Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Most of you know I’m a news junkie. That’s because A) I made my living in the news for years and B) It’d be embarrassing if everyone knew the world was ending except me.
So. The latest topic that caught my eye was an MSNBC article about people winding up in the ER trying to live out their bucket lists.
Let’s look at a few:
An 80-year-old California woman, Laverne Everett, was tandem skydiving for the first time when she somehow slid from the instructor’s harness. He grabbed her and held on for dear life while they rocketed to earth. She walked away with bruises and a great story. (The video is still up on YouTube.) An Alabama man realized his lifelong dream of bull-riding when he crawled aboard a 1,000-pound snorting behemoth. Both his ankles were crushed when the bull started bucking in the chute. No eight seconds there.A 60-something Missouri man bought a new motorcycle in Kentucky. He broke several bones when he crashed while riding it out of the parking lot.Now, I’m not trying to ridicule these people—far from it. Everyone has dreams, and they had the guts to go after theirs. But according to the article, we Baby Boomers (those of us 49 and older) are just getting out of hand. We’re helicopter skiing and swimming with sharks and parasailing in the Alps. We’re zip lining and rock climbing and Scuba diving.
Apparently lots of us are itching to cross off crazy adventures before taking what I call the Big Dirt Nap. And that’s fine, for anyone who isn’t me. I have a few dreams and unrealized adventures, certainly. It’s just that mine don’t involve multiple fractures, or eating parboiled centipedes in the shadow of Kilimanjaro.
I’ve lived out every dream I’ve ever had, with few exceptions. You could say this is because I am content to remain provincial and unenlightened, which is probably true. Or you could say I’ve been enjoying life for many years and there isn’t a whole lot left I’m dying to do.
I’d like to learn how to paint, and speak Spanish. I’d like to eat Swiss chocolate in Switzerland, where knowing Spanish would do me absolutely no good. I’d like to swim with wild dolphins. That’s about it. There’s no-one I want to meet, no office I want to hold, no jewels or car or house I’d like to own.
(I used to think I’d like to have a backyard chicken coop, but we have raccoons and snakes in our woods and, unless we install combination locks and motion detectors, I think we know what would ultimately happen to those chickens. I also thought I should collect a few dozen columns in a book, so I did. Widdle thinks it’s hilarious, but several publishing houses did not agree. The hard copy is tucked into an antique suitcase in the spare room, in case I ever find the energy and money to self-publish.)
Adventures aside, I’ve had an amazing life. I’m not rich but I have a cherished wedding band and a few antiques and oil paintings. I have a houseful of books and a few good friends and that about does it. Oh, and a husband who makes me laugh and a snorty little dog that sleeps on my feet in bed.
What more could a woman ask for? OK, I’ll admit it—good hair. But I’m not holding my breath on that one.
Julie R. Smith, who is basically too lazy to dream big, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.