A bucket of hopes and dreams

Published 12:45 am Sunday, October 30, 2011

We all know I love lists, and, as of late, I have become increasingly fascinated with the idea of a bucket list. You know it’s the kind of list you make with everything you want to say or do or experience in life before you die. I have heard the list should have everything from 10 items to 101 and should take you anywhere from 30 minutes to a lifetime to write.

At first, I thought the idea was a bit gloomy. Why would I want to list all these things I haven’t done, that I need to get done, before I die? For me, the pressure of having to get that stuff done would overwhelm me and I would get stressed out and depressed; probably wouldn’t appreciate any of it either.

But then, I thought, maybe it would be a good way for me to really look at my life and say I have wonderful things left to see, left to accomplish and experience. Maybe if I wrote this stuff down, I would have a better chance of actually doing it. The daily-ness of life won’t get in my way and I wouldn’t, as easily, put off until tomorrow that which I really can plan and make time for today.

Maybe, I might plan for a better future rather than just let time pass me by.

And so, I have made a little bucket list that I wish to share. It’s only in its infancy and in no particular order of importance:

  1. See the Grand Canyon (I want to make sure it really is there).
  2. Go to a concert where the N.Y. Philharmonic plays Christmas music.
  3. Travel to Antarctica.
  4. Find my way back into my thin jeans.
  5. Make a perfect seven-layer chocolate cake (maybe  No. 4 and No. 5 need to be switched around).
  6. Hear my grandfather’s voice just one more time.
  7. Write a book.
  8. Ride an elephant, again.
  9. Travel to Egypt and study ancient archeology.
  10. Believe, deep down in my soul, that all of the trials and tribulations have been worth it.
  11. See both my children graduate from college.
  12. Learn how to make stained-glass windows.

When I was little, my grandmother always said that if you thought it in your mind or felt it on your heart, you had to let it out into the wind and let it take flight. I am sharing my bucket list. I am letting it out into the wind to take flight and gain a life of its own. When I kick my proverbial bucket, there will be nothing left in it, God willing; nothing left undone or said.

Here I go, off to go find an elephant.

A Yankee with a Southern soul, Gillian Pollock is a wife, mother of two ever-challenging children and director of Christian Formation at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church in Washington.