Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bucket Lists

Over the years I've heard so much about bucket lists. You know, those lists of experiences or achievements that someone wants to accomplish before they "kick the bucket." But do many people really write out such lists?  Personally, I think I know of one person who might have an actual bucket list. I myself had never given any thought to making such a list. Until recently.

I was incredibly moved by the story of Kristina Chesterman, a 21-year-old California nursing student who was killed by a drunk driver last September. While cleaning out her room, Kristina's parents came across her bucket list. Her family has vowed to fulfill as many items on that list as they can as a tribute to Kristina. Not only that, friends and total strangers from around the world have offered to help fulfill the list, too. That really touched my heart. It also made me think I might be a little behind on making my own list.

I'm going to be 53 years old in a few weeks--before I did the math I thought I was going to be 54, so yay for me...I gained an extra year--and have been thinking lately about things I've always wanted to do but haven't done yet. Yesterday I decided I was going to write out an actual list.

Two things immediately came to mind, and they now occupy the top two spots on my bucket list. These may seem like trivial things, but I don't think there are any rules about bucket list items having to be monumental events. (Hell, maybe there are. Should I Google it?)

In any case, here's my bucket list so far:

1. See a baseball game at Fenway Park.

2. Travel outside of North America with my wife.

Pretty impressive, huh?

Regarding #1: My dad, who's been gone for about a year-and-a-half now, idolized Boston Red Sox right fielder Ted Williams. I grew up hearing story after story about "Teddy Ballgame" and how he was the greatest hitter who ever lived. The first (and only) book my dad bought me was The Science of Hitting by Ted Williams. I was a Little Leaguer at the time and I think he thought that book was going to turn me into some kind of baseball phenom. (Note: It didn't. Total number of home runs I hit during my five years of Little League? One.)

After all those years of hearing about "The Splendid Splinter," I bought into the Williams hype (I even have a Ted Williams bobblehead on my mantel) and developed this strange connection to the Red Sox. And Fenway Park. I've wanted to go there for years now, but have never done it. By putting it at #1 on my list, I figure I pretty much have to do it now. Hopefully Fenway sticks around long enough for me to get my butt into one of its seats.

Regarding #2: This might sound crazy for someone my age, but I've never been outside of North America. We never traveled much when I was growing up. A car trip here, a car trip there. I think Pennsylvania was the farthest I ever got. As an adult, I've been to California a couple times, New York, Florida, Texas, and several other states. (While attending my brother-in-law's wedding, which was held in New York, just a few miles from Connecticut, I woke up early one morning and drove to Connecticut to get a newspaper...just so I could say I've been to Connecticut.)

I've also traveled in Canada, albeit almost exclusively in Ontario. (My wife and I ventured into Quebec briefly one night to see a friend's musical performance.) Anyway, I want to go on a vacation with my wife to somewhere outside of the only continent I've ever seen. It doesn't have to be far. Hawaii--even though it's part of the United States--would count. So would Puerto Rico. Europe? Shut the front door. That would be amazing (although completely out of our budget). I just want to get off this giant land mass I seem to be stuck on.

So that's my bucket list so far. I'm a pretty simple person, so I don't know how much I'll be adding to this list in the days/weeks/years to come. And the list will only consist of things I can control. So there will never be stuff on there like "See my sons get married" or "Become a grandfather." Because, quite frankly, that stuff isn't up to me. (Geez...maybe I should start a separate "wish list"?)

I'm almost 53 and my bucket list contains a whopping two items. This should be a piece of cake, right?

Maybe I need to become more adventurous. Or not. We shall see.


"Just do it." --Nike, Inc.

P.S. Do you have a bucket list? I'm just curious. Maybe I'm the odd man out here.

The actual list. (Serious question: Where does one keep something like this??)

Bucket list inspiration from my dad.

1 comment:

  1. Be careful, I could see that once you start checking those things off on your bucket list you may begin adding more at a faster rate. That's not a bad thing.