Bucket Lists and Dreams

November 25 and 27, 2011

One way of visualizing one’s possible futures was described marvelously by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson in the movie called Bucket List.

Lying in adjacent hospital beds these two men, both of whom were close to death, compiled lists of what each would like to have happen in the remainder of his life.  The rest of the movie is a usually hilarious and sometimes poignant description of two wonderful actors going for their dreams with enthusiasm.  If you haven’t seen this movie, definitely do rent it. 

If you are open to dreaming impossible dreams this movie may inspire you to make up a Bucket List that could keep you occupied for years.

So what is on your bucket list? What are the incredible possibilities you might want to explore.  Your list might include sights and places, people, books, courses of study, purchases, events or conversations. Your list might include things you want to shed in an effort to simplify your life.  It might include a book you want to read or even write or it could include a religion you want to study in depth.

You awakened this morning. It is without question the very first day of the rest of your life. So today might be the very day to spend an hour of reflection thinking about possibilities for your personal Bucket List. This could be an hour that will cause ripples that will go on and on through the years of your life.

I think I will do just that, myself. Today, right now, the day after Thanksgiving, as I enjoy a day in beautiful Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, I am going to address this joyful task and see what happens.  Here are the thoughts that come to my mind this day. Here is my Day-After-Thanksgiving, 2011 Bucket List:

1.   I am going to continue to see my weight plummet as I go to Weight Watchers and lose the final 11 pounds (of 35 pounds), so that I weigh a pound or so less than the weight at which I wrestled and played football and ran track at Williams College in 1955. Would this ever bring a smile to my face!

2.   I am going to read several books, listen to several tapes, and or go to several seminars so that I understand better the essence of Buddhism. In the process I will learn about mindfulness, an important concept in psychology and neuroscience today.

3.   I am going to think differently about the loss of water in the pond in front of our house and see if it can become something more beautiful.  The lake is beautiful today. But brown areas from the current shoreline to the current grass could possibly be transformed by a new acre of vibrant green grass or by some Siberian irises or by some cypresses than can thrive with wet feet.

4.   I want to revisit the novel I started to write and worked on fairly diligently several years ago, but haven’t looked at for a single minute in the past three years.

5.   I do want very much to see Monet’s pond at Giverny outside Paris

So, what is on your wish list? Where do your dreams take you this day?

Robert A. Hatcher MD, MPH
Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia