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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Golden Years

Bucket List

You'll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.”
George Michael

In 2007, the Rob Reiner movie, The Bucket List, was released. It starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as two old men from very diverse backgrounds, who escape from a cancer ward after having been given terminal diagnoses. They go on an adventure to do the things they'd always wanted to do before they kicked the bucket. The film is a crazy romp from sky-diving to visiting the great pyramids, the Taj Mahal, and the Great Wall of China. In the midst of it, they form a bond of friendship and come to many realizations about themselves and what's truly important. That film kicked off a wave of “bucket list” making in people of my generation. I know quite a few folks who are now trying to stuff their “twilight years” with activities they've never done before. I guess they're having fun, but it always seems a little frantic to me. “I've got to do this so I can check it off my bucket list.”

Looking at past generations, what they did and what they actually wanted to do with their precious lives, hardly ever matched. They did what they had to do to make a living, and came to consider what they'd dreamed of doing, as simply that—a pipe dream. Some of those people got to the end of their lives with many regrets about opportunities missed, and paths not taken. Not everyone has regrets, however. I heard a coal miner interviewed on the news recently; a man who could barely breathe because of black lung disease, who said that if he could, he would go right back into the mine—because he'd made a “good living” there. I shudder at the thought, but I guess everyone has their own definition of what constitutes a good living. There are many jobs I would never want—being a boxer, or a coal miner ranks right at the top.

If you are young, however, and have you're whole life ahead of you, pay very serious attention to your dreams. While it's never too late to do what you love, following your heart from the beginning makes for a much happier life. So much so, that at the end of it, you may not need a bucket list at all.

                                                       In the Spirit,
                                                           Jane



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