Compost that Bucket List

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When my cousins Ron and Joan suggested my 88 year old mother June create a “bucket list,” she reluctantly agreed. She had seen the movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman and knew the term meant a list of what she’d do if she only had a year to live.

She only came up with two items, both revisiting places she had lived in and loved, upstate New York in the fall and Washington DC in the spring. Ron and Joan, lifelong world travelers, told her she didn’t get the concept.  “You’re supposed to put down new places, new experiences, things you’d really like to do but never got around to.” June stayed firm. “I’ve done lots of interesting things,” she said. “Now I’m only interested in things that have meaning for me.”

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9 Responses to Compost that Bucket List

  1. i schwartz says:


  2. Wow. Thank you for your perspective. What a gift.

  3. Amy Herskowitz says:

    I loved reading this, David. I often ask myself to contemplate the “perfect” day in my mind’s eye – and it usually comprises some fairly simple things: having gotten a good night’s rest the night before, moving my body joyfully, eating satisfyingly good food, accomplishing whatever tasks might be on my agenda for the day, and spending time in good company – which could be family, friends or by myself with a good book. I love reading about what brings joy to others – it’s often so simple, which makes the concept so wonderful because it’s so easily doable for most people.

  4. Toni Gilbert says:

    Right on David. I like it….grail list.

  5. really good one David.

  6. jim snell says:

    I can understand why no bucket list – As one’s life draws to end of road, I sympathize with the thought of enjoying those things that have brought happiness and light. It does not seem time for new adventures/exploration nor remissing over what might have been.

  7. Katherine says:

    Thanks for this David. I am training for palliative care/grief coaching and have been asking myself those questions as I prepare to facilitate others’ answering them – if I knew I had only one year left, what difference would it make to my life? I’m with you, I think I would continue to strive to live fully, here and now.

  8. Burt Feuerstein says:

    I appreciate your comments here, David. Breathe it all out and let it go.

  9. Nurse Tim of The Yukon says:

    Being vs. doing. I like the former. Allows for spontaneity. Observe and participate at the same time. How do you fill a cup that is already overflowing? Give thanks with every breath. Love unconditionally. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Practice grace. Don’t let a day go by without telling someone that you love them.

    Live in the now, for this is all we have. Tomorrow has its own worries and has yet to happen, but when and if it does, be thankful.

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