Adele’s Two Cents: My Empty Bucket List

_NIC6165My calendar must be broken, yes, that’s it.

One day it correctly reflects that I am a married 37 year-old mother of two young children; the next, it inexplicably claims that it is 2014 and I am a 59 year old single empty nester. How the hell did that happen?

I’ve never been one of those women who discreetly, but resolutely, shaves a few years off my age; if anything, I have frequently lied to make myself older, and the fact that I was already 5’10” tall by junior high helped to sell the lie. That’s how I was able to see the R-rated film “Easy Rider” at 14 (a big deal in 1969, though today 6 year olds can no doubt stream X-rated videos alongside “Dora The Explorer” on their tablets) and also how I was able to get a job at Bloomingdale’s at age 15 (though many of today’s 15 year olds may be too busy still watching porn to even look for work).

But 59? That’s only a six-pack of Ensure away from the Big 6-0! I mentioned to my son that suddenly I felt like I was playing on the “back nine” of life.

He replied, “Back nine? Hell, you’re in the clubhouse and on your third beer!”


With the realization that I’ve got fewer days ahead of me than behind (after all, at 59 I can’t really think of myself as “middle aged” anymore, unless I plan on living to 120!), I started considering whether I’d accomplished what I’d imagined I might have in my life. A term came to mind, popularized by the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie a few years back: my own personal “Bucket List.” It refers to all the experiences we hope to be able to “check off” some imaginary list of accomplishments before we kick the bucket and head off to that Eternal Assisted Living Facility in the Sky.

Connecticut-Limousine-Bucket-ListWhile I have never sat down and formally cataloged my lifelong To Do list, if I had, I’m pretty sure these things would never make the cut:

  • Attending a National Rifle Association rally
  • Seeing Wayne Newton live in Las Vegas
  • Getting a Brazilian bikini wax
  • Watching anything starring any of the Kardashians
  • Taking a road trip across America (or across town) with my mother

What experiences then, might have made it onto my Bucket List?

First, remembering where the hell I put the damned list, then starring on Broadway in a revival of “Funny Girl,” viewing the Earth from the International Space Station, making Beef Bourguignon with Julia Child, balancing my checkbook just once, and sleeping with the entire starting line-up of the 2009 NY Yankees… other words, a compilation of events that will never happen!

Hey – you have your aspirations, I have mine!

So have you yet made your own Bucket List? Are the things you’re still waiting to check off based in reality, or like mine, a bit more on the side of “Fantasy Island”?

19 thoughts on “Adele’s Two Cents: My Empty Bucket List

  1. The spirit of this is delightful, . . And it has me thinking that my own sense of what life might hold for me — if I put out my wish list — has more to do with a way of being at peace with myself than things I yearn to do.

  2. I think I need to make a bucket list. I never made one before. I paused and I cannot think what I put on it. I am living all my dreams. I don’t think I will ever get a brazilian wax, either.

  3. Hey, Adele,
    You are hilarious, interesting, & utterly HONEST.
    I always LIE about my age. Don’t tell. I can’t help myself. It’s a little issue of mine.
    I’ve already accomplished a few things on my bucket list. For example, seeing Madonna & Cher in concert. Oh, and I’d love to kiss Brad Pitt..and…and…
    Great blog post. You. Crack. Me. Up. xx

    • Thanks so much! While I may joke about it, here’s some honesty about MY Bucket List: if I accomplished everything on it, but failed to raise kind and caring children who appreciate the power of words, family, love and faith, then all the other “check offs” don’t mean a damned thing.

      And Brad Pitt? Not my speed, but I’ll take his BFF George Clooney!

  4. I have a bucket list, most of it though is all private. All things I would never share with anyone who wasn’t willing to explore my hellion / dark side. Now that I am single and pushing closer to not in my fifties, I better get to cracking myself.

    Love your son!

    • I wish you the best in emptying out that bucket of yours and getting it all accomplished. I’m making progress on mine, which included finding my writing self again, traveling through Europe, finding self-fulfillment, traveling through Europe, enjoying time with my pets, and traveling through Europe. Of course, seeing Paris again. Would love that. Maybe next year?

      • I want to see the Lavender Fields of Provence in full bloom, return to Venice. But other things on my list? Finish a book.

        Other things, yeah well, not putting those up to discuss.

  5. My issue is that my emotional age is so much younger than my physical age. Sky Diving is on my bucket list and I have no fear of doing it. Except then I think about how I already have stupid back issues and this will probably make it worse! I hate that I have to think about this aging body. But I do love your bucket list! It inspires me to go for broke… about adding attending the world cup and ending up in Cristiano Ronaldo’s hotel room?

    • Oooh, I LIKE your style! Cristiano Ronaldo’s hotel room? Well done! And I hear you about my emotional age not lining up with the calendar. Heavy sigh…..
      Did you see on the news today that former President Bush (the elder) celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving? And he’s limited to a wheelchair! I have back and knee issues as well, and though skydiving is definitely not on my To Do List (some days my big adventure is just limping into a Starbucks!), maybe we should both let Mr. Bush be our inspiration.

  6. Love your sons comment, I must remember that one.
    People often say age is but a number, shame that number only goes up and not down.

    No bucket list here, I am so poor I can’t afford the bucket to put the list in.

    • Well then I suggest you put “being able to afford a bucket” on your Bucket List! Dreams, as they say, are free and all the $$$ in the world wouldn’t be able to buy the things on my fantasy list, so there you go!

  7. Adele, I love your sense of humor! I had the exact opposite issue — looking far younger than my years. It enabled me to save money with a child’s pass at the movies, when all my friends had to pay adult’s fare! And I always got carded — even way after I’d turned 21. Yes, I do have a “bucket list,” but I’m not obsessive over it. Love your son’s comment, by the way!

    • My sister is the same way: at only 5′ 0″, with long hair and no make-up, she also passed for a money saving teen long into her adulthood. My kids, both tall, did not have this option; similarly, my son, being my son, also had no option but to be a smartass!

    • Apparently Mr. Freeman’s wish is to be in Every Single Movie made from 1990 through eternity (and maybe beyond! He did, after all, play God in “Bruce Almighty”). Seriously, when’s the last time you saw a movie where he (or just his voice) didn’t make some sort of appearance?

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