I have less than a week to both create, and fulfill my 69-year bucket list, as on October 21, 2016, I will be 69 years old. (More about this later.) As I never fail to tell everyone when they have their birthday, you are celebrating the end of however many years you call yourself on your birthday, not the beginning. When we are 1 year old, for example, we have already completed our first journey around the sun. We continue to say we are 1 year old, even while we are making our second orbit. And then, when that second orbit is completed, we say we are 2 years old.
Thus, on October 22, 2016, I will be in my first day of my 70th journey around the sun. And if fate dictates, I will complete it in 2017, and proclaim I am 70 years old.
In Friday night’s yoga class, Lynn Topp asked me what items I had checked off my bucket list. It made me think. I never actually thought of creating one. I feel fulfilled doing what I am doing. I teach yoga and Pilates 7 days a week. But because I teach in my neighborhood, it seems to me like I am just hanging out with my friends every day! I enjoy your company. I get to see you all once a week. Sometimes more than once a week. Plus, I get to come to work in my bare feet! My commute is 200 steps from my front door. What else? Well, let’s see: I already married the person of my dreams, and we celebrated our 46th year together on September 4th. I have a son and a daughter-in-law, whom I love very much, and two beautiful grandchildren whom I also love very much. I am healthy, and happy.
So what else is there? Travel? I am happiest in my own home with my wife and our two beagles.
But Lynn challenged me to create a list of things I wanted to do before I turned 69. That is truly a challenge. It actually sounds like work!
My first instinct was, of course, to research it. I found this list of questions, on the internet of course, for creating a bucket list:
· What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could do before you die?
· What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
· What have you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
· Any countries, places or locations you want to visit?
· What are your biggest goals and dreams?
· What do you want to see in person?
· What achievements do you want to have?
· What experiences do you want to have / feel?
· Are there any special moments you want to witness?
· What activities or skills do you want to learn or try out?
· What are the most important things you can ever do?
· What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?
· Are there any specific people you want to meet in person?
· What do you want to achieve in the different areas: Social, Love, Family, Career, Finance, Health (Your weight, Fitness level), Spiritual?
· What do you need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?
Come up with as many items as you can. The items should be things you have not done yet. Don’t stop until you finish listing at least 101 things! If you find yourself stuck, chances are you are mentally limiting/constraining yourself. Release those shackles – Your bucket list is meant to be a list of everything you want to achieve, do, see, feel and experience in your life.
I certainly couldn’t come up with 101 items, as this article suggests. I will ponder the questions on this list, one at a time, and see if I can come up with a few items:
What if you were to die tomorrow? What would you wish you could do before you die?
I would want to let you all know how much you mean to me; all of you. I’m hoping you know that already.
What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
I would be doing exactly what I am doing now. I might choose to teach fewer classes, and have more time to play my guitar and exercise and write. But other than that, nothing. Gloria has always wanted to have a swimming pool in the backyard. If I had the money, I would have that pool built.
What have you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
Hmmm. I can’t think of a thing.
Any countries, places or locations you want to visit?
At last! I found something. I would like to go to a tropical island and sit on the beach and be lazy. But just once, and just for a short while.
What are your biggest goals and dreams?
I am currently living the life I always dreamed of.
What do you want to see in person?
Nothing special, really. Just being able to see is its own reward.
What achievements do you want to have?
See the answer to “What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?”
What experiences do you want to have / feel?
Gloria and I spent five married years together before we had our son, and during those five years, when it was just her and I, we had experiences enough to last five lifetimes. Just being young, in love, with no family responsibilities; well, many of you remember those times, don’t you?
Are there any special moments you want to witness?
My yoga teachings say that each moment is special. Living in the present, as new-agey as that sounds, helps one to be aware of these moments. In a crowded metro, during a cold and rainy day, watching someone give up her or his seat for someone in need; if you don’t live in the present, you might miss that simple act of caring, even though it is happening right in front of you. Special moments like that happen all the time. You just need to be aware.
What activities or skills do you want to learn or try out?
Ah ha! I found another one! I would like to learn how to edit a video; to blend scenes together; to add special effects. That would be fun.
What are the most important things you can ever do?
I think the most important thing any of us can ever do is to be of service to others. I would like to think that teaching yoga and Pilates does just that. I have seen so many people finding healing through yoga, and it is of great comfort to me to be a part of that.
What would you like to say/do together with other people? People you love? Family? Friends?
See the previous answer.
Are there any specific people you want to meet in person?
New people! I love meeting new people and getting to know them.
What do you want to achieve in the different areas: Social, Love, Family, Career, Finance, Health (Your weight, Fitness level), Spiritual?
I think I have already answered that one.
What do you need to do to lead a life of the greatest meaning?
See all my previous answers!
So, there it is. I am the luckiest person alive. I have been living my bucket list for many many years. I am left with four things:
1. Buy a swimming pool for Gloria.
2. Visit a tropical island and be lazy for a week or two.
3. Learn how to do video editing.
4. Meet new people.
None of these could be done in less than a week, except for the meeting new people part. That happens spontaneously whenever someone new shows up at my yoga or Pilates class. You could actually all help me out with this one by bringing someone new to class.
Sorry Lynn. I failed. I hope you will forgive me!