During my childhood, we took some family trips. Not a lot of them, but some small ones and a few big ones and they left an impression on me. I’m sure there were times when my one sister and I bickered, but I don’t remember back seat fighting on long trips. On the contrary, I remember (among other things) singing songs from a little yellow book that held the lyrics to many folk songs, patriotic songs and silly songs.
And we would sing countless verses of songs that kids now would likely roll their eyes at. How is it that I remember so many of the words to those songs? Not only that, but any combination of words that is even close to the title or lyrics of one of those songs pushes the words and melody straight to the front of my brain where there is no escaping it. One such song is “Hole In The Bucket”.
The annoying lyrics with repetitive melody were probably enough to make any driver want to steer off a cliff, but I remember my parents singing with us instead of showing signs of irritation.
“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza dear Liza;
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza a hole.”
Once you join the over 50 crowd, the phrase “bucket list” is thrown around a lot in conversations with peers. Mr. Legs has uttered those words a number of times in the past month. As I’ve talked about places in my past, he has asked if it’s on my bucket list to go back here or there. It’s no wonder that talk of a bucket list causes me to break out in song with that crazy tune from long ago.
Most people acknowledge that their bucket list includes things that may never happen; but I am struck with the realization that the bucket holding my list has a gaping hole called MS where items on my list fall through because they are no longer possible. They aren’t things like climbing a mountain or skydiving. On the list in my head are things I never thought of at a younger age or, in contrast, things I took for granted would happen. The items are simple, and yet unattainable. What might be everyday pleasures for some, are things I will only dream of. I sometimes still imagine doing them and wish for them, but things are what they are. Focusing on bucket list items that won’t happen is wasted time. Instead of dwelling on the unattainable, my bucket list has items scratched off and replaced with other, more realistic things. I think of ways I can do a part of things I hoped for or alternative things I can do.
I can no longer travel, but I can write or tell stories of the traveling I’ve already done. I can’t walk a crying baby, but I can encourage the parents who do. I’m not able to cook a meal for a friend, but I can buy a gift card. I won’t be able to go sit with a sick friend, but I can call on the phone.
No bucket is failproof. As things fall out of my bucket, new things are added. I’ll keep my bucket and its list around, editing it as needed, until I kick the bucket.