The Bucket List: Grazing in the Grass

11th of a Series – (Conclusion of 2 Parts)

“ … The saddest thing about a life is to be forgotten as though you never lived..…”

(CONTINUED from last week …)

You hope that a smattering of beautiful memories, yours as well as of those you leave behind, are indelibly marked in a few hearts and minds for a generation or two — strong enough to move them to bring you flowers on your gravesite long after you’re gone.  If your life were to be compressed to a 60-second video, you hope that the awful parts were edited out and landed on the cutting room floor permanently deleted. The saddest thing about a life is to be forgotten as though you never lived.

But what seems clear is that this phase of life which may be aptly called  the pre-departure stage before the final journey should  still be filled with purpose. Without a goal, we tend to be rudderless, aimless blobs floating in an ocean of nothingness. There is no force to push or pull us into a port of call. Without a plan, we hit the doldrums. Without a reason to get up in the morning and seize the day, our body and soul tend to wither away. Such is our nature as human beings. When the purpose that drove our lives for decades, such as the family’s well-being or any other purpose,  is gone, we tend to lose our bearings and we begin to drift.

Suddenly, no one needs us. No one calls except those darn polling, marketing and political calls asking for donations. UGH!!! No one seems to care. Our sense of self worth dissipates and is gone with the wind.

But it does not have to be. If there is anything we learned about life in the trenches, we don’t surrender without a fight. We can harness what we made of ourselves and put our life skills to good use. In short, we adapt to our circumstances or go extinct like the dodo bird.

So how does one repurpose one’s life? One way is to set a new goal. In hitting the bullseye, experts in darts and archery advise to set your aim just a tad higher. The concept probably works the same way in achieving one’s goal during this stage of life. Set a goal bigger than one’s self.

A goal bigger than one’s self could be spending time reading to young ones in the library or bringing hot lunch and the Holy Eucharist to the elderly and homebound, or bringing joy to wherever and whomever may appreciate the gesture and spread the cheer in a ripple effect. Or we can write letters of encouragement to those who live in darkness.

Get savvy with social media skills and engage in battle. Your 2 cents worth, if reinvested and repeated by like-minded people of light, can resonate and capture minds and hearts and amount to great value over time. We can engage in symbolic or actual skirmishes and battles that abound on earth where there is a perpetual struggle between good and evil where you know without a doubt that good and light will always prevail. There is always a call for devout prayer warriors who spend their lives in silence and in deep prayer and meditation.

I have observed with fascination that those who welcome retirement years with a zestful purpose bigger than themselves and their needs seem the happiest. The dividend is that they enjoy longer, healthier lives. They seem to have found a way to circumvent the laws of nature for the time being staving off the body’s time clock as long as possible.

The argument they give to their Maker is that their lives are still useful to do His will. Those passionate about living may even pray to God and beg: “Will you Lord, pretty, pretty please let me hang on for dear life just a little while longer?  Let me come home when I’m good and ready without unduly burdening my loved ones and, more importantly, until you say it is time.”

Next week:  Another idea to consider for The Bucket List…

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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail

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