Now that I’ve reassessed my responsibilities and committed to pursuing those activities that have been in my “later” file, aka my bucket list, I’ve also realized that I can actually pull things out of that file and simply shred them – things that are no longer goals or that no longer hold an interest for me no longer need to be on my bucket list. I discovered one such activity yesterday. My oldest daughter is participating in her college’s crew team and I’m really impressed with the work she has put in to train for the team and with how much she seems to be enjoying it. I always thought that this type of rowing was something I’d like to take up at some point. I could see myself out at dawn, silently gliding across the water by myself or in sync with my team.
Yesterday I watched my first regatta (that’s crew-speak for competitive event, i.e. game, match, etc.). The temperature was chilly, the skies were gray with off and on rain showers and I have to believe the water was cold and, quite possibly, dirty. I watched the young men and women wade in and out of the water, getting wet up to their hips and knowing that they wouldn’t be changing their clothes immediately afterwards and I watched them stand around for hours waiting for their eight minutes of rowing excitement. As I watched them I suddenly realized that I have no desire to crew – this is an activity that can be tossed from my bucket list. I’m not sure if I would have enjoyed it when I was 20 or if the reality, even then, would have dissuaded me, but I certainly know now that I don’t want to stand around for hours waiting for a few minutes of fun. I don’t want to get cold and wet under almost any circumstance and definitely not if I can’t immediately change into warm dry clothes and sit beside a nice toasty fire (preferably with a glass of good red wine).
My oldest son teased me about glibly paring down my bucket list, but he’s not yet 30; he’s young enough to believe that he can do everything on his list. While I have no intention of throwing out my entire list, I know that it’s not likely, even with good intentions, that I’ll do more than scratch off the topmost items, so why leave an activity on the list that I now know I am no longer interested in pursuing. I’d rather pare my list so that I can more easily focus on what I want most. Knowing what I don’t want to do is almost as important as knowing what I do want to do.