The Big 60, or What’s Left of My Bucket List

Last Wednesday, I had a landmark birthday. I turned 60 years old, and I finally had to admit that I’m not middle-aged any more (unless I live to be 120).

I’ve had a good life, and I’ve accomplished much of what I’ve wanted to do, but I’ve begun to realize that my remaining time could be limited to 10 or 20 years of health and mobility.

So what will I do with that precious time? There are several things I’ve never done, and it’s now or never.

1) I want to see my grandchildren before I’m too old to get on the floor and play with them. My first will be born at the end of May or the beginning of June.

My granddaughter - Charlie Cook

My granddaughter – Charlie Cook

2) I want to travel internationally. This is huge for me, because I have health issues which make traveling difficult. However, my first grandchild will be born in Japan, so my younger daughter and I will go to Iwakuni for the first two weeks in June. My elder daughter and her Marine husband are stationed there for the next couple of years.

Picture of the Iwakune bridge taken by my elder daughter

Picture of the Iwakuni bridge taken by my elder daughter

3) I want to learn to play another instrument. I play the flute, the piano, handbells, the synthesizer strings, the keyboard (same instrument but a different technique), and the organ, but I would really like to know how to play the guitar and the drums. I’ve already purchased a couple of feadogs, but I need to practice a great deal to achieve proficiency.
4) I want to live without alarm clocks. I’m halfway there now. Three days a week, I still have to get up really early, but four days a week, I can sleep until I wake up naturally.
5) I want to be kinder and more positive. I want to love people genuinely and unselfishly. I want to think the best of people.
6) I want to see my younger daughter happily married and know that she will be well taken care of when I’m gone. She has a degree and a job, so I’m not concerned for her material well-being. I want her to have a soulmate – her Mr. Darcy, if you will. Darcy wedding
7) I want to lose forty pounds (preferably before my younger daughter’s happy marriage). I’m tired of being overweight in my body while my mind still wants to dance and run. I hate having my picture made because of my weight.
8) I want to ride a motorcycle again. There’s one in the garage which we’re keeping until my daughter and her husband return from Japan, and my husband rides it periodically, but I don’t have the courage to climb on the back and ride with him like I did 38 years ago. If I ever do that, I’ll post a picture. It will be hilarious.
9) I want one perfect, deliriously happy day. All day.
10) I want to be remembered kindly when I’m gone.

You may have noticed that there are no material things on my list. I’ve never been very materialistic, though I do want new floors for my house and new family room furniture. Things don’t bring me much satisfaction – but my favorite gifts in the past year were a 52 inch flat screen TV my daughter and her husband gave us for Christmas and a smart phone my husband bought me so that I could communicate with my daughter while she’s in Japan.

You may also note that I didn’t list skydiving, para-sailing, or running a marathon. I know my limitations, and I couldn’t have done those things 40 years ago. Let’s be realistic. I’m good at many things, but I can trip walking across a flat surface. Really. I’ve done it.

It’s confession time. What’s on your list?

This entry was posted in Deep Stuff, Robin Helm and tagged , , , on by .

About Robin Helm

Robin Helm's latest work is Understanding Elizabeth, a stand-alone Regency Romance. She joined three other JAFF authors for a best selling Christmas anthology - A Very Austen Christmas. After publishing all three volumes of The Guardian Trilogy: Guardian, SoulFire, and Legacy, she published the Yours by Design Series: Accidentally Yours, Sincerely Yours, and Forever Yours. She and her husband have two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, two granddaughters, a grandson, and a Yorkie Poo named Toby.

7 thoughts on “The Big 60, or What’s Left of My Bucket List

  1. Susan Kaye

    I’m glad you aren’t buying into the skydiving first and then a marathon stereotype of aging. I do live without alarm clocks–we are on a second shift schedule–and after a while, it’s just the same old. In fact, I kind of liked getting up at four like I had to for years. I’m circling back around to night owledness.

    I hope you can tick them all off the list, Robin.


    1. Robin Helm Post author

      Thanks, Susan. I plan to check two of them off in a few weeks – holding my first grandchild in Japan. The others are a little more difficult and long-term, but I think I’ll get there.

      I think we all circle back to the way things were earlier in our lives.



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