Bucket Lists are a Waste of Time

Bucket Lists are a Waste of Time

                                        Time's running out

Wishful Living

Most of us want to be happy and have set goals in life to obtain that. Many times we forget that these goals should be adjusted every so often.

Ever since the movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman was released, I have given some thought to my mortality and my “things to do” list. If this movie taught anything, the number 1 lesson is to never put your life's wishes on hold. There are no guarantees or time expiration date stamped on our backsides, so try to keep your dreams alive; in the present.

Most people think compiling a “last things I wanna do before I die list” is creepy and only reserved for the over 70 crowd. Actually it could be called the dream list or wish list and be more acceptable.

Do you remember playing in the yard with friends and telling each one what you wanted to do when you grew up? Most kids picked firemen, astronauts, nurses, doctors and actresses. Also going on a jungle adventure, fighting bad guys as a Super hero, or becoming the first woman president seemed far fetched at the time. 

Well as time went on, that list changed and was modified. It's only natural to want different thing as you enter each decade of your life.

Tween years

The 9-12 years old range is impressionable and easily swayed to pursue a new interest each week. Entering middle school and meeting new kids creates an exchange of ideas and dreams.

As a 'tween, I wished and wanted to be an actress in the movies and on Broadway.  Spy movies were so popular at the time, so the thought of becoming a girl spy in a movie was also appealing. I would fight the bad guys and save the world. And on my days off, perform on a Broadway stage. Since I had participated in some school plays so I thought this was definitely doable. Yes, 'twens do live in a dream world.
The Teens

The teenage years are often referred to as “the difficult years” to put it mildly. It is often difficult to make the transfer from child to adult without any emotional scars. Teens are put under enormous pressure to choose a career path. There isn't any thought to whether it will make them happy or not, but if they can make a living. 

Since college is the aim for most parents and guidance counselors, no one asks what teens want. The wishes are put on hold again.

As I entered the teen years, my interests turned to art and painting. Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso and Rembrandt were my favorite artists so I emulated their styles. I used my brothers model paints and created my works. My art teachers thought I was good and I won some competitions.

But reality set in as my parents convinced me to not pursue art but something more practical, that would make money.

The Twenties

The twenties can be as turbulent as the teens. Everyone is struggling to find a job,finish a college degree or a spouse. There is so much going on that the twenties feels like a race.

As college student, I had so many interests and found it hard to find my true calling as I attended 5 colleges. I finally decided that I was meant to teach handicapped children.

I never regretted that decision and found great satisfaction helping the children. I did, however, incorporate my love of theater and art into my teaching so maybe I kept some of my wish list. My bucket list consisted of earning more degrees and attending more evening classes.
working hard  in our careers
                                              working hard in our careers

The Thirties and Forties

The thirties and forties are concerned with families and getting on with everyday life. The career is important so the wish list is put on hold a little longer until the forties, or longer.Life can get in the way sometimes and happiness delayed.

After I left education, I started to pursue my art again. I now have added photography and digital art as well. I have my work a number of sites now. Since I missed teaching I signed up with several tutoring agencies and became a private tutor.

Writing was an afterthought and so I found that it is enjoyable to write about things I care about. It also allows me to “meet” people from all over the world. I have honed my skills by writing on different sites and subjects. The comments are helpful to my improvement.

Also I am fulfilling a wish I had as a young girl and writing about my family that emigrated from Germany, Ireland and Japan. That’s another story one day.

Are Seniors the only happy ones?

Most of us grew up being told that if work hard enough and put away money for our "golden years", we should then be happy. Seniors are perceived to be the happiest since they don't have the same worries and stresses that the rest of us deal with.;of course that's not true.

Times are tough now but they won't last forever. Even the smallest things that bring you some joy and a smile are important. If these hard times have taught us anything, its time to cherish the family, friends and look for positive things and people in your life. There's always something you can do just for fun.

I enjoy photographing animals, cloud formations and old decayed barns. Some think its dumb but it brings me joy. Maybe the craziest things I would like to try before kicking the old bucket is to try out for a Broadway play, run a marathon, write a screenplay and travel the back roads of the world.

As I look back, life felt much like a race to the finish line. Well-intentioned adults emphasized the more material things in life, like a degree, a good job and a partner, but not happiness. You need food, shelter and a good job; happiness comes later.

Find your inner happiness

Wishing for a better life, making plans for the future and waiting for something good to happen is a waste of time. I spent too many years planning my life and not living it to the fullest. You need to find your inner happiness now and everyday.

Does anyone know if they are happy or not? Actually there are studies indicating that seniors are the happiest age group today and I know why. They are finally able to fulfill most of their bucket lists and made it to the finish line.

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