As I considered my tale about my College of William and Mary fantasy, I started thinking about other bucket list items I have embraced in recent years. Retirement can truly be a great time for pondering what it is that we really want to do… and making it happen. It can be easy to get stuck in the “pondering” part, which can be a little disillusioning or embittering. It can also be a bit anxiety-producing and manic if the “making it happen” part overtakes all good sense. The key, as it is with almost all of life, is balancing. There is quite a bit to be said for daydreaming and luxuriating in your “what ifs.” It is even more satisfying to take some of those “what ifs” and make them “now whats?”
I do not think I realized how much I have been doing that in the past several years until I began working on the William and Mary piece.
Bucket list activities do not have to be exotic, dangerous, or even expensive. It depends on the kind of person you are and what satisfies your soul. I am a bit quirky. There is no denying it. I am not, however, exotic. My soul-satisfying activities over the past few years do not involve jumping out of planes or going on safari or winning a Nobel prize. Still, they have all brought me great happiness- in the pondering and in the doing. Here are a few of my favorite bucket list accomplishments:
I’ve been publishing a blog, nearly ever week, for over five years.
I’ve published two books.
I’ve swum with dolphins several times.
I’ve been Bippity-boppetied.
I’ve been to New England to see the fall foliage.
I’ve taken courses at the College of William and Mary.
I’m sure if I thought about it, I could come up with a number of other experiences that have delighted my spirit. In fact, there is one that just came up the other day.
Those of you who have been paying attention know that I am a bit of a Disnerd. My parents called me Tinker Bell from the time I was born. I spent my childhood three miles from Disneyland. When I contemplated moving in retirement, Florida was a top contender largely because I could get frequent doses of Disney.
Now, I would be incredibly happy if the COVID epidemic never happened. It has been a health, financial, and emotional crisis for the whole world. I do not want to seem insensitive to the tragedies that occurred because of this horrible disease. I am not insensitive. I know people who were terribly ill. I know one person who died. Please do not think I am making light of the situation.
When Disney did reopen, there was a unique opportunity. They opened carefully and with respect for public health issues. They opened first for special minimal capacity passholder events. Even when the parks opened to the general public, they enforced a limited capacity by employing a reservation system. During this time, I have visited the parks several times. I have been able to experience “hot ticket” rides that are usually so popular I am not able to get on them under normal circumstances. There were about four or five newer attractions that I wanted to experience but had never waited in the 60 minute plus lines to get on them. I have been knocking them out during the COVID-tainted reopening. Some, I have been able to ride more than once.
Yesterday, I was able to ride the last attraction on my “never done before” list- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I have now been on every ride I want to at Walt Disney World at least once.
What do you think? Is my bucket a little shallow? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an adventurous day!