Kylie over at eclectica has this intetesting concept of having a theme word for the new year. The idea being that you create one word that will summarize your focus on the most important thing that you would like to accomplish during the new year. I commented on her post that my word would be “Clear” expanding it to say that I would like to clear all the items in my bucket list.
A bucket list of course implies that you would like to accomplish the things in the list before you pop off. Oddly enough soon after that little comment on Kylie’s blog, Lin in her LBC post on Travails Of City Life wrote about her beloved Seattle in the USA where I left this comment: “I have read so much about Seattle including the Chief for whom it is named after that it is in my bucket list of places to visit before I pop off!” Lin in her typical style responded in an email, she does not respond to comments on her blog, “Good for you. Please let me know if you do decide to go and have any special wishes of places you want to visit. Perhaps I can help. and please don’t pop off too soon.” Since she wrote three posts on that topic, in another one I commented: “I was on a transferable job and after marriage, had to live in eight different homes in different cities before we put down roots here in Pune. Before my marriage, I had already lived in four different cities so, wandering is quite a familiar scene for me. Having spent the last almost quarter of a century here, Pune now is home and I hope that like my late wife’s ashes, mine too will get washed away by the Mula Mutha.” and she has responded in her typical style: “Since you’re probably about my age (I’m a year younger than Chuck) I hope you wait a while before your wishbone takes to sea.”
I am not being morbid. It is just that I will be 72 years old this June. Two years more than the proverbial threescore and ten! Every day is a bonus to be lived with gratitude for living and because of my eclectic interests, my bucket list keeps growing. Fifty more weeks to go in 2015. How much can I achieve? So, after I read Lin’s response, I sat with the bucket list and pruned it down to a manageable number of things to do.
What I did was simply focus on the things where the quality was important rather than the quantity. Let me explain with just one example. On top of the list is my plan, which has been in place for the past five years, to visit family and friends who are all overseas. The original idea was to go to the UK/Ireland and then to the USA and cross over to Australia, stop over at Malaysia and Singapore and return. This plan has been just on the drawing board due to various reasons which need not be discussed here but it is one of the things that I most certainly want to do before I pop off. To be more realistic, I have pruned it to make a visit to Australia, Malaysia and Singapore, primarily because my cousin who was in the USA died two months ago and I simply have no inspiration to go there now, now that he is no more. My other friends and family members in the USA will have to take the chance that I will be alive next year, or the next or whatever.
This high quality, but low quantity trip will be just about what I can comfortably do both financially and physically and that is that.
The other major pruning for quality has been the decision to prune the books that I want to read to take into account the quality of the book rather than the number waiting to be read.
The trick now is to clear the list within items in the list!