The Bucket List

Image Glenn Carstens-Peters — Unsplash

Writers are constantly looking for writing prompts when their creativity disappears. Reading my friend Ginger Cook’s Backward Bucket List intrigued me, stirring my creativity for a two-for-one proposition, The Bucket List and The Anti-Bucket List.

Bucket Lists became a thing after the 2007 film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, where two terminally ill men go on a road trip to complete a wish list of things to do before they “kick the bucket.” While researching this post, I discovered different kinds of bucket lists, personal, professional, and even sexual bucket lists. It might be quicker to start an Only Fans page.

I crossed several items off the list in my 20s and 30s. I’ve been published, as a writer and photographer, and had champagne poured over me as several Double-A baseball teams celebrated winning their league championship. I achieved the Ultimate Bucket List Double Dip in 2010. I crossed two items off my list in a 19-day period when I ran the New York City Marathon and married the love of my life.

Growth comes from getting out of one’s comfort zone. When you get older, it’s easy to get stuck in a routine. That’s the best time to experience new things.


Parenthood slowed me down, and caring for sick parents made me a homebody. I experienced much of the Northeast where I live, but this is a beautiful country, and I’d love to experience more of it. Trekking through the Rockies inside Amtrak’s California Zephyr’s bubble-domed observation car on a trip from Chicago to San Francisco is a good start.


I’ve had a lifelong interest in aviation and even attended Aviation High School in New York. I’ve flown countless times on commercial flights and even flew to Buffalo on a turboprop aircraft, but modern aircraft are flying buses. I really want to fly in an open cockpit biplane like Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip. Okay, he flew his doghouse, but you get my point. The greater visibility and wind make it a different experience. I can’t wait.


Road trips were easier in my 20s. I’d just fill the tank and go. I remember my friend Bill calling me on Thursday night suggesting we catch a Yankee-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Saturday. It was a great day. We saw an afternoon game, grabbed dinner, and headed back. It’s time for another one. Maybe this time I’ll hop on a plane and head to Wrigley Field in Chicago or PNC Park in Pittsburgh. A day trip may not be enough, this sounds like a weekend trip.


Skydiving tops many bucket and anti-bucket lists. It wreaks of mid-life crisis. I agree it’s not for everyone. The excitement and adrenaline rush would appeal to a younger me, which is why it’s on the list. If former President George HW Bush could skydive to celebrate his 90th birthday, I could do it at 59. 


If you know me or read any of my work, you know, I’m not a casual baseball fan. I’m the guy who bores the hell out of the casual baseball fan. I worked on a photo essay on minor league baseball and experienced things I could only dream of, like taking batting practice with the Yankees Double A team. Attending a World Series game is one of the things I’ve missed. This one may be dependent on my New York Mets.


When I was young, my parents took my brother and me to Spain to meet our family. Now that I’m an adult, I’d like to take my wife and son and introduce them to the family as my parents did. While I’m there maybe we could experience Portugal or France as well.


My son Cristian just turned 8, so this one may have to wait a few years but I look forward to him and I getting in the car and hitting the open road. I’m thinking something between Kerouac’s On The Road and Thelma and Louise.


Yes, I’ve written about this before. I understand that a fifty-something man hammering out his memoirs on an antique typewriter is beyond cliché. The image may be cliché, but the story isn’t.


I’m an outgoing person, but I can also appreciate quiet time. The writer in me would love to spend a week writing. I just want to pack my laptop and a typewriter and write. The location could be a beachfront cottage, a cabin in the woods, or a villa in Italy.

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