What's On Your Bucket List?
I am sure that most people have heard of the term, Bucket List. Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starred in a movie called “The Bucket List” about the must do things their characters wanted to do before they “kicked the bucket”. As I have gotten older I have thought more about my bucket list. I have never officially put my bucket list on paper but have had thoughts about the things I would like to do before I die. This past week I got to mark a couple of items off my bucket list. One was intentional, the other happened by chance.
Over the past few years as the number of our grandchildren has grown, my wife had expressed her wish to have a family (kids and grand-kids) vacation at Walt Disney World. I agreed with her but knew that it was unlikely due to the cost of such a trip. It was a wish that went on my bucket list. The death of my mother just over a year ago made the wish come true. She left us enough to afford such a trip with the family.
For the past three years since purchasing the funeral home, Sharon and I have devoted much time and energy into making a go of it. Time devoted to family has taken a back seat to the business at times. It was time to get away for a few days to spend time with family and leave the business in the capable hands of our staff.
Relaxing at WDW was hard to do. There was so much we wanted to pack into our four days there, rides to ride, shows to see and food to eat. Overall I’d say we were successful in doing most everything we wanted to do. We started early and stayed late. Our five grandchildren ranging in age from three to twelve got their share of thrills and magic moments. During our visit I witnessed several what I came to refer to as “WDW meltdowns” of kids and parents who had met their limit in tolerating long lines and not getting their way. Fortunately there were very few WDW meltdowns among our crew. Not everything goes right 100% of the time, even at Disney World. Equipment malfunctions, rain falls and long lines out number Fast Passes. When things didn't go as planned, we adapted, practiced patience and compromised so that we all had a great time.
One of my goals for the trip was for it to be an unforgettable experience for each of us. There were first time plane rides for four of the grandchildren and a first time visit to WDW for our son-in-law. I am confident that each of us comes back with memorable moments that we will reminisce about in the future. I found that I do not find roller coasters as thrilling as I once did but was disappointed when I missed the opportunity to ride one. I will never forget the looks on the kid’s faces when they got to meet the characters they knew from story books, TV and movies.
I had visited WDW with my parents, brother and sisters in the seventies, long before it was what it has been become. My wife and I took our two daughters in the nineties and they have each had opportunities to visit since then. Now twenty some years later I returned to find that much has changed while much has stayed the same.
Whether I ever return is left to be seen, but I got to do the one thing I wanted to do and that was to run in a Disney race. That nearly didn't happen as the event I entered, the 13.1 mile Half-Marathon, was cancelled due to a severe thunderstorm in the forecast. Those entered were given the opportunity to run in the full marathon the next day and I extended my stay for a day to do so. That experience will be the topic for another article but it did allow me to mark something else off my bucket list. That was to run a marathon, something I intended to in April but have now completed.
My advice for you would be to create your own bucket list. Include the things that you need to do like draw up a properly executed will and prepare for final expenses. You are going to die and your family will appreciate it if you take care of those things. Next, set some goals for things that you would like to do. This should be goals that are attainable with a little planning and effort, like taking a special trip or running a race. Then, think outside the box and consider what you would do if you had an unexpected windfall and add that to your list. Whatever the case, make your list and then make it happen before you "kick the bucket".