It asked us: What is there left to do, accomplish, see or create?
As for me, my life has been a mix of being able to check things off my list and longing to overcome blunders and utter failures and grab a brass ring or two.
There are many aspirations that still have eluded me and I keep trying.
First is the Pulitzer Prize.
Somewhere inside me, there is a yearning to be recognized as a great writer. The problem, as I see it and so do you, is that what I write is not the quality of Ben Stein or Dave Barry. Mark Twain does not have to look over his shoulder; nor does Erma Bombeck. Of course, they are no longer alive.
Second is a longing to earn a Noble Peace Prize.
My shortfall here is in writing with tongue in cheek — so much that some people don’t know I’m kidding and others don’t realize when I am being serious. You choose.
On a lesser scale, one of the things in the bottom of my bucket is a trip to the south of France. Particularly, Avignon has been of great interest since I learned that it was the seat of the Catholic Church for a number of years. During that time, the Roman Catholic Church was the Avignon Catholic Church.
Church history interests me, as it is one long series of power struggles disguised as religious debates. I’m good at that.
I have always wanted to try my hand at being rich, too. I think I would make a better rich person than many people who are.
Another goal involves the need to be humble. When you excel, you can be humble. When you are humble to begin with, there is no need to develop any modesty.
What is on your bucket list? Have you got some goals, or do you just carry an empty container? Do you dream about what might be or wallow in what might have been?
Polio changed my goals for a whole lot of things. With lousy legs, you don’t aspire to feats of mobility. But then, polio can be an excuse for not trying. So you still put running a marathon in the bucket and try to be realistic about ever checking it off your list.
A few years back, I did run in the Bay to Breakers. I dressed as a runner and almost won best costume.
You may learn that being clever and funny is a good way to compensate for being slow. People who are not nice or humorous can get away with being mean if they can run fast enough.
It is important to keep thinking about what you want to do next. When people stop having aspirations, they turn into curmudgeons. I don’t want to be one, so I keep my bucket with me all the time, even though it has a hole in it.
- Mike McLellan can be contacted by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling and leaving a message at 830-4229.