Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bucket List

Bucket List: A list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying.

I've never made a "Bucket List" but I woke up this morning and thought seriously about doing so. Not today, but maybe sometime soon. (Maybe the first thing on said list should be to make the actual list.)

Then when I started thinking more about some of the things I would put on such a list I started crying. Crying because I realized I will probably never have the chance to do the stuff I want to do most. (Regarding the crying: I've been feeling very down the last several days. It's not necessarily depression; I'm just sad because I've been reminded lately about how much life can suck sometimes. Oh, wait...Maybe it is depression. In any case, there's been a lot of crying lately. But I believe that crying can be a positive thing. So it's all good.)

I'm not sure what the "rules" of creating a Bucket List are. Or if there even are any. Do you include things you'd really like to do even if you know there's no chance in hell they'll ever happen? I mean, I'd love to have Nigella Lawson over to my house for dinner and have her cook for me. But, realistically? I think the odds are pretty much against me on that one.

There are other things I'd love to do, though, that aren't really so ridiculous. They are things that probably wouldn't be so out of reach for "normal" people, but to me they seem totally impossible. Several of them have to do with traveling, and traveling costs money. Simple logic would tell you that no money = no traveling. So I don't have much hope for things like:
  • Travel Internationally. I would love to go to Europe. I'm almost 52 years old and the only foreign country I've ever been to is Canada. Nothing against Canada, because I truly love it. But I can drive there from my house in like 30 minutes. I want to experience more far away lands: France, Italy, England, Sweden, Australia.
  • Go On a Honeymoon. My wife and I didn't go on a honeymoon when we got married almost 25 years ago. Money was a factor even back then. I would love to be able to finally take my wife on the honeymoon she deserves. (Hey, maybe we should go to Australia!)
  • Take a Trip Across the United States: I've been to several states besides Michigan (where I live), but I've always wanted to take a trip across the country. I'd love to drive or take a train from Michigan to the West Coast, with many stops along the way. I want to see things like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, etc. This is a tricky one, though, because not only is money a is time. Taking enough time off work to do this trip properly just wouldn't be possible.
Anyway, I think you get the idea.

My wife and I are not living in poverty. So I can't really complain. (Although I guess, in a way, I am.) We have a roof over our heads, have food to eat, and have been able to scrape together enough money to get treatment for our sons' issues. That being said, addiction and depression and ADHD really chip away at a family's savings, even with health insurance.

When you have kids with mental health issues, your family is kind of like a family business. And as the owners of that family business, you're always the last ones to get paid. Your kids are the employees and they--actually their doctors, rehabs, hospitals, schools, etc.--are the first ones to get paid. What's left goes to the owners...after the overhead paid. It's a sacrifice you make because you love and care about your children. That's the bottom line.

On second thought, maybe I won't make a Bucket List. A Bucket List means looking ahead, beyond today. Over the last couple of years I've gotten so much better at living in the moment. Living life one day at a time. Not worrying about tomorrow, but focusing only on today. It seems that a Bucket List would go against that whole concept.

Maybe what I really need to do is make a daily list of things to do. Not work-related stuff and errands. But things that will improve my life, my family's life, or even the life of someone else. Then I can focus on accomplishing things I want to do...not before I die but before I go to bed. That seems more manageable to me. One day at a time. Live in the moment. Right?

So here's my tiny little list for today, Thursday, May 23rd, 2013:
  • Call my wife--who I haven't seen in almost two weeks during this latest stretch--and tell her I love her.
  • Call my youngest son--who is struggling with some issues right now--and tell him, "I love you. Forever and ever. No matter what." (That's sort of his "catch phrase.")
  • Call my oldest son and tell him I'm proud of him for being almost 11 months clean and sober. And not to stress out too much about finding a job because things will work out in the end.
  • Talk myself out of starting a "traditional" Bucket List.
One down, three to go.


P.S. I completed all the items on today's list! I called my wife first (of course). I then called my oldest son, but he didn't pick up. So I left him a voice mail message. Last but not least, I called my youngest son. I told him, "I just called to tell you I love you. Forever and ever. No matter what." His response? "Is something wrong?" Made me laugh out loud. :)


  1. Love this!! I need it! Blessings to you <3
    Patty S

  2. Vacations & trips are very expensive, I agree. My husband & I are going to simplify ours into travelling within fun places in North America from now on. (excluding Hawaii, beloved place but too expensive). I have always wanted to see Italy, France, Ireland, Greece, but I doubt I will. I am with you on the in the moment simple pleasures, the love of family, getting out in nature, being compassionate with others. If we can be happy and give a little happiness & encouragement to others, that's a worthy goal.

  3. This blog is so insightful to me. Luckily I have a program so I can start preparing my daughter at a young age. But just because I have a good program didn't guarantee my husband our I that she won't become addicted. I wonder if I would have the strength to deal with it the way I should or if I would cave and deal with it the way my dad did, as the co-dependant. I will say this though, my dad, my husband's mother and you never have up on your children. Now all three of you get to reap the benefits of watching your children succeed, knowing that at times you wee the only one left believing in your kid. You didn't give up and now you finally can feel good about that. As for the bucket list, I think it's only human nature to dream about the future. I, also, live my life one day at a time. But sometimes I day dream about taking my daughter to Disney when she is older. Circumstances change ALL THE TIME. Don't give up on your dreams to travel or take your wife on the honeymoon. Finances might not permit right now, but the future is always changing based on decisions we make. I gave up on my dreams during my active addiction. And the years of using put me years behind. I didn't want to get out because I thought I made too many mistakes to ever be able to have a decent life. But I proved myself wrong. And after a few years clean I found myself achieving more than I previously thought possible. Never give up on your dreams because dreams are what keep people motivated. Thank you for all of your insight. I really do love this blog!

  4. It's all in our attitude.
    "Want what you have!" (Be grateful for what you have.)
    Don't stress about "having what you want". 'Think positive. I do believe that good things come to positive thinkers. Maybe not always according to 'our time lines"...but anything is possible. I enjoyed this post.