By Stacey Gliniewicz
Do you have a parent that is approaching senior citizen status and realizing that they are not getting any younger, hence starting to live and enjoy life even more than they did as a young adult? Only now, that parent is living life with a bucket list? My husband and I became aware of this bucket list belonging to my Mother, affectionately called Princess Grandma by all the grandchildren, about a year and a half ago. She has a long one, but somewhere near the top, if not exactly in that number one spot at the top, is taking a trip to Disney World with all the children and grandchildren. We will be footing the bill to travel cross-country with our five children, staying in a house accommodating 15, and of course visiting the Magic Kingdom. It will be an adventure to say the least; one that has been planned for three years now!
What gets me is the bucket list. My mother has had this realization, but what strikes even closer to home, is the realization that my parents are getting older. How does one deal with that reality that parents are not immortal? As children, we grow up looking up to our parents, invincible in their ways. Then reality strikes in the form of a bucket list. My siblings and I have worked to honor our mother’s bucket list item, saving money to take such a vacation; talking about this vacation with our children, in sweet anticipation that, that day in June 2012 when we all will arrive at the Magic Kingdom with Princess Grandma. This is an immensely important trip to her and memories will be forever made encased in our memory banks, chronicled in journals and scrapbooks, with many conversations of ‘remember when’ to take place in the future. Have your parents shared bucket list items with you? My siblings and I have made it a mission to cross this one off my mother’s list! Have you ever made it a mission to cross off a bucket list item on your parent’s list? It is such an exciting feeling to do something that means so much. I can only hope my children will do the same for me someday.
My final question, why do we wait until near retirement age to build our bucket list? Why not build it now? Some of you may not call it a bucket list, but rather a goal list. What is on that list? Does it involve your children? Plans for grandchildren? Are there dreams on that list that you think may never become a reality? Even as adults we can still learn from our parents! I was inspired by my mom to create my own bucket list full of thoughts, dreams, and ideas to include adventures that I would like to experience even at my age. I would love to visit various foreign countries, climb more mountains, and learn new hobbies. Right now, my bucket list focus item is to run a half marathon. The date is set, the training is on, and three months left. What steps have you taken toward crossing off bucket list items or achieving some of your life goals? I encourage you not to wait to build your bucket list like Princess Grandma. Seize the day, the time, and the moments! You will not regret it!