You are probably asking right now. “Really, Dan, you’re gonna go there? A bucket list for a guy with terminal cancer? It’s been over done.”
I know. I get the skepticism. And it begs the question. Is putting together a bucket list a very cliche thing, or does it give a non cancerous muggle an inside the head look into someone whose life has an expiration date?
(For people that haven’t read or watched the Harry Potter series, a non cancerous muggle probably sounds like a benign tumor. Or, if you were forced to watch all the dreadful Harry Potter movies, and you completely understand what a muggle is, I’m so sorry. See reason #4.)
I think it does. Most people would love to have a bucket list. I also think most people DO have a bucket list, but they don’t want to admit it. Secret bucket lists exist for most people, but they are still doing stuff, like working, raising a family, and generally just getting on with the “normal” things we deal with everyday.
The funny thing is, there are a lot of bucket list items we accomplish without even realizing they are bucket list items. So, without further ado, let me present to you..
Top 5 bucket list things for regular people
1. Getting married
Most people are looking for that special someone to spend the rest of their life with. If you have found that special someone in your life, congrats! You’ve accomplished a bucket list thing.
2. Having Children.
As part of a couple that had two boys without even trying, I’ve never even considered this a bucket list item. But I’ve also seen firsthand the heartbreak of infertility. It sucks, and that line on a pregnancy test can be a make or break event for one’s happiness. Which also sucks. Children are not the key to happiness. Raising children can be very gratifying and also a very good reason for denying ones inner selfishness, but it can also be very frustrating and a very good reason for a pending divorce.
Kids complicate things. Like, “I have to pay for preschool instead of going to Cancun this year,” complicated. Denying self is hard. Especially when white sand beaches and swim up bars are involved.
3. The Promotion
The raise. The job that you’ll retire on. In 1999, I started training on a job that I wanted to ride into the sunset at Steelcase. And after 6 months I was a fully trained back up automatic press operator. All I needed was for someone to retire or leave the company for me to get the job full time. And that was happening soon.
The person that trained me was going back into his family business and was leaving Steelcase. Because I was his trained back up, I was next in line for the job. Until I wasn’t.
It’s a long story that I’m not going to cover here, but needless to say, through no fault of my own, I didn’t get my “I can retire on this job” type of job. Oh well. It helped me with more self denial until I got the opportunity down the road, and then they closed that plant, transferred me to another plant on 2nd shift, effectively killing my dream and making me even more bitter towards that place than l already was.
The fact that I worked at that company 21 more years after that incident says far more about me than it does them. I’m not great with transitions.
So if you’ve accomplished this bucket list item, we’ll, good for you, sport! (I’m still a little bitter.)
(After missing out on this job, let’s just say my interviews for subsequent jobs left a lot to be desired. Like, when asked where I saw myself in the next 5 years, and, to use the STAR method to answer the question, my answer was thus…
“We’ll, hopefully I will hurt myself, (situation or task) doing this crappy job (action) and that I will be collecting workman’s comp laying on my couch watching sports.(result) I’m not sure that’s the correct way to use STAR. Which, when I think about it, also could be the reason I missed out on many jobs.
“Uh, yeah, we’ll let you know,” was the usual response to my very inappropriate answer, and because of this answer, I never really had a shot. “But, I used the STAR method.” (Smirk)
Where was I? Oh yeah…
4. Becoming An Empty Nester
See above about having children. Turning the kids room into a sewing room or a man cave has its own special rewards. Like, the fact that you lived long enough to see the kids move out. And, you no longer have to pretend to like Harry Potter movies.
5. Having Grandchildren
I have yet to experience this amazing event, but I hear it’s awesome. All the good things about having kids without the drawbacks of actually doing a lot of work. Shitty diapers? “Here honey, I think somebodies done pooped their pants,” as you hand the baby back to its loving mother. “Can you have chocolate frosted sugar bombs for breakfast? I don’t see why not!!” And then you hand them back to their loving father.
I know, I said 5 reasons. There are lots more regular bucket list items like graduating high school, getting your first job, or somehow pulling off a successful threesome. (Hahaha. Whoops! That last one is for the secret crazy bucket list. Like climbing Mount Everest or seeing AOC run for the New York senate as a conservative Republican.)
You get the idea. But, since this blog is getting dangerously close to violating The One Poop Rule, I will describe my non secret, non crazy, terminal cancer bucket list as part two of this series. Until then, stay tuned to this space for more fun hijinks.
No threesomes. I promise.
Thanks for reading.