Find your path and pursue your passions
What is a bucket list? A bucket list is a set of things you want to do before you leave this life. Maybe you wrote one when you were 20-something. Forty years later, all those things you have yet to do are haunting you, but so are backaches, worries about saving for retirement, a work schedule that holds you captive and an assorted list of familial responsibilities. First, let’s change the name from “bucket list” to “life list.” Next, mark what you have done to date. Be sure to celebrate those accomplishments. Examine what remains on the list. Is that still important to you, or did you write it down because everyone else thought you should do it? Continue to narrow down your life to what is realistic for your finances, physical abilities and time. Backpacking through the Andes for a summer might not be feasible; however, a South American cruise could be!
Don’t shortchange yourself because you are now classified as a senior, or creeping up on it. If you have the time, the opportunity and the ability, you are never too old. Look at the rest of your list, the things that you want to do for you. Did you want to travel and see the world? You might not have the funds or the time. Instead, was it a specific place you wanted to see, perhaps Paris? Bring Paris to you! Learn French, learn how to cook a French dish, go to a French restaurant for dinner, take in a French movie, or visit a local museum that features French sculptures. As for travel, consider a staycation. How many of the tourist sites in your local community have you visited? Many people who live in New York City have never been to the top of the Empire State Building. Get a tourist guide to your city and become a tourist, camera and all. If you can manage a short trip, find a closer destination that have been influenced by a dream destination of yours, such as St. Augustine Florida, and its Spanish heritage.
Was your younger self determined to write a book? Well, what’s stopping you? You can write your memoirs, or that romance novel you always dreamed of writing. Once you’ve written it, publish it. If you can’t find a publishing house to do it, then do it yourself. It’s easy to publish e-books on sites such as Smashwords or Amazon Kindle at little to no cost. If you want to see your book in paperback form, check out Amazon KDP. Your books can be printed on demand (when a customer wants one) and the printing costs are deducted from your royalties so there is no upfront costs. Your dream of being a published author is within your grasp – and a few strokes of your keyboard.
Did you want to be an accomplished actor? Take an acting class for fun. Chances are, a local repertory company or theatre group is looking for local talent like you. There are plenty of options so you can get on stage. The same goes for musicians and singers. Organizations like to have local talent for their dinner theatre productions. You would be surprised at how many local libraries, community centers, shopping malls, and civic organizations are pleased to host paintings and photographs by local talent. So, get ready to enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame.
Did you want to make a big difference in someone’s life? There are plenty of volunteer activities at ambulance squads and fire departments, as well as food pantries, animal shelters, literacy programs and meal delivery services. Find your path to become someone’s superhero. Now is the time to pursue your passions, take classes at an Adult Ed center and study anything you’ve always wanted to learn. And when you’ve finished all that, see what else you could add to your life list – and have fun!