A neighborhood friend of my parents once said to me, "You know you're only young once." This, as I was rushing home from one job to get to another job. Of course, I just shrugged off the comment at the time, but it has always lingered in the back of my mind - especially as I get older and wonder what have I done with my life aside from working.The movie, "The Bucket List", kind of raises that same question. My mother and I saw the movie last Saturday evening. In the movie, Morgan Freeman plays a terminally ill man who dropped out of college when his childhood sweetheart became pregnant and took the first good paying job he could find. He goes on a worldwide sightseeing tour with Jack Nicholson, also playing a terminally ill patient, saying to his wife: "I have 45 years under a car hood, I think I've earned some time to myself."
He had made a list of the things he had hoped to do before he kicked "The Bucket," amended by Nicholson's more wealthy character. So, of course, it raises the question - what would you like to do or accomplish before you die?
I'll be truthful. Even as I write this, I honestly can't think of anything. Nothing jumps out at me.
I mean sure I would love to drive cross-country, stopping and visiting in the places and states I drive through. That is something I've always wanted to do, and still hope to do. But I can honestly say that I don't have any burning desires.
I'm not a jet-setter by any means. I would love to go to Italy and see where my maternal grandparents were from, but, as of now, that's about the extent of it.
Even as I edit these Postcard books at work, they haven't raised a desire for me to go and see the places. Sure I'll think to myself how beautiful it is and it'd be nice to physically see the place I'm editing a book about, but that's about the extent of it.
Fox News did a segment, asking people what was in their "bucket" that they wished to fulfill. Answers were mostly in the form of who they'd like to meet someday. Nobody said anything thought-provoking or deep or spectacular.
And the movie itself wasn't real thought-provoking or deep or spectacular, despite having Nicholson and Freeman. One reviewer said that he felt the stars had merely "phoned in" their performances. Another reviewer said he could overlook the lack of storyline because it was Nicholson and Freeman starring in it. (Though Sean Hayes from "Will & Grace" fame did do a nice job playing opposite of Nicholson.)
I admit that I tend to get introspective after seeing movies. Maybe it's the fantasy aspect of movies and it makes you fantasize about your own life. But Freeman's line about how life got away from him and suddenly 45 years had passed did strike a cord within me. I remember that I was asked by a former co-worker how I managed to be at the job for as long as I had (I think 11 years) when he was complaining about approaching his second year there. My answer was that time had just passed me by, especially since I wasn't paying attention to time.
Do I still have time to be "young"? You bet.
Do I still have time to make out my own Bucket List and fulfill it? Yes.
And I would encourage you all to do the same. Because just as you're only young once, you only live once.