Friday, 22 June 2012

#283: Before I Die

A conversation with a friend got me thinking about a single item bucket list.

She is a high school librarian, and inspired by the book, the website, and numerous Before I Die walls, she devoted a bulletin board in her library to this cause.  Teachers and students anonymously complete a slip of paper:
Before I die,
 I want to....................... 

and post it for all to read.  Her display had only been up for a couple of days, when she had some action.

Of course, I asked her what people said.  She admitted that some wishes are obvious: guys hoping for sex with a particular school hottie, and girls wanting to marry Zac Ephron.  (Sex postings were removed, Ephron got to stay).  She knows which teachers have posted items and, so far, theirs have been somewhat materialistic (I want to own a Lamborghini).  The most sincere, probably from a girl, says Before I Die, I want to fall in love.

I was enthralled to hear about this project and I could see that it would be particularly appealing to teens whose potential for wishing is unlimited.  But what about us older folks?  Does the “Before I Die” challenge still have any meaning to the plus-65 set, or have our expectations been trimmed to fit our grown-up reality?

For the newly retired, or those thinking about retirement, I think the answer is obvious.  In fact, this may be the most important question we ever ask.  At risk of sounding all Oprahy, I think that we need complete this statement every day, we need to listen to the answer with our hearts, and if the same message keeps repeating, we really need to pay attention.  The desire for a Lamborghini may no longer get us out of bed in the morning, but something else will inspire us.  Hope is a bottomless resource.

Before I die, I want to........................ 

What do you want?

(I think I should just go buy the damn ukulele, and worry about learning to play it later.)

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