SO, here I am…finally reaching retirement having paid little thought to the much touted “Bucket List.”
It just sort of crept up on me while I was busy doing the silly stuff that sort of takes up one’s lifetime -like raising kids, taking care of an aging parent, starting a business, getting divorced, getting divorced again, having back surgery, undergoing hip replacement, and moving cross country. Somehow, in this daily life of living, I’d failed to indulge myself in those long wished-for -experiences, just for myself, that I’d dreamed about doing but never got around to actually doing.
Skydiving….? Jumping out of a plane just when I finally conquered my fear of flying seemed a bit ludicrous.
Backpacking in the outback? Not overly appealing tromping through a hot/dusty or muddy trail with the similarly disenchanted and unhappy, restless group of fellow malcontents. Don’t get me wrong….I love nature and solitude….I frequent my backyard where I can watch birds and leave my phone inside. But, with a bad back and seriously creaky knees, trekking can be a bit tricky. In addition, my idea of fun at the end of a strenuous day is a hot shower and a cold California Chardonnay. Muddy boots and chaffed thighs, not so much. Also, I’m told, fresh vegetables don’t keep well in a back-pack, and, being a vegetarian, this won’t suit.
Cruise the Carribbean? Seriously? What with the endless buffet gorging and subsequent annoying food borne contaminants resulting in diarrhea,vomiting etc., SARS and that pesky ZIKA Virus? Um, no. Definitely a NO.
Take up skiing….oops….those bad knees again…and big trees in the way just to make the downhill more of a challenge, not to mention avalanches…..Yikes!
Taking a trip with my daughters? YESS!!! Wait….they have 5 kids between the two of them, 4 of whom are under 4 years old. Plus, one lives in another state. It would be easier booking a flight on Air Force 1. Hmm. Back to the drawing board….I mean… the Bucket List…..
WELL, my Bucket List just became a bit more pint-sized, as my two amazing daughters orchestrated a sneaky surprise trip to San Diego. This well-kept secret included the surprise destination, the mode of transportation, and a rendezvous with my out-of-state daughter. Perfectly and seamlessly organized, we jetted away, and upon landing, I was pampered with an amazing pedicure, and it just got better from there. Free champagne and sweets in the room, fabulous and first-rate opulent breakfast buffets including an array of fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed OJ, freshly baked muffins, coffee that rivaled a $7.00 Starbucks, and all served with an ocean view.
Yummy cocktails magically appeared by delightfully friendly waitstaff while we lazily languished poolside sharing inside jokes, giggling like teenagers all while looking forward to even more amazing dinners and even more drinks.
In our fabulous room, we bonded further over curling irons, what-to-wear- that makes your butt look great-I can’t believe how beautiful your hair looks- can I borrow that lip gloss-did anybody remember to bring a razor- and- which shoes look best with these jeans?
A solid 3 hours of fitting room fits of laughter, tons of, “You gotta buy those,” and lots of …”Doesn’t Mom look great”? A fabulous trip to wineries where we met and mingled with some lovely people who marveled at our Mother/Daughter adventure. I watched, amazed, as my 2 fabulous daughters mixed and mingled, spoke about the wines’ complexities while I watched and observed in awe, their sophistication but ease and comfort with strangers. How amazing they had become, how accomplished and self-confident were my two little girls, now grown women, had become. We walked, arm in arm, enjoying the sights, with my comfort and happiness their first priority. “This is all for you Mom”, they kept repeating. “We just wanted to finally make it about….You.”
Me. All about me. All from them.
Now…. that bucket list has become less about how full it has become, but more about its contents.