Life changes us. We get older and things that matter when we’re young – career, status, and good hair days — matter less. I always prided myself on having an extensive bucket list – travel, eating exotic food, Brazilian bikini waxes. I still crave adventure and experience. But with each passing year, my bucket list is shrinking. Here are 6 things I thought I wanted to do, but now I’m “meh” about…
Living in Manhattan – My entire adult life, I craved dwelling in the Big Apple. All that glamour, energy and excitement! But a funny thing happened. The last few times I’ve visited New York City, at the end, I’m ready to go home. The pace is too frenzied, the restaurants too crowded, the noise of horns and sirens too loud.
I still love visiting and will do it regularly the rest of my life. But that wistful sigh of, “How I wish I lived here,” is fading. These days, I’m happy to come back to my boring, quiet, Connecticut home.
Swimming with Dolphins – There was a point in my life I would’ve happily slid into a pool of large, seafaring creatures. You know, those tanks you see at Sea World or those cool, Bahamian resorts? Not anymore.
What can I say? Dolphins (or porpoises?) are too big and wet. They’re like super friendly, well-meaning people at cocktail parties who stand too close and talk too much. Only in this case, they’re huge mammals wanting to push and nudge and play and well, let’s face it…they look a little like sharks. Once I thought I wanted this experience with these sweet, lovely creatures. Not so much now.
Getting a Tattoo — I’ve always had a fantasy about having a little butterfly inked on my ankle. It would be discreet and small. I love the symbolism of this ever-evolving, beautiful insect. I’d feel like one of those cool, artsy chicks.
But now? The thought of those needles pulsating into my flesh is terrifying. I can’t even watch an episode of “General Hospital” without cringing. What was I thinking?
Visiting Antarctica – I used to be open to going anywhere, including the South Pole. And I’d still go many places, but I now draw the line here. First, you must cross the infamous Drake Passage. For that, you have two awful choices – a super scary 10-day boat trip on rough seas or a super scary, turbulent plane ride.
Then, what do you do once you’re there? Cute as they are, I can only look at so many penguins. Antarctica seems like a really big Vermont – full of super cool, rugged hippie scientist types. But I’m officially spoiled now. Where’s the turndown service and minibar? None? I’m out.
Getting really good at yoga – When I was young, I had visions of doing yoga all my life. By this age, I’d be super flexible, and have an incredibly toned body. Somehow this never happened.
Back then, I thought the more I did yoga, the better I’d get. Yet, the strange thing is, the more I do yoga, the worse I get. I wouldn’t go near those sweaty, laborious, ever-moving Vinyasa classes again. These days, if I can do a few tree poses and a downward dog once a week, I’m happy.
Hot Air Ballooning – When young, I thought it would be cool to drift along in the thermal currents of the earth, like a lovely California Wine ad. But now there’s something a little too… “untethered” about the experience. Maybe I’ve seen the Wizard of Oz too much.
Hot air ballooning leaves me with too many questions. How do you get up there and what about steering and landing? What if a huge gust of wind comes along? What if you end up in Emerald City? And is there a ladies room? I don’t get it, so that’s off the bucket list.
When I look at the peak, memorable moments in my life – an incredible meal, hearing beautiful music, seeing something amazing — many happened when I least expected them. I never had to run out to meet them. They came to me.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have bucket lists, because we should. They’re fun and hopeful. This world is too fascinating not to explore, even if its our own little corner.
But my goals seem to be reducing at an alarming rate. And for some reason, I find this strangely comforting. Life is easier.
Before I know it, I’ll be satisfied just having a good hair day.
How do you feel about bucket lists? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share. Thank you!