I swam in the pool.
Later, I thought, “That’s pretty lame for a bucket list item.” Bucket list items should include exotic travel, seeing unusual sights, doing out-of-the-ordinary things…not swimming on the 17th floor of the Detroit Holiday Inn Express. And yet, that was my experience.
Since being diagnosed with cancer, a few people have asked me about my bucket list. While spending time with this question, I realized that, while I enjoy a variety of experiences, they don’t evoke a sense of longing…they don’t draw me into my future. In fact, after contemplating this question on a number of occasions, I can confirm only one item on my bucket list:
To grow old with my wife, Laurel.
Whenever I thought of places to go and amazing things to see, I simply could not imagine enjoying them unless Laurel was with me. Indeed, it is in the sharing of these experiences with her that would make them enjoyable. Further, personal accomplishments (e.g., finally swimming in a pool) are delightful because of the anticipation and eventual reality of telling Laurel about them. And, one more wonderful thing:
I complete my bucket list every day.
Driving home from the conference, I thought about my bucket list (growing old with Laurel) and realized that it’s a goal that is new each day and fulfilled each night. Some people (e.g., our children) would say that we’re old now, so: goal accomplished! Yet tomorrow’s a new day and we can grow a bit older…a bit more to share…a little deeper in love.
So, I’ll let others keep the exotic locations, sparkling vistas, and adventurous experiences on their lists and accept the fact that it’s not what thrills me. Instead, sharing each day – whatever it brings – will be its own accomplishment.
A life complete and still yet to be.
Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. Omar Khayyam
Here’s one of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comics that sums it all up (read now)