Elizabeth Gomez: The Bucket List

On a walk with my daughter, when she was in 8th grade, she informed me that her new boyfriend’s favorite movie was The Bucket List. I’ve never seen the The Bucket List, but I think the title delivers the plot, especially because the stars of the film are two of America’s favorite old dudes – Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. Add in Rob Reiner (another old dude) as the director and you have the perfectly American feel good movie without ever having to pay $14 to go see it.

I thought it super peculiar that a child of 13 years would not only see this movie, but declare it on the top of his must-see movies. My daughter and her boyfriend are still together, even on the eve of starting their sophomore year of college together. I know – it’s gross. Lately, I keep rotating this moment of her and I walking down a Chicago city block. I think about how she’s no longer that child, she’s a woman. I’m no longer that young mother, but one that is middle aged. I think about how quickly time has moved, how each year feels faster, and how soon, I’ll be fertilizer for flowers.

Recently on our annual family vacation, I noticed on the airplane that The Bucket List was available to view. I considered it for a moment, but then realized I wasn’t that bored. Silently, I laughed at this image of my daughter’s beau watching that movie and wondered what in that film made him connect to it. I wonder if it’s the idea of the vast options he had ahead of him – the places he could go, the activities he could do, the loves he could have. It’s there, spread out to him with no limits. For a moment, I let myself remember that feeling of dreaming freely; believing I could jump from any height and survive, with the winds to carry me softly to the perfect landing.

These days, I don’t expect to be able to buy a cup of coffee without having some shit stick in my craw and ruin the few hours a day I can manage to be awake or not at work. I wake up glad that I made it through another night and fearful that I’m rolling the dice of will you die, when I leave the house. It’s difficult to know that you’ve swapped the fantasy of being a rock star to the reality of being dead. Being old sucks.

So, the bucket list….

  1. I want to find the definitive answer of why there are so many condoms on the streets, parks, alleyways, and parking lots of Chicago.
  2. Then I want to be one of those people who is still brave enough to allow themselves to be fucked in the streets, parks, alleyways, and parking lots of Chicago.
  3. Do something successful that is an idea that I have fully committed to – I’ve done many cool things and started many awesome projects, but I want to do one that is a fully thought out idea and I want it to matter to people.
  4. Touch Idris Elba or Ryan Gosling in their pants.
  5. Maintain my compassion and open heart to people, and my love and wonder for the world.
  6. Not shit my pants ever.
  7. Camp in Utah.
  8. Die after my husband – I don’t want him to be lonely or sad. I have a better composition to handle both those things.
  9. Know that my daughters know how much I love them.
  10. Somehow volunteer in Tokyo and give back something to a community that I felt gave me so much.
  11. To know that my friends know how much I love them and appreciate their support through the years.
  12. Kiss Barack Obama on the cheek.
  13. Write a book or at least a magazine article in one of my childhood fav magazines – Esquire, Details, Vogue, and/or Teen Beat.
  14. Sail a boat.
  15. Buy a brand new car with leather seats and drive it to the top of Canada and to the bottom of Mexico, I’m leaning more toward the west coast side, but maybe straight up the middle.
  16. To laugh every day until I die.
  17. Watch Roadhouse, starring Patrick Swayze.
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