Do you have a bucket list? The term didn’t seem to be in use when I was a young woman, although I certainly had unfulfilled dreams back at the time. Now those dreams reside on a bucket list and it is has recently been influenced by the experience of aging. It has an aura of use-it-or-lose-it or now-or-never about it. After all, I just turned 56. Life seems too short to spend it at work and I feel my body and brain getting older almost by the day. The clock is ticking and this post is feeling cliche-driven. To use another cliche, c’est la vie!
Today my back is hurting, just a muscle pull, nothing permanent or serious but it adds to the irony that I have been searching out mountain peaks to summit on the internet. I may have summited some smallish mountain during a hike when I was a child but if so the details are lost to memory. I have a vague recollection of a climb when I was very young and on a day that I contracted a mild case of whooping cough. The fever may have contributed to the memory fail.
My long term dream has been to summit Mt. Rainier in Washington state, all 14,000 plus feet of it. It is no Everest and not a technical climb but still…. I’m not even sure I can handle the altitude, much less the steep climb, glacier and other physical challenges. I may compromise and try out a lesser mountain. I even created a “Bucket List” on Pinterest with candidates. “Pinned” mountains include Baker, Adams and St. Helens of varying degrees of difficulty. I am far less likely to fail at them and less likely to die too.
Not all my bucket list items are mountains, although some require long hikes– Pacific Crest Trail and similar. Here too I may need to compromise with section hikes or tamer trails. Trekking in the Himalayas is another dream expedition.
This year I checked off one dream location–I made it to Pompei. What a place! I didn’t spend enough time there as it was a stop off on a hurried road trip but it was amazing and unexpected in so many ways. That was the same trip to Italy that checked off at least part of another box–living abroad for the first time since studying in Paris in 1980. I was “only” in Italy a month on a self-declared sabbatical but it scratched the itch.
Long posts get boring so I may continue detailing my list at a later date. Feel free to comment on your bucket lists.