When I was about to turn 65 years old, I thought about how important it is to live life to the fullest, enjoying and appreciating each minute. I knew that there were many wonderful experiences I still wanted to have. So I sat down and created a “bucket list” that had 25 items on it. Over the last 7 years, I crossed off most of the items on the list as I completed them, including getting a tattoo (two, actually), skydiving, swimming with sharks, parasailing, and traveling to some specific locations. Still, a few items remained, including……wait for it……milking a cow!
Many people laughed at me when I told them I wanted to milk a cow, but I didn’t mind -- I just smiled and continued on my quest. I grew up in Chicago, and the closest I ever got to a cow was driving along the roads in Wisconsin on our way to a summer vacation.
Finally, this weekend, just 2 days after my 72nd birthday, I MILKED A COW! With the help of some good friends, I met Pearl, a big tan cow, at a local farm. I loved petting her, looking into those huge brown eyes, and talking to her. In fact, I spent more time petting and talking to her than I did milking her. She responded to me like a dog probably would have, nudging my hand and making satisfied noises. That was great fun. The milking was easier than I had been told it would be. But, drinking the fresh, warm milk was not a highlight! I have never liked warm milk, and Pearl’s milk coated my tongue in a way I didn’t like. Nevertheless, I feel very satisfied to have milked a cow, and my bucket list is one item shorter.
Now, there is one unusual item left on my “bucket list”: playing in a Texas Hold ‘em poker tournament. I am not brave enough to do it by myself, and all of my friends either don’t know how to play or just don’t want to. So, if you know anyone willing to take an OK poker player like me (who is a novice at tournament play) to a small, low entry fee tournament, let me know. I have no expectations of winning or even lasting very long. I just want to play for however long my chips last. Sounds like fun, right?
Here’s the thing. I have truly enjoyed creating and having a “bucket list”. It has helped me be brave enough to try many things I probably would not have done without it. It has given me many awesome moments and lots more to look forward to. So, if you don’t have a “bucket list” already, I encourage you to create one. As J.R.R. Tolkien’s character, Gandalf, said in The Lord of the Rings, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.”
I am getting older (some would say old) but I don’t really think of myself as much more than 50 until I read this list of signs of advancing age. Nineteen of these statements are true for me. NINETEEN! I guess I am not really 50ish after all.
These are from the Huffington Post and were compiled by women about women.
1. When you can’t find your reading glasses, it’s generally because they are on top of your head.
2. You can fall asleep but you just can’t stay asleep.
3. You don’t know anyone who can’t argue the merits of Ambien over Lunesta.
4. You see strangers at a party wearing stilettos and must resist the urge to say something to them about how they are ruining their feet.
5. When dining out with young friends, you are the only one who can figure out the tip in her head.
6. You realize your gynecologist could be your daughter, and it gets a little weird.
7. You wake up early on mornings that you could sleep in. Not by choice.
8. You like that Keith Richards looks the way he does.
9. A new washer and dryer makes you incredibly happy.
10. You order everything online because there is really no such thing as a skinny dressing room mirror.
11. You don’t actually remember the last time you stepped foot in a mall.
12. You sing along anytime you hear a Donna Summer song.
13. Sometimes, you just need to sit down.
14. You have no idea who anyone is at the Kids’ Choice Awards. (or most people in People Magazine or on other award shows)
15. There is just as much trauma involved in trying on shoes as there is with bathing suits.
16. You only use teeth-brightening toothpaste.
17. You have a Kindle, but only use it for plane rides.
18. You haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years.
19. You remember when you got a daily newspaper delivered.
20. You’re on Facebook, not Twitter. And you just heard about Periscope last week. (What the heck is Periscope?)
21. Your feet hurt. A lot. (And your back and your joints etc)
22. You are way beyond cold cucumbers when it comes to reducing puffy under-eyes.
23. You wear sunglasses for reasons unrelated to the weather.
24. You play mental retirement math on your daily work commute.
25. More often than not, you’d rather eat in than out.
26. Before you go anywhere, you consider the parking situation.
27. You still prefer to print out directions from Mapquest than to squint at them on your phone.
28. You hear yourself and you sound just like your mother.
29. You build raised garden beds so you don’t have to kneel in the garden.
30. You haven’t seen so much belly fat since your last pregnancy.
31. You could easily see yourself spending every day on the beach collecting sea glass and seashells.
32. You remember when the @ sign was only used in math problems.
33. Sometimes when you stand up fast, you feel yourself losing balance.
Susan is a frequent volunteer at Eastside Community Aid Thrift Shop, where she sorts, prices, and stocks merchandise to her heart's content. Before retirement, she owned and operated a consignment shop for women's plus size clothing in Seattle. Through trial and error and talking with customers, she learned a thing or two. An avid "thrift shopper," Susan loves to buy clothing, especially when she gets good quality and value for her money.
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