly, what it implies to me is when am I going to kick the bucket and/or what will I regret on  my death bed (assuming one has the wherewithal to
reflect such trivia on his/her death bed.)
There are several explanations for the historical meaning of the term, kick the bucket,  one being a method of suicide in which one stands on a bucket with a noose around their neck and kicks the bucket to complete the scenario. Surely that is not the meaning assigned by kindly inquirers.
When I was in my late 40's my bucket list (though I did not know the term yet) consisted of one goal: ride on the back of someone's motorcycle in the Dykes on Bikes in the Gay Parade, streaming purple ribbons. Then someone gave me my first ride on a motorcycle and it was so scary I chucked that aspiration.
In earlier decades I would write yearly goals, which invariably included "loose ten pounds". Other common listings included make more time to play with the dogs, clean my study, answer letters to relatives, etc. I would make a stab at these.
But in the current decade my wish list gets shorter and shorter.
This last six months it has centered around getting unpacked and my taxes done, neither of which is accomplished, though I'm getting closer. But the last four days we have been in a heat wave and of course that is the time my almost new house air conditioner decided to be temperamental. It was 107 on my deck when it sighed "I quit".
Calls to PGE and the contractor who installed it went unanswered for a day while I camped out at friend's house. Finally both sources showed up, each blaming the other for the malfunction. Some folks say its all the fault of the PGE smart meters; PGE says that is nonsense.
Anyway, the PGE smart meter is now disemboweled from my house, I paid the contractor $309, but the guaranteed fix only lasted half of one day. So now I am once again on the wait list for service. Can you see why my bucket list contains only one item?

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