Evelyn Hannon: Aging Disgracefully


My Bucket List of Awesome Eccentric Stuff

As I get older the things left to do are becoming stranger

It's a funny thing. As I get older my bucket list of things I still want to try seems to be shifting to the eccentric. I guess that's par for the course once you've lived seven decades and had the wonderful opportunity to try a lot of things. Seen the Eiffel Tower. Check!  Was there the moment two grandchildren were born, went to China to receive another. Check! Had my writing published in newspapers, mags, and online. Check!

I've already run a 10K race to celebrate my 65th birthday. I've lived on a farm and kept horses. My goal of circumnavigating the globe on the MV Explorer happened when I was 68 and I gave a keynote speech at a social media conference at 70.

But now the stuff I dream of doing seems to be changing. There's no longer a driving need for me to succeed. I simply hope to experience some offbeat stuff that I think will make my heart happy.


I want to be a clown and lead a parade. I want to be a volunteer policewoman and teach traffic safety to little ones in schools. I still want to study karate, and though I've tasted wine all over the world I yearn to pick the actual grapes during Fall harvest in Italy. I picture myself playing the flute deep in the Grand Canyon with eagles soaring overhead. I'm not kidding!

I'd love to believe that age doesn't matter and that nothing is impossible but I’m now much more acutely aware of my numbers and the passing of time. 

The reality is that at almost 73, my bucket list of 'awesome stuff' can no longer be written in stone. That would be folly because it will constantly have to be adjusted and readjusted, time and time again. Instead, I now carry my wishes in my heart and make changes as my dreams and the realities of my age collide.

I may have mucked out horse stalls at 40 but with each year I'm seeing that certain physical tasks are becoming more and more difficult. I know that I'd better not wait until 80 to do that grape picking in Italy. Instead, I'll save 80 for learning how to play the flute (and hope that there's a way to get down into the Canyon without actually killing myself).

And then here's my very important 'Bucket List Biggie'—it's one that has remained a constant amongst me and my friends. 

I know there'll come a day when I am truly 'old' and can no longer live on my own. My daughters needn't worry about caring for me though; Mama has the whole thing covered.

If I am mobile and if I can think relatively straight I'm moving in with my community of like-minded, old, eccentric women whose bucket lists are as wild and crazy as mine is. One thing is certain. We’re gonna rock that seniors joint!

P.S. Have you ever discussed bucket lists with your mom or the elder women in your family? Please do. I'll bet you'll uncover hopes and wishes you never knew about before.

P.P.S. I'd love to hear about your craziest (and not so crazy) bucket list dreams. C'mon, spill it!