Kicking the Bucket (list)

A few months ago I kept coming across a phrase and was made aware of how often it is used in MY life. Usually while sitting comfortably in an easy chair buried deep in the middle of a good book. That’s when someone would bring up an activity we “ought to do”. And I would think, sheesh, that would take like… effort and movement and energy and …I would cleverly respond, “hey, can’t you see I’m really busy here.”

Then this popped up for a little attention…

cartoon. ought-to-biography

Serendipity? Maybe, but I thought of it more as a drop-kick in the old behinder.

Dog Mountain Trailhead

…and that got me thinking about bucket lists. They are always grandiose. Climb a really tall mountain. Hitchhike around the world. (How do you hitchhike across an ocean anyway?) Oh, and my personal favorite… Reading every book EVER written.

Not only are these goals slightly unattainable but there is one glaring point we all pretend isn’t there and don’t mention… the finish line is… DEATH.

Yep, the old before I die Bucket-List needs to be tossed out on its proverbial ear and replaced with … the Ought-To List of Life.

Really… Do I want people mourning the fact that I didn’t even make it through the first billion books ever written? Or that I only made it a hundred miles to the Pacific Ocean and was content to sit in the sand watching the waves roll in? Or do I want people to remember that I took advantage of the opportunities life gave me?

view from Dog Mountain

And in case you are wondering… I have NO health issues looming on the horizon nudging me to run out and trek up Dog Mountain (elevation 2,949 feet) one more time to view the Columbia River. Although it is a fun (and I use that term loosely while gasping for air) hike with spectacular views.

There is one ought-to of my life that now can’t be done. Mr.P (back in the 60’s) worked for the US Forest Service in the Mt. St. Helens area. For years he wanted to take me to see Spirit Lake while old Harry Truman was there. I dug my heels in for several summers putting it off until St. Helens blew up and took Spirit Lake with it. Sadly, that memory now only belongs to Mr.P.

There are the everyday chore lists, that’s a given. Pay the bills, dust the window sill. Necessary but unmemorable. Time to take a break and work on the ought-to’s. I’m sure everyone has something they have been putting off.

blessings Ellen

Wondering what your ought-to is…


5 thoughts on “Kicking the Bucket (list)

  1. I’ve been trying to take the time to cherish the moment. Morgan my youngest cat is now two but still very active and playful. I am trying to enjoy time with her before she turns into the sleeping-eating machines my other three are. In the past 6 months my husband and I have made an effort to do more things that we enjoy at least once a week. We call it our field trip. It’s challenging because stuff we used to enjoy, we don’t anymore — like big crowds at concerts or amusement parks. It’s more challenging but we have done a really good job of finding those moments. As for a bucket list — right now I have some dirty laundry in it so it will have to wait.

  2. You know I love bucket lists 🙂 The main thing I’m working on every day is not complain b/c it’s unproductive and we really are lucky people compared to a lot of others. Long range . . . we decided after the world didn’t end in Dec. 2012 like my brother believed (snark), that we’d take a ‘real’ family vacation (not just 3 hrs up to Disney for the day) to somewhere out of state & for a week. It makes such a big difference getting out of our surroundings for an extended period of time 🙂 We work too hard to not do it!

  3. I like the “ought-to-biography” idea. 🙂 I think I ought to read the blog posts that come to my e-mail earlier than what I do. Actually, about 5 AM today, my husband asked if I wanted to take a 3 hour drive to go apple picking. We both want to, and we have wanted to for a long time, but…we ought to do it another day. After reading how you missed seeing Spirit Lake, maybe we ought to do it sooner than later. Thanks, Ellen. 🙂

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