I was thinking about the whole “Bucket List” phenom the other day. I thought, “Why don’t I have a Bucket List?” So I figured I’d make one.

1) Win the top prize in a lottery. This is the big one because it makes so many of the others possible.
2) Hike the Appalachian Trail through from Georgia to Maine. Preferably with a friend or 2. Tough to do unless you can afford the months without income and the proper equipment.
3) Become physically fit enough to handle said through-hike. This may be tougher than winning the lottery, as it means daily exercise and avoidance of foods I crave.
4) Buy a modest sized RV and tour all of North America. Special focus on major natural wonders, touristy spots and places profiled on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Again preferably with a friend or 2. And again having the financial resources to not worry about working or expenses.
5) Retire. Seeing as I have no savings, no retirement fund and am unlikely to earn enough between now and 72, I either need to accomplish Goal #1 or find a way to live within the income from Social Security.
6) Move back Home. This entails either accomplishing Goal #1 or saving enough to cover the cost of relocation and providing enough to live on until I can find another job and build another clientele. “Home” preferably being NH and close enough to my kids, grandkids and extended family to be able to actually see them regularly. If Goal #1 is accomplished, then Home will possibly include both a place in Boston’s Back Bay or Beacon Hill area (or possibly in downtown Portsmouth, NH) and a cozy place up in NH with space for visiting guests.
7) Learn how to REALLY decorate cakes with skill. I do OK now but only if it’s simple and basic. I have the flavors down pat. it’s the eye appeal that is lacking.
8.) Go back to school and learn to be a chef and/or pastry chef. But only if I can achieve Goal #1. I don’t wish to do either for a living. Just for my own edification.
9) Get down to a healthy weight and somehow get rid of my excess belly. While this might look like the most reasonable goal yet, it means huge sacrifices. In the form of calories. Deprivation of my sweet tooth. Surrendering that last hour of sleep and replacing it with (shudder) exercise.
10) Write & Illustrate a graphic novel. Just to see if I can.
11) Write a regular novel. I’ve had a few plot lines bouncing around inside my head for years. Sometimes they give me headaches.
12) Write a cookbook. Basically a compilation of my own recipes and dishes from my childhood and that my kids grew up with. Not for sale, just for history and to share with friends & family.
13) Visit Ireland. My ancestors are from there and it might be nice to actually see where they came from.
14) Visit each of the people I’ve come to know online, and who I consider friends. And see if the friendships survive real life.
15) This is probably the most important goal of all: Make sure that everyone who is part of my life; friends and family, know how I feel about them and what they mean to me beyond any shadow of a doubt. In the end, how you impact the lives of others is the most important thing you leave behind. Sometimes we don’t know the ways we influence people’s lives. I figure they all deserve to know how they influenced mine.