(Tiggerlane, The Neophyte Blogger , is host for this week's Fun Monday. She wants to know what's on our Bucket List, the biggies on our to do before we die list. Thankfully, lofty is not required. Tigger says to feel free to share the most whacky, bizzare things we want to do before we roll over permanently. P.S. maybe someone along the way today will explain the origins of the term "bucket list" since many of us still need to see the film.)
Are any of you, like me, getting pretty weary of the idea of Oprah being the Grand Arbiter of Everything from literature to weight loss to presidential politics? I still enjoy her show and read the O Magazine from cover to cover, but sometimes she makes me tired. There's one exception though, her Ask Dr.Oz segments with the very winning and informative Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roisen, authors of the YOU series--YOU: The Owner's Manual, YOU: On a Diet, and the latest YOU: Staying Young.
It's the YOU:Staying Young that's helping me with my bucket list. Early in this book, the good doctors provide a formula for figuring out your biological RealAge based on lifestyle and behaviors rather than simple calendar age. I took the test at www.realage.com in about 30 minutes. I found out what I was doing wrong--like I didn't know already--and what I should do differently to extend my warranty. However, if I don't make any changes--likely--they figure I'll live until 87 years old--that's 25 good years left. So, here's my list:
Animal Rescue-- the faces pop up on the computer screen too often. Faces of animals, mostly dogs and cats, desperately needing rescue--from overcrowded, overwhelmed shelters; abusive or inconvenienced owners; lost or discarded animals. I intend to help some of these creatures find permanent, loving homes by being a card carrying, working member of an animal rescue group like the humane society, Best Friends, or other shelters. Since retiring I've had a small part in finding good homes for a few dogs. There's Spencer the poodle who went to live with three little girls, Jo Jo the handsome black lab that my friend and I delivered half way to a training place for companion animals, and the three Great Pyrennes pups that were abandoned by, we suspect, an Amish farm puppy mill. They went to a Great Pyrennes rescue group to be socialized and homed.
Right now I'd love to foster dogs, but that's impossible because Willie the pitbull insists on being an only dog and since he's 11 years old I'm not going to upset him. When the time comes for another dog, I'll rescue a softer breed like a golden who would be all right with us fostering needy animals. In the meantime, I intend to continue trying to match dogs with good owners and work in a local shelter to exercise and socialize dogs so they'll be more adoptable. I'll also continue to work with rescue groups that coordinate cross country drives to get dogs from one point to another so they can be united with adoptive families. Have crates and economy car will travel!
Adventure Travel-- there's a huge wall map over my computer desk with push pins marking the countries I've been lucky enough to visit for pleasure or work. Most memorable trips include: Rocky Mountaineer train ride across Canadian Rockies, long distance walk across England, watercolor workshop on French river barge, horticultural tours of England, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and the United States, and volunteer work in West Indies and Ukraine.
Once you get the travel bug, it's like the nits that a couple of blogger friends are fighting, hard to ignore, much less get rid of. So, in my remaining 25 good years I want to see and experience as much of the world as possible. This year it may be a September train tour of Europe. . .
Watercolor Artist-- I have the perfect space to paint--a room with great light,tall drafting table with brushes, paint tubes and other supplies at the ready, and many art reference books close at hand. More importantly, I have time to paint. I've studied watercolor with three fine artists over the past 15 years. From them I understand that everyone is an artist, but you have to do the work, spending a small amount of time daily painting and drawing. I know this works because there have been periods when I've done this consistently over a full month and been very pleased with my work. So someday I'd like to be able to say "Yes, I'm an artist" and know that I have the work to prove it.
Health & Wellness-- I'm blessed with excellent health, strong body and relatively stable mind (well. . .). In the time that I have, I plan to work hard to stay well and happy so I can check off all the other things on my bucket list. Now, if you're still looking for some wild and crazy things to put on your bucket list, go over to tiggerlane to check out other Fun Monday participants.
(Image Credit: all from google--I really do need to figure out those pesky copyright restrictions to be totally aboveboard.)
- Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.