Bucket Lists Supercede New Year’s Resolutions

Reader Contribution by Lois Hoffman
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As another year draws to a close people start to think about the New Year and fresh starts, turning over new leafs and … you guessed it, New Year’s resolutions. Really. Has there ever been anyone who has ever kept a New Year’s resolution for a whole year? I know I have not, yet every year we do it all over again.

Not me, not this year. Instead of making resolutions I am going to revise my bucket list. After all, things on a bucket list are things you want to do, not things you should do so it should be really easy to keep. Besides, if I print it here for everyone to read, then the pressure is really on to live up to it. So, what’s on my bucket list? Here goes …

1. I want to try cross-country skiing. Mind you, I did not say downhill, I do not have a death wish. Even Wyatt and Wade don’t know if they want to try this out with me. That’s all right, I am perfectly capable of making a fool of myself all by myself.

2. You know all those autumn photos you see of the wild geese flying in front of the full moon? I have tried on many a moonlit night to capture that scene. I have spent endless hours with my camera set up, freezing, waiting for the geese to fly in front of the moon, freezing, and all to no avail, freezing. But I will keep trying until I get the shot. I could buy a dozen of them but I want my own. Why? I’m not really sure, I just do and that’s good enough to be on a bucket list.

3. Everyone knows that farming is close to my heart. I want to capture the true essence of what a farmer really goes through in the course of a year. Many of those who live in the city or have some other lifestyle besides farming only see the glamorous side of a life lived off the land. They see the big machinery going down the rows in the fields either planting or harvesting the grain. They don’t see the nitty gritty like the hours spent under the machinery doing the gruesome repairs; they don’t see the farmer who can barely drag himself to the house after spending hours either in the grueling sun or freezing cold working the fields; they don’t see the tear in the eye when a farmer watches a hail storm strip his entire year’s crop to nothing. I want to capture these in photos and have them in a gallery so people can see the true side of what farmers go through to feed all of us.

4. Everyone has a story. I truly believe that, it is what makes us all unique. My story includes a lot of different circumstances that made my growing years anything but “normal”, whatever that is. I want to write a book about what I have seen and what I have learned, not that my life is any more extraordinary from anyone else’s. But rather, that anyone, regardless of his or her circumstances can rise above them and find the good that this amazing life has to offer. I don’t have dreams of this project ever being a best seller, it probably will go nowhere. I need to write it for me.

5. On the other end of the spectrum, I want to do a lot more reading. Unlike movies, reading lets the imagination form all the characters and makes each book a very personal experience. I plan on getting lost in a few good books.

6. I have scraps of paper tucked everywhere with a couple lines of verse for just about every subject imaginable, not to mention I have a whole book of poetry (dusty as it may be with age) slid into the back crevices of the bookcase. I really think some of these could become greeting card verses. I’m going to give it a try.

7. I have always believed that you are only as old as your mind says you are. The story on Shirleyann Zobian walking the Appalachian Trail at 73 years of age intrigued me. I really think I want to try a portion of it someday. I have no visions of doing the entire 2300 miles. I must admit, even though I am rustic, I can’t give up my showers and modern conveniences for that long.

8. I want to go north and see, really see, the Northern Lights. They have always amazed me and, quite frankly, I believe they are the most spectacular feature Mother Nature has to offer.

9. Travel in our great country. There are so many unique and fascinating places right in these 48 states just waiting to be discovered.

10. Last, but certainly not least, is doing exactly what I am doing now; writing this column. I like people and their stories and I hope to travel a little further and find what’s of interest around a few more bends.

Bucket lists give us something to strive for and to look forward to accomplishing. As for me, we all only have one shot at this amazing thing called life and I want to pack as much into it as I possibly can. So, if I were to make a New Year’s resolution this year it would be that my bucket list gets longer instead of shorter. That’s one resolution I think I can keep.

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