The non-bucket list.

16bd173I don’t have a bucket list. I did most of what I wanted to do while I was working or immediately thereafter. I will never walk the Camino in this lifetime.  I have entered the phase of my life where I don’t plan ahead, much.  If I plan, other than long term care and finances, its one year at a time.  Mostly, these days I am living one day at a time.  Living in the NOW.

All we have is now,  “yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow a promissory note”or so the saying goes.

Oh sure, I know something will probably happen this year.  We both might have birthdays.  I check on David every morning to make sure he’s breathing. He’s in pretty good health, but at 85 almost 86 he could do what his Dad did at age 74, come downstairs to breakfast then return to his bed, lie down and go to sleep permanently. Or not.  We never know the day or hour of our passing.

Ditto for me, although I am 12 years younger.

I plan my garden on a yearly basis. But these days gardening is more maintenance than not.  I began growing annuals in containers outside to have something new to look forward to each year.  However, I find myself replanting many of my same favorites every year. And why not?

Slowly, I am regaining some of my atrophied cooking skills, lost during my pre-retirement years.  After I married David we ate out a lot. Today, I find myself fixing favorites over and over.  And why not?

I no longer plan meals a week at a time, but rather David visits the grocery store almost every day to retrieve what I need for the meal I’ve planned that day.  He loves doing this, he says.  I perfected daily shopping when I was working outside the home and commuting by bus to and from Washington DC every day.

Each evening, I got off the bus, which stopped at the shopping center next to my apartment complex, and bought a bag of groceries which I carried home along with my brief case and purse. I then fixed the evening meal, visited with my kids a while, and did my school work afterward.

An evening or two a week while I was working on my second M.A. at Catholic University, I rode the Metro to work, then to class in NW DC.  I did my reading on weekends, on the Metro, during lunch hour at work, or in the library or student union before class.  When I transferred from Catholic University, I drove from my apartment in Alexandria VA, to my office downtown, then in the afternoon to the University of Maryland.  Around 10-11 PM, I drove back through DC to VA. Thus for years I was up late riding the Metro or driving through the city well after dark once or twice a week…without a gun!

I can’t believe what I carried then or how much I walked. All I know is that what I want to do now that I am retired is nothing much.

At the zoo in late the 1960s or early 1970s.  Connie in back, my boys Richard and John and friend Sherry's girls in front.
At the Washington DC zoo in  the early 1970s. Connie in back next to me, my boys John and Richard, and friend Sherry’s girls in front. I was in undergraduate school then and working.




15 thoughts on “The non-bucket list.

  1. Looking back I can almost see myself and the busy life I led – like a film or video. Nowadays my energy levels only get me so far! Your photo is lovely.


  2. I’ll admit that women are the stronger sex … why, you proved it with the Max Hasting book on World War II. Just picking up the book takes a lot of muscle! (But I’m finding it very intriguing and informative, so thanks for the recommendation).


  3. I watch my son and daughter-in-law running around doing things for and with two kids, jobs, etc., and marvel. I only raised one and thought I was stretched to the limit. It’s a good thing the relatively young have and raise the next generation. These days it’s all I can do to take care of myself. A couple of hours with the grandkids is totally exhausting.

    I too, used to imagine pioneer women doing what I did, but walking across the prairie instead of driving a car, cooking over wood fires, having no central heat or air, raising or growing much of their food, no modern doctors and medicine … or even just my own mom raising five kids instead of one. I usually ending up feeling rather sheepish about my complaints.


  4. Love that picture of the young mom Dianne.

    There is no worse misconception in history than men are the “stronger sex”. While there is certainly a long list of men that are heroes, the accomplishments of a single mom (or any mom for that matter) are no less heroic. As I have stated before, I believe the maternal instinct is the greatest force in the universe.


  5. With all the deaths and near deaths in our family in the last three months, I’ve gotten very nervous too. I took for granted that my mother would be with us for the next 10 years. But now, with my aunt’s death, mom is looking more frail and it scares me. I’m still planning things though. I told mom to plan for another trip next year. I want her to think ahead.


    • You and Art are young enough that you can plan those expansive trips and know you will probably be able to take them, but I wonder if that’s what Mom wants? However, its your life and your Mom so its none of my business. I am happy she was able to travel to Japan.


  6. I am amazed at what we could do when younger. I look at what I was doing even at 45 and am totally blown away that I accomplished so much. Sure isn’t happening now. Said by the woman sitting on the couch, typing.


    • Yes, I had more energy then, but with all that effort I still didn’t work as hard as my ancestor women, and my grandmother coped with ALS most of her adult life.. I doubt my death certificate will read cause of death: “worn out.”


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