How Old Is Too Old?

When do people stop making bucket lists? When are we too old to do any more long term planning? When do we stop telling ourselves  “Someday … ? and start saying  “I should have …”  or “Why didn’t I? …”   When do we officially get over the hill?

By the way, where did the term “bucket list” come from anyway? You know, that wish list you dream up referring to all the things you still hope to accomplish in life. It obviously has something to do with the old expression “kick the bucket,” a term that has always confused me. And just where did THAT expression come from?

When I think of kicking the bucket, being the klutz that I am, I wonder what would happen if I tried for a good hard kick and missed. I’d lose my balance, fall flat on my face, and then what? Does the bucket ricochet back, catching me on the swing or do I get a second chance? I’m all for second chances.

Anyway, I can only speak for myself about aging, of course. We all age at a different pace. All I know is, “TOO OLD” is getting closer all the time. I still have a bucket list, only now there are no more dreams of trips to exotic locales. I’ve traded plans for Bora Bora and Kathmandu for outings to the grocery store, the big boxes and keeping up with those everlasting appointments.

My revised bucket list now includes the names and emergency contacts for at least a dozen medical specialists, not to mention dates for back massages and toenail trims.  I’m looking at appointments stacked up for the next six months to come.

My new bucket list also contains the names, addresses and full info on all the relatives who’ve been written out of my will.  They would persist in making me mad; now I’ll persist in getting even.

A bucket list for those of us who are really elderly might include plans for a pre-paid funeral service. Some people go so far as to write their own obituaries. That way they can be sure their marvelous physical attributes, amazing mental agility and astounding array of accomplishments will not be overlooked.  Too many heirs get in too much of a hurry to head for the bank and we don’t always receive the attention we so richly deserve.

Other bucket lists reveal detailed plans for disposing of one’s worldly goods, taking no chances on our treasured valuables being left behind to fall into the clutches of a significant other or a dear friend waiting in the wings.

As for myself, most of my belongings will be donated  back to Goodwill and The Salvation Army where I got them, if they’re still usable.

Gone are the days of extravagant arrangements for an African safari or golf at St. Andrews.  Even a second honeymoon to Niagara Falls is scrapped in the face of reality. If you haven’t done it by now it probably won’t get done.

What’s on your Bucket List?

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I’m Beside Myself

   That expression has always bugged me.  Just tell me how that can be possible.  Of all the ridiculous expressions we use  in casual conversation, that has to be the most meaningless.  We can be beside, below, before, behind,  ahead of, above, after or under almost any object or person we might mention, but beside ourselves?  Impossible!  Anatomically, acrobatically impossible!   Where do these goofy expressions originate?  How do they start?

   Think about some of the terms we  hear and use every day.  How about  For Goodness Sakes,  For Gracious Sakes or For Pete’s Sake?  Goodness and Gracious might be understandable if you stretch a point, but who the heck is Pete and how does he get in there?  Meaningless!

   And how about  Good Grief!  Another impossibility.   Grief is not good.  It can be heartbreaking, shattering, cathartic or any of a number of terms bt it is not good.  Here’s another one,   Keeping  Your Ears Peeled !  HUH?  I might understand Eyes Peeled, it  could be remotely plausible if not possible, but ears, never.   Also meaningless.

   Now here’s an old timer  I don’t hear much anymore;  my grandmother’s expression when she needed to relieve her feelings,  Land Sakes Alive!  What on earth does that mean?  In my opinion nothing.  Once again meaningless.  Sometimes under stress she’d shorten it to  Land Sakes, or, if deeply moved ,  just  Land or the most emotional,  just Sakes. Obviously she got some sort of satisfaction out of using it.

    Lately I’ve been hearing an oldie that seems to be making a comeback,  That’s The Bee’s Knees .  Again meaningless but kind of cute,  if you like silly.  And some new slang that does mean something if you give it a little thought, although once again, silly.  That Harshes My Mellow!  Or if you want the reverse,  That Mellows My Harsh.  So are our new expressions  an improvement or not?  

   Where do they come from? And why do I care?  The whole thing leaves me beside myself.