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The Bucket List

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By Paula Hilton

 

It’s 2017 and time to pull out that pesky list of New Year’s Resolutions I made last year. You probably have the same list somewhere, right? Tucked safely away so you won’t lose it. Or look at it.

 

I did look at mine a few times this past year, and at one point got out a pen and started marking through things that I decided I really didn’t need to accomplish in 2016. I mean, why “clean out the filing cabinet in the garage”? The thing has been sitting there since 2002 with nothing but junk in it. It could certainly stay put another year or two.

 

The rest of the list wasn’t much better. “Lose 20 more pounds.” I’ve already lost 40, thank you very much. Let it be for goodness sakes.

 

“Learn how to use a power saw.” For lack of a better word, I suffer from power-saw-a-phobia. I’m terrified of power saws. There was no way I’d ever learn how to use one.

 

“Teach old dogs new tricks.” I adopted two adult dogs in July of 2015 and quickly realized they didn’t know any basic commands. Sit! I bark. They stare at me, standing. Roll over, I ask. More staring. Quit barking! No way. They were born to bark.

 

After taking a long look and realizing I really didn’t accomplish much in 2016, I decided to take a new approach. I turned 60 in 2015, and I noticed a lot of my friends were starting to talk about their “bucket lists.” Maybe I should make a bucket list instead of a list of New Year’s resolutions. That sounded like more fun anyway, so I started my list.

 

Or thought I was going to start my list. I couldn’t think of anything to put down. I’m afraid of heights so all those things like “jump out of an airplane,” “go parasailing” or “visit Mars” that other people put on their lists weren’t really feasible. I’ve already sung in front of 10,000 people, been on TV and written a book. I know how to sew, crotchet and play the clarinet, so I probably don’t need to learn another instrument.

 

But I could learn another language. I’ve always thought French was quite lovely. And maybe take a serious painting class. And go to the beach.

 

Wait a minute. Where did that come from? Go to the beach? I live in Beachcomberland, with the most beautiful beaches in the world. But when is the last time I went to the beach? It might have been before I moved here in 2002. Back then, every time we came out for a visit, we spent days and days at the beach.

 

But since moving here, I just float around in my pool, or go out on my sister’s 40-foot pontoon where we enjoy the water but we don’t “go to the beach.”

 

I looked at the other stuff on my bucket list. You know, I doubt I could learn a new language or how to paint. I am, after all, an old dog, and you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But go to the beach here on the beautiful Emerald Coast? Now that’s something I can get behind. Our beautiful warm weather will be back in just a few short months. Maybe I will work on taking a few more pounds off, then hit the beach in style.

 

Happy New Year, everyone!ac

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