The Bucket List

The Bucket List

By Kathy Koches


the bucket listMany of you have seen the movie The Bucket List starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It is the story of two terminally ill men, corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers, who have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and before they die do all the things they have ever wanted to do according to their bucket list. In the process, both of them heal each other, become unlikely friends, and ultimately find joy in life. In the movie the two main characters were each told that they had one year left to live.

But I say, “Don’t wait for such a radical deadline: set your own.” To paraphrase Mary Oliver, decide what it is that you want to do with your one wild and precious life. Would you like to climb up the Eiffel Tower? Have your paintings hanging in a gallery in New York City? Go to carnival at Rio de Janeiro? Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Maybe you want to . . .

1. Learn to speak Spanish. 2. Drive Route 66 across the US. 3. Walk through a corn maze. 4. Ski in the Alps. 5. Ride a gondola in Venice. 6. See the Northern Lights. 7. Swim with the dolphins. 8. Visit a Renaissance fair. 9. Climb the Eiffel Tower. 10. Witness an eclipse.

These are some of the things I have been able to cross off my “bucket list.” But there are lots, lots more things on my bucket list. I want to see all of the seven “new” wonders of the world. I’ve only seen two of them so far, the Coliseum in Rome and Chichen Itza in Mexico, but I still want to see Machu Picchu in Peru, Petra in Jordan, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, The Great Wall of China and The Taj Mahal in India. I want to go on safari in Kenya and see the great pyramids in Egypt, and the list goes on and on. But a bucket list isn’t always about skydiving or traveling the world. It’s about doing what matters. It’s about getting clear on the things that are most important to you – in all areas of your life – and taking action to pursue them.

Here are a few phrases that you might want to put on your bucket list:

1. Quick, follow that car! 2. You can’t fire me, I quit! 3. I’ve been kicked out of better places than this! 4. You’ll never find anyone as good for you as I am, to believe in you as much as I do or love you as much! 5. Anyone else would have left you by now, but I’m sticking with you. 6. Go ahead, make my day! 7. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn! 8. I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!

9. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 10. A martini: Shaken, not stirred.

And my all time favorite, which I say to my husband all the time: We’ll always have Paris.

I love the anonymous quote: “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid into home broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – “Wow, what a ride!”


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