Time to start clearing out the bucket list.


I’LL BE LOOKING at my seventieth year of living in October.  Could I possibly be this old?  I can easily remember feeling and thinking that I wouldn’t make it past thirty years of age.  Ignorance of youth.  That age flew by in a dazzling, horny, starry-eyed bleep of time when I was dating my husband John.  This part is R rated so skip down to the next paragraph if you feel I’ll offend your sensibilities:  but many of you will remember those fabulous years of lying in bed on a Sunday morning.  Sharing the newspaper and having hot sweaty sex.  Then back to the newspaper followed by another round of hot sweaty sex.  Then showering before going for brunch.  Again another round of hot sex.  Holy orgasm.  Those were the days.

Now that I’m approaching my seventieth birthday in October.  Oh.  Sorry, I’ve already mentioned this.   Anyway now that I can see the future in an uncomfortable little tunnel, my remaining years may well be consumed with declining health, fears of living past my usefulness to myself and loved ones, and the biggest fear of all: surviving my husband.  I don’t want to go through those steps of grief. I own up to it right now.  I’m a coward and this is my most cowardly fear.  But right under this fear of life is that I may live on with no quality of life.  Daughter, don’t forget your commitment to drag me to another state to be legally euthanized.

My mother lived to be seventy-eight.  My father, eighty-two.  So am I looking at another eight to twelve years?  If so, I’ve got to become devoted to my bucket list.  This means spending my time selfishly doing exactly what I want.  It doesn’t mean being with people who bore me, eating diet food, listening to politicians, or living a life of self-sacrifice.  No.  Not for me.  I intend to go out like a flaming rocket of self-indulgence.

After all, if the next eight to twelve years go by as quickly as the last sixty-nine plus, it’ll seem that I’ll be dead by next Sunday.  Where’s John?


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  • Caleb Pirtle

    Jenny, I know you. You can’t clear out your bucket list. You don’t remember where you left it.

  • Jenny McCutcheon

    So true.

  • The problem with reading other people’s words is that you also acquire other people’s problems. Circular, but true.

    I’m having mobility problems – at a few years less than your age – but my parents are both alive – 90 and 91. My grandmother lived to 94. I am working on getting some of that mobility back, and can still do some yoga asanas that people half my age can’t. But I can’t walk around the block, and that scares me: it may be a long future.

  • Linda Pirtle


    Jenny, remember: You and I have the same birthday. While Taylor is dragging you to that other state, Josh will be receiving another call from the nursing home. It will go something like this:



    “Mr. Pirtle?”


    “We had to put your mother in time out again.”

    “What’s she done now?”

    “Well, it’s too embarrassing to discuss over the telephone.”

    “I’ll be right there.”

    Our poor children. They have no clue what’s in store for them.

  • Jenny

    Alicia, hang in there. Thanks for reading blog.

  • Pam

    Well said! But I am thinking that bucket list will keep you going for a very long time! Just keep adding to it so you will never run out of something interesting and fun to look forward to!

  • Jenny

    I think I can do that.

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