ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.  Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe.

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Curiosity, exploring interests and engagement are a few crucial ingredients to healthy and happy longevity. Enrolling in a class just for the love of learning is a great way to do this. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Kentucky offers educational and enrichment courses, forums, shared interest groups, trips and more for adults age 50 years and older. Membership for the full year is $25; summer programs are at a prorated fee.

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doing? We can follow God’s leading to the best of our human ability, knowing there will be times when our ambition will exceed our achievement. Yet there is room in the world for those who see honest lists as including only what we have a realistic chance of accomplishing.


So should you make a bucket list? Sure! Let the daydream be fun, and don’t feel guilty if you don’t accomplish everything on it.

Do you know what a bucket list is? Most people think it is a list of things you want to do before you die. A typical guess is people want to visit a particular place before dying. Based on an unscientific poll about bucket lists, that is not a bad guess. Travel appears to be a frequent bucket list ambition.


Anne is an American who is proud her ancestors lived for centuries on the group of small islands in the English Channel between the southern coast of England and mainland Europe. She would like to go there to find the church where her family records were kept. While she’s there, Anne wants to visit Iona Island, a tiny spot of earth off the west coast of Scotland. Why Iona? You’d have to ask Anne. That’s what bucket lists are for: to be illogical, impractical and personal.


Gary has travel on his bucket list, but he has given up on its contents: traveling to the mouth of the Amazon river or visiting Victoria Falls in Central Africa.


“Everything on my bucket list has become too dangerous,” said Gary, a software architect. “The world is in such chaos, it is unsafe to travel.”


And then there is Margaret. “I have no bucket list,” she said. “Every morning I pray, ‘Lord, lead me in what to do, where to go.’ And that is what I try to do to the best of my ability.”

ADVICE FOR YOUR BUCKET LIST

Now and then, someone like Betsy comes along. “I did not know a bucket list referred to anything optional,” she said. “I make to-do lists all the time, repeating an item on the next day’s list if that thing did not get done yesterday. I don’t really think in terms of optional bucket lists.”


What advice can we draw from these confessions? Perhaps one conclusion is travel is a good ambition. It’s not bad to want to see the places where our ancestors lived. Nor is it wrong to admire the beauties and wonders of our little planet. Another assumption may be that Gary’s conclusion is correct. There are some things we would like to do that a prudent person will not undertake. Remember former President George H.W. Bush’s continuing desire to skydive even into old age? He fulfilled that wish, but did so only with the assistance of a competent professional.


Where does that leave people like Margaret and Betsy? Margaret is on a good track: Everyone’s first priority should be to do God’s will, even to the minute details of each day. Does that preclude making bucket lists? Is Betsy right when she asserts she does not make lists containing things she has little hope of

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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