I hear about
people who make "bucket lists"...all the things they want to do before they die. Last year, they made a movie about
the subject staring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. That really got me thinking, but with all my chronic health problems, it's kind of hitting me from a different perspective. Over the last several months, it's really begun to occur to me all the things that I'm never going to do or have happen during my lifetime.
Being divorced with no children, that rules out all the family-related milestones that would normally come up. I only have one younger sister, who I'm not very close to as she lives several states away, and she is an "old maid" as well. Our parents are in their late 70s, and while they are currently in good health, only God knows how long that will last. I am on permanent disability, due to health problems that will only get worse over time, so my longterm prognosis isn't good. I moved back to my hometown after I got divorced. I currently live in a rented two bedroom apartment with my three cats, a long way from the four bedroom house I used to own when I was married. My government disability check doesn't come close to covering all my monthly expenses, so I have to depend on my parents to suppliment my income. This really puts me back more in the position of being my parents' child than an independent adult. With my current health situation, I don't really see any way to get more autonomy over my financial status...and that's really starting to way heavily on my psyche.
Yes, right now I have a roof over my head, food to eat, and decent healthcare, all of which I know I should be, and am, truly greatful. However, I have to watch every plugged nickel that passes through my hands. I have to answer to my parents about money expenditures all the time, and there's never anything extra for any descretionary expenditures. That's what's really dragging down my mood, realizing how far I've fallen down the food chain from where I used to be. I'm 46 years old, and I'm more my parents' child than an autonomous adult. I live by myself, with virtually no life, and I can go literally for days without talking to another human being if I don't make the effort to call someone or go out somewhere. My parents have their own lives, like they did before I moved back to my hometown.
I think about the way I was raised, and the lifestyle that I had when I was married and working fulltime. I think of all the things that I planned to do that won't happen, or that I used to be able to do that I won't ever be able to do again. That's where the "Reverse Bucket List" comes into play. I start thinking about all the things that I'll never be able to do in my lifetime. Granted, a "Bucket List" is supposed to be big, milestone kind of things like skydiving, buying a fur coat, learning how to scuba dive, seeing the great pyramids, or visiting Paris in the springtime...the penultimate things that you want to accomplish before you die.
My "Anti-Bucket List" isn't even anywhere close to those kind extravagances. I'll probably never get married again, or even find someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me. I'll never have children or grandchildren, or any extended family to spend my life with or leave my belongings. I'll probably never have anyone to throw me a birthday party. I'll probably never get flowers delivered to me from a florist. I'll probably never have an occasion to use my wedding china. I'll probably never own another house before I die. I'll never have enough space to decorate for Christmas using all my ornaments and displays and have an open house for my friends. I'll probably never own a new car. I'll never get to actually plan and go on a vacation...anywhere(and definitely not use a travel agent). I'll never need to get a new passport. I'll never go to Disneyworld. I'll probably never shop for a major appliance or piece of furniture in a regular department store. I'll never shop normally at regular retail department store like Macy's, Bloomingdales, or Sears, much less have credit cards for those stores. I'll never attend a NASCAR race in person. I'll never attend a Bruce Springsteen or Elton John concert. I'll never see a show in a theatre on Broadway....
My "Anti-Bucket" list varies from the highly significant to the "always wished for" kind of thing. There are a bunch of other things on there but I think I listed a fair representation of what I mean. Just looking over it makes me really sad, whereas a real "Bucket List" should be full of joy and anticipation. I'm sure my "friends" would be shocked to see my list, but then my "friends" are just really people that I know and run into when I'm out and about...aquaintances. True "friends" involve you in their lives and activities, they keep in touch with you. I see lots of people with relationships like that, just none of them include me on the same level. I get so tired of reaching out myself and getting nothing in return. I guess that's why my "Bucket List" seems to have a hole in it.