What's Your Bucket List?
Aging Matters

The idea of starting a bucket list started for me after watching the movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, The Bucket List, 2007. The two men (a corporate billionaire, and a blue-collar mechanic) shared a hospital room and were both given a year to live. They spent that year doing all the things they wanted to do but for some reason put them off.

When I started the list, I quickly learned how short-sighted and ordinary my dreams truly are. It was hard to come up with ten. But once I check one or two off the list, the imagination began to swell. That's when the fun began.

For most of us, the idea of a bucket list has nothing to do with kicking the bucket but all to do with enjoying the most of what's left. In the younger days, we focus on college, work, raising a family, saving money, taking vacations, and all the other things we should do. Now it's time to focus on what we want to do.

Tips to make your bucket list

  • Making a list is not a race against time, so get a pen and paper. Write out what comes to mind as you read:
  • What would you do if money and time were unlimited?
  • What have you always wanted to do but continue to put off?
  • Name the countries and locations you want to visit.
  • What do you want to experience or see in person?
  • What skills do you want to learn?
  • What are the most important things you can ever do?
  • What achievements do you want accomplish socially, financially, work- family- health-related?
  • What do you need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?

Here's a few on my list with hopes to accomplish in the next three to five years:

  • Live in NYC for one month. Manhattan at the core is a densely populated borough that excels in commercial, financial, and cultural centers.
  • Visit the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It's steep-sided canyon carved by the Colorado River glimmers with magnificence.
  • Visit the Czech Republic, formerly Czechoslovakia. It is the country of my family's origin.
  • Learn conversational Spanish. I want to be multi-lingual.
  • Do a hiking tour across southern France during the lavender season.

It is my short list.The whole point of creating it is to maximize every moment of our existence and live life fully. As one ages, a bucket list becomes more significant because it reminds us of all the things we want to achieve. Don't put off too long the activities and dreams you want to have happen -- make a list of stuff to do, the ones that matters most to you.

Carol Marak, aging advocate, and editor at Seniorcare.com. She's earned a Certificate in Fundamentals of Gerontology from UC Davis, School of Gerontology.

Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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