My Bucket List

Because I think reevaluating our lives even our hopes and dreams is important, I wrote this story.

bucket_listThe movie, THE BUCKET LIST, came out several years ago.  My husband and I went to see it, sharing  the film with hundreds of people sitting around us.  We heard “ohhs” and “ahhs” throughout its story-line not only because of the acting but also because of the beautiful places photographed.  Several of them we too had visited.

The messages from this movie were first, to have a bucket list, and second, go before you are ill and cannot travel.  I am sure all of us have heard people lament, “If only I had gone sooner,” or “I am going to wait just a little longer.”  Usually lack of funds is the excuse and that is a reality but what I have learned is: Go as soon as you can even if it means sacrifices need to be made. I assure you that most people, upon their deathbeds, would not say,  “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”

Several years ago, our good friends and we traveled to Africa.  We toured South Africa, enjoying the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg , went down to Cape Horn and thrilled to Botswana‘s safari experiences.  We sampled wine — South African wine — and marveled at the African sunsets.  We saw all the animals except a Cheeta, giggled watching baboons chase each other, missed our morning toast once because a monkey swooped down and scooped up the only loaf of  bread, and experienced the majesty of elephants and lions.  All four of us checked these destinations off our bucket lists while storing unbelievable memories.

I have one more far away destination on my list.  That place is Antarctica.  Believe it or not, my brother and I will be there this time next year.  Keeping my sense of humor when I tell people this is on my bucket list, they roll their eyes and say, ”Why, when you live in Florida, would you want to go there?”

This is my answer… my heart has always loved freedom, open spaces and fresh air. I imagine that I will experience this in Antarctica.  I go with no expectations except to experience the animals, the ice and snow and also the peaceful, wind-filled air. I look forward to my frosty nose, the warmth in my gloves, my insulated boots and at night, a hot toddy before bed.  I like to feel like a pioneer in our inhabited world and look forward to observing all that Antarctica has to offer.  I know I will not be disappointed.

Let me share some other items that have dotted my bucket list!

  1. Earning a Master’s Degree.
  2. Going to the Galapagos
  3. Going to Africa
  4. Writing a book
  5. Watching my granddaughter grow up
  6. Going to Antarctica
  7. Working hard on being healthy
  8. Being very thin and in shape
  9. Owning a Cadillac
  10. Being a great daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, friend and neighbor.

As you can see, many of these things are tangible and several are not.  I have grown to accept that number 8 will never be achieved but I keep trying.  The others, I believe, I have achieved and treasure their impacting memories.

The most essential goal I have achieved is to be Happy and Thankful to God for blessing me.  I just hope I have fulfilled HIS BUCKET LIST for me!

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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