An older woman wearing a kerchief is smiling and driving a classic convertible.

Do You Have a Bucket List?

I always used to have a "mental" bucket list which meant that I never wrote it down. A friend once told me that if you couldn't see it, you couldn't do it. I never wanted to write it down because it changed constantly. My friend told me to just make another list!

So, I started making lots of lists.

Reaching for the bucket list after diagnosis

When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness they almost always reach for their bucket list to see what they can accomplish. But we should all have a bucket list whether we have a terminal illness or not. We never know what tomorrow will bring, so you have to live for today.

After my Alzheimer's diagnosis, I started looking at my bucket list a little more carefully. What did I want to do before I could no longer remember I wanted to do it? Another thought that came to mind was, should I spend money doing something that I won't remember doing? Was I making a memory that could no longer be retrieved?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wasn't just making memories for myself but with others who shared my journey. If they were willing to do things with me on my bucket list then I would forge ahead.

My bucket list - ever evolving

At first, my bucket list was pretty short. Traveling to Australia was something that had been on my list for as long as I could remember. Several years ago, my family helped me cross that item off. I started to then think that if I completed my bucket list that I would die - I would have nothing to live for!

I know that sounds silly, but when you have Alzheimer's you have silly and many irrational thoughts. So, I decided that my bucket list should be really long so I wouldn't face that dilemma.

Make sure it's attainable

Bucket list items should be attainable. As much as I would like to add "make a hole in one in golf" on my list, that is not likely to happen. I can't make that happen - I can practice and practice and practice to give myself a chance at making a hole in one, but it isn't a given. I would also like to have a cure for Alzheimer's, world peace, and equal rights on the bucket list, but I think those should be on a wish list... If we only had three wishes granted to us!

Other items on my list include traveling to exotic places. It is very difficult for me to plan trips now, so I have to find some willing volunteers to travel with me.

Anyone up for Tahiti? I have always wanted to own a Mazda Miata - a red one. Now, this is definitely attainable, but I look at the money I would spend on it could be money used elsewhere. My husband says I couldn't get in and out of it anyway - but I would definitely give it a try.

It's YOUR bucket list

My husband and I have always had a difference of opinion about what is worthy to us. I prefer to have "experiences" and he prefers to have "things." It is the way we were raised, but my bucket list mainly consists of experiences, except for the Miata! I want to have fun, explore and enjoy myself, rather than covet things. Each to their own. Life is short - don't give up on YOUR bucket list.

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