Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bucket List Part 2

My Bucket List
Perhaps you’ve seen the 2007 movie “Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  In this movie the two protagonists, from completely different backgrounds, embark on a journey in which they try to accomplish items on their bucket lists.  The movie encompasses both the humorous and serious aspects of life as it draws to close.  A much older movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart as George Baily reflects on life in a different manner.  George Bailey views life from a ghostly view highlighting his absence.  Different questions are raised by each movie; one movie sees life as a checklist, the other measures a person’s affects on those around him or her.
In the Nicholson-Freeman story the emphasis is on the final lap of life.  At least one of the protagonists is trying to check off as many items during the final period of life as possible.  Achieving the items on the bucket list is a sprint to the finish line.  George Bailey reflects on his life and sees how it would have been without him; the focus is on life’s long journey. 
My blog idea list which contains topics I want to explore and share.  My writing notebooks and folders contain four or five concepts for large and small pieces of fiction.  I plug away without counting, without finishing a certain number this week, this month or even this year. 
While these writing projects are in written form, I don’t have a formal bucket list.  No top 10 places to visit and no 1000 things to do before I die.  I enjoy plugging away, just enjoying things as they happen.  Life’s journey and experiences are too much fun to ruin by quantifying or checking off a list.  I do have several unwritten bucket list items and if the occasion arises they will be enjoyed, as and when they happen.  They are moments to be savored by virtue of their value, not because they get crossed off some fantasy list.  My preference is to live right now, not for some unknown future.  But hope for a future life to enjoy.
Rather than enjoy special events just once I like to repeat them.  On the spur of the moment I will go to my favorite Jazz club and enjoy the music.  Sometimes it’s to hear a favorite band or could be to listen to a new group.  Pleasant experiences are worth doing over and over.  Iris loves cruises and would rather go on two modest trips per year than one extravagant cruise in a year.  Life is like pizza: when it is good it is good, when it is bad it is still good.
The checklist approach to life is mundane, boring and technical.  Been there, done that.  A period at the end.
Approaching activities for their intrinsic value is fun, unique and memorable.  The peaks and surprises of life are worth remembering, worth doing over.   An exclamation point at conclusion!
As I write this I realize I do have a solitary bucket list thought: wake up tomorrow morning with Iris and my dog, Ruby, by my side waiting to see what will happen. 
This is the Zen of life.  List not included.
KISS:  Keep it Somewhat Spontaneous.

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