A New Type of Bucket List for Retirement

Photo Credit: Dale Stout
Photo Credit: Dale Stout

The Bucket List (2007) “Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.” Rotten Tomatoes said that, “Not even the earnest performances of the two leads (Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson) can rescue The Bucket List from its schmaltzy script.” Schmaltzy it may have been but the phrase and the idea is now firmly planted in the culture.

It has become a topic of earnest conversation and contemplation, What would you do if you knew you were going to die? What would be on your to-do list? A kayak trip in British Columbia? Rafting through the Grand Canyon? Seeing every game of a World Series? The finals at Wimbledon? Opera in Milan? Gondola ride in Venice?

I’m developing a different kind of bucket list for this stage of my life. With paid, nine-to-five employment a thing of the past what am I going to give up, along with the salary, endless meetings and corporate backstabbing? My bucket list involves the things that I’m throwing in the bucket and pitching out of my life.

Here’s a beginning:

*  Worrying about how people think about the way I dress. In fact, worrying about how people think about whatever I do. Harder than it sounds, of course, but worth the effort.

*  The inner compulsion to say “Yes, of course” when people ask if I want to do a task or take on a job or go to a party. I’m practicing saying, “Thank you but no.”

*  Fingernail polish. It smells. It can’t be good for my nails or the environment and I have more interesting things to do with my time. Gardening for example which is hell on a manicure.

*  Regrets about what I have not done, not accomplished. Those various sins of commission or omission. I will ask for forgiveness and move on to doing what needs to be done today.

That’s my beginning. In the bucket and out the door.


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