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The Bucket List of a Middle Aged Woman

Updated on February 19, 2015

Are your buckets full or waiting to be filled?

Source

First, let me tell you that I don’t expect you to agree with everything I am about to say. Some will agree but others will think I’m either crazy or have a death wish. I’ll concede that I may have a slight touch of crazy but I absolutely do not have a death wish. I just do not wish to live long enough to become a burden on those I love so dearly. Nature has a way of culling the sick or weak from a herd. It is only humans that fear death or are too selfish to let go. The result is that millions of families are being torn apart from the emotional and financial burden of caring for the elderly. I don’t want to be that burden on my family. My bucket list does not include living to be 100. I’m satisfied with what I’ve had and if I can’t take care of myself, then I am ready to go,

Social and Moral Responsibility

That’s a strange heading for an article on the bucket list of a middle aged woman, I know. As a baby boomer (born in the 50’s) I have personal knowledge of the impact of disease on our society. My Dad has late stage Alzheimer’s disease and can no longer care for himself. He lives in the locked unit of an assisted living facility because he wanders. He rarely knows who I am when I visit although I still seem familiar. My Mom lives in a different unit of the same facility. She experienced a stroke many years ago and has some residual mobility issues. Both Mom and Dad are in their mid 80’s. The cost of assisted living is staggering.

It is our social and moral responsibility to care for the elderly. According to Caregiver.org, the following represents the projected change in people needing long term care.

Further discussion of our social and moral responsibility is critical and will be covered in a future article but it is important to realize that as the population ages, our responsibilities increase and require an investment of our time and our money. It is the very least we can do for those who have done the same for us as children.

Quantity vs !uality

My parents worked hard all their life and were frugal. They knew the value of a dollar and their bucket list was simple. All they wanted was to give their children a good life and…to leave them a little money when they died. It was a simple goal for simple people. They accomplished the first part of their bucket list. My brother and I had a wonderful childhood and we are grateful. The remaining item on their bucket list, to leave their children money, is questionable. At the current rate of elder care, we will be lucky if the money they saved will last as long as they do. The facility we chose for them will not accept Medicaid and Medicare does not pay for long term care. We chose the facility for the quality of care but if the money runs out, we will be forced to move them to a facility that will accept Medicaid. We will be forced to sacrifice quality for quantity. It is an adult child's nightmare.

Finally, we come to the bucket list of a middle aged woman

Everything you’ve read here has influenced the recent revision of this middle aged woman’s bucket list. The older I get, the shorter the list gets. It isn’t that I’m working so diligently to accomplish all the things on the previous list. It’s simply that as I age my priorities have changed. The things that matter to me the most can’t be purchased, they can’t be displayed on a shelf and I can’t wear them to a party. I don’t have to pinch pennies for them and they don’t appear on my calendar. They are moments in time, places of the heart, and hope for the future. So, let’s look at the list of things that I hope to experience before my time on this earth is over.

  • I want to tell my Dad I love him one more time and have him know it is me.
  • I want my Mom to know, really know, how much like her I have become and how proud that makes me.
  • I want my brother to know how proud I am of the man he has become.
  • I want my sister-in-law to know how special she is and that I know she was the perfect one for my brother.
  • I want my niece to know how precious she is to me and that I will always have her back.
  • I want my friends to know how I treasure the memories we’ve made together.
  • I want to sit in the woods and hear the wind song in the trees.
  • I want to stand in the rain without worrying about my clothes or hair.
  • I want to sit by a creek and squish mud through my toes.
  • I want to lie in the hay, high in the loft of a barn and lose myself in daydreams.
  • I want to wake one morning to only good news; no wars, no killing, no racism

On the Light Side

What Reallly Matters

As you can see, my list is fairly short for someone who has lived nearly six decades and never done really amazing things. I’ve never jumped from an airplane with a parachute nor done a walk-about in the beautiful land of Australia. I’ve never climbed Mt. Everest or spent a week on a cruise ship. In my youth, I thought those things were important. They aren’t anymore. Looking back, the amazing things I didn’t do made room and time for the amazing things I did do. The bucket list for this middle aged woman is short but the individual items are simple. They don’t require money or travel. I don’t need anything but desire to accomplish them. I still have time because I still have today and, I have hope. The last item on my list may seem foolish but even that can be done. I won’t turn on the television.


The truth is, I want to live a long time. I have new friends to meet, old ones to spend time with, and many more memories to make. Finding contentment with your life is a gift, It's there for the taking. All the material things in the world are temporary. You can't take them with you. What really matters are the people we love, the relationships we build, and the memories we make. Do those things well and it doesn't matter whether you live to be 40 or 140. Check your bucket list. It might be time for a revision.

© 2014 Linda Crist

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  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Larry, thank you for the read and comment.

  • Larry Rankin profile image

    Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

    I always enjoy reading people's bucket list. Great hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    WannaB Writer - Thank you so much have a lovely comment and for spending time on my when you could easily have been outside finding pleasure in the natural world. Make your bucket list start working on it now. I wish you all the success and hope the day will never come cannot see through those eyes. Even then though, life goes on and you learn to be albeit differently.

  • WannaB Writer profile image

    Barbara Radisavljevic 2 years ago from Templeton, CA

    I think that's a wonderful list, and mine, were I to make one, would be very similar. More nature and photo walks, more time with precious people, and the health to enjoy them. The best things in life really are free - the evening sunset, the faces of flowers, the marvel of trees, the beauty of the coast -- all are close by me to enjoy as long as I can see.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    grand old lady...Hello! Thanks for the comment and for catching the dual text. It is now fixed. I appreciate that you felt this worthy of sharing. Blessings to you!

  • grand old lady profile image

    Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

    I love your bucket list very much. I will be sharing this on my FB and elsewhere. One thing -- the first paragraph is repeated twice. But it's still a beautiful article.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    oeachpurple, thanks!. I am determined. lol

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    Aw, dear Linda, thank you for sharing that love can truly be felt no matter what physical, mental or other barriers we believe to be present. Love is just that powerful!

    (((Hugs)))

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    You sure have a longbucket list, i am sure you canmake it

  • SAQIB6608 profile image

    SAQIB 2 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

    Yes. You are very right Irc7815, Life is all struggle. Complete wish list can never be fulfilled but one must pursue for the smaller and achievables. Thanks for your concerns and I pray your buckets gets filled up.

    CHEERzz

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    SAQIB6608 , thanks for the visit. Everyone should have a bucket list and should be actively working on it. Life is short and opportunities can be missed in a minute. Hope you are working on your own.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sweet Faith, I wondered if you would read this one and your response is exactly what I thought it might be. You and I have learned the lessons, haven't we? I want to share this with you. A few days ago I was missing my Dad so bad that all I could do was cry. He no longer knows me and is in his Alzheimer's happy place most of the time. I spent the entire day in tears, wishing that for just one more moment I could tell him how much I loved him and have him know it was me. Later that night my Mom called to tell me she had visited with Dad early in the day. She wanted me to know that all he could talk about during their visit was "Linda". Oh how my heart swelled because in that moment I knew that he had felt my love. he had not called my name in several months. Those are the precious moments that can fill a bucket in a hurry. I haven't shared this with anyone else so that's how special you are!

  • SAQIB6608 profile image

    SAQIB 2 years ago from HYDERABAD PAKISTAN

    Reminds me off the movie Bucket List starring Jack Nicolson, We all need to broaden our horizon at all the times, Learning is what can really polish us and groom us. Our cravings speak of our vision.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    Oh, my goodness, this is beautiful beyond any words I can come up with dear Linda! I think your parents know the fine daughter they have been blessed with in this life, even though they may not seem to be aware, but I just know they know, as true love can break through any barriers that this sometimes brutal life can try to put up. I know when you hold their hands, they know that you are indeed someone special.

    I have no fear of dying, but I do want those I love to know I love them and this present day is the day to do such without delay, without all of the distractions in this life ... which take us off to no avail.

    You are beautiful. Thank you for being you and blessing us with this heartfelt write.

    Best bucket list I've ever read, seriously!

    Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

    Peace and (((Hugs)))

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thelma, thank you for visiting my hub. It's' always good to revisit our bucket list. I hope you accomplish everything on yours.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Miz B...I just love you. Yes indeed we are kindred spirits and if you ever decide to come to Virginia, we will do those next to the last four things together. That's a promise. The last one on the list, well, I just added that because I wouldn't be me if I wasn't dreaming about something that seems impossible. lol

    Once again the sun has shined on me through your own light today. Thank you for being here and for being my special friend. My best to my veteran friend, Mr B, too.

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

    Those are great bucket list. Simple and not imposible. I think I have to check my bucket list, too. Thanks.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 2 years ago

    What a beautiful list. I hope you get to do them all. However, I agree the last one isn’t likely to be done on this earth. You have taken care of your parents truly well. I am so relieved that I didn’t have to face what you are going through with your parents. To have your parents taken care of well and forgo the inheritance probably bothers your parents more than it does you and your brother.

    My mother used to worry about spending “our inheritance”. I told her that it was her money and to enjoy using it, but it is difficult for a child of the Great Depression (like she was) to turn loose of any of it. When she found out that she needed medication for her cancer that would cost $8,000 a month, she said that she would die first. She refused to live in poverty (again) after her nest egg was all gone. Luckily, the doctor found a way around it, and she lived another year or two.

    We have put our holdings (what there is of it) into a trust. In our state it takes five years for it to become protected, and we have two more years to go. Hopefully neither of us will have to go into any kind of nursing or medical care before the trust becomes protected from medical financial intrusion. At least my son who has a potentially fatal illness will be assured financial security for his medical needs after that.

    I really love your list. The next to the last four things, I have done, and I would love to do them again. For most of the rest, the opportunity has passed. I would kind of like to make a trip to Ireland and Scotland, though, so it is on my list. You are really a sweet person and a kindred spirit, Linda. If I get to do the last one, I’ll invite you to go with me. Love and Light, my friend.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I was going to mention the watchtower, but refrained. I'm glad you did. I would love that too!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, you always understand me. We are a lot alike. I've had my moment with my Dad. It was precious. I'll take another but I'm content with what I've had. I did forget one item though. I want to meet you in that watchtower and have a glass of wine with you. Cheers sistah!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I love your bucket list. Simple and unpretentious. We came in with love, shelter, and food and that's the way we should go out. When life gets too complicated we lose sight of what's important.

    You'll have your moment with your dad. I just know it! I'm sure you've already checked items two thru five off your list.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    sallybea, thanks for the visit today. I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I certainly don't want to go today but if that is to be,then I am ready. I sure would like to stick my toes in the mud one more time though. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    CrisSp 73. hello!!!! Thank you for weighing in. I appreciate your kind words and hope that my little message will have a positive impact on your day.

  • sallybea profile image

    Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

    lrc7815

    A wonderful bucket list and one which I hope you manage to achieve. I so agree with you about leaving this world before I become a burden to my family, friends or society.

    This would be top on my bucket list.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    "All the material things in the world are temporary. You can't take them with you. What really matters are the people we love, the relationships we build, and the memories we make." ~ very powerful message and one that we should all bear in mind.

    Beautiful words of wisdom I take with me today from this hub. Thank you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Kindred, we keep it simple, don't we? This isn't the hub I started writing but it's the one that evolved. Me thinks me needed this one today. lol But, as always, your presence is a gift, both here and in my life. Thank you! Hugs on there way to you. You know our teams are playing ball tomorrow night. May the best team win.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    What? Are you crazy? What kind of a bucket list is this????

    In a word....beautiful!

    You are my kindred soul.

    bill

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jackie, you are so precious. Thank you so much for the early visit and good wishes. My wants are pretty simple these days and yes, heaven holds the key to the last one I'm afraid. But, I won't give up hope because I'm such a dreamer. lol

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Sounds like a great list to me and I would say I have managed all those but the last (even if it has been awhile) and I think we both know that last one will no doubt be in heaven! lol

    I pray you get your wishes! Little to ask.