The Odyssey
It's Time to Kick the Bucket!

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Bucket List Fundamentals.
     By that, I don't mean your life should come to an end.  It's time to kick your proverbial "Bucket List" and see what it contains.  There's no time like the beginning of a new year to take a good look at your dreams and desires, and generate a bucket list.  By that I don't mean commit a list of a half dozen things to memory, and I don't mean you should pipe up and say "That's on my bucket list!" every time someone mentions an exotic destination.  Make your bucket list "your bucket list".  Give it some meaning.  Make it important. (And, if you've already got a bucket list, this is a good time to take a good look at it and see what needs to be added, removed, or modified.)

     We are all familiar with the person who is full of dreams and desires but has no goals.  Put your bucket list goals in writing and post them where you have to see them, if only on occasion.  Make a list and tack it to refrigerator along with the pictures of friends on vacation, post cards, children's artwork, and the two dozen witty and artistic magnets you've collected over the years.  And make sure your list is full.  It should fill the posted page.

     If you only have enough on your list to accomplish in your remaining life, then your list is incomplete.  It should have at least one hundred things that are important for you to do in your life.  Forget about your expected life span.  No one has a guarantee that they will live to the ripe old age of ninety-something and die comfortably in their bed.  You may never again hear your favorite piece of music, see the season finally of your favorite TV show, or attend that next reunion you are so looking forward to.  Fill your list with all things possible and several that you may consider impossible.  Then make it your mission to cross a few items off your list every year.

     Your list should include things that will not only brighten your life; it should brighten someone else's life on occasion as well.  Do one or two things for the wildlife, save the planet, clean up the environment, help the Humane Society, help support a national park; make your list more than just about you. 

     Share your dreams with a spouse, grand-child, friend, or even a stranger that may have the same interest.  Don't keep your experiences hidden away; share them.  Give a presentation, teach from your experiences, or write a book. 

     Do your dream of going to space?  Put that on your list.  Realistically, your chance of accomplishing that goal may be virtually nil, but put it in writing anyway.  My list has many things that I will probably never do or see, but there are so many things that I've already done that - only several years ago - I would have thought were an unrealistic dream. 

     And never remove any of your accomplishments from your list.  Mark them as done, but leave them for yourself and the world to see. 

I leave you with a saying I saw on a sign in a curiosity shop window while visiting the Florida Keys some years ago:
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 in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "Wow! What a ride!!"