June Lake is a community in the heart of California’s eastern Sierra Nevada region. There are so many amazingly beautiful places within an hour drive. In the next few posts, I will share sceneries in the surrounding areas, such as Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, and Mammoth Lake. Even June Lake, which is part of “June Lake Loop Recreation Area” in Inyo National Forest, is quite nice. There are many trails just within this loop. I have only had time for one of them.
I have tried to exchange my timeshare to this location before, but unfortunately, since it is so popular, I wasn’t able to get one. This time (mid Nov), probably because it was already off season, I was able to trade for this great location. Even in off season, “cheap” motels are not cheap so I was happy to put my timeshare to a good use.
The resort offered a few fun events such as “ice cream social”, “movie night” or “free breakfast”. During these events, I have met a gentle man, Jim, staying there with his grown up son. They were there fishing. Jim is a fascinating person to talk to. We had some interesting talks, even they were short. One thing he said struck me and made me think: he said he doesn’t have any “Bucket List”. “I have done everything I wanted to do.” He loved fishing and he has been fishing for many years in all the rivers in Northwest, especially Montana.
Just a little over ten years ago, I had a long list on my “Bucket List”. Our conversation made me think of the list I had. Honestly, I am so happy and proud that most of the things on the list were done! Okay, maybe some of them are not as exactly as I dreamed of, but they are close enough.
For example, I just started writing fiction at the time. One of my dreams was to publish a novel! Pretty ambitious dream for someone just started writing. 🙂 Well, that is what a dream is for: setting up a high goal and doing your best to reach it. So far, I do not have a novel published or finished writing. However, I did have two short fictional stories (in English) won contests and published in books. For someone grew up in non-English speaking country and didn’t come to USA until early twentieth, being able to accept by editors and get published is a big deal (I did have a number of scientific papers published in top notch journals. However, honestly speaking, I did the work, but my advisors wrote the papers.)
When I was in China in the past several years, I had a number of articles (with my photos) published in Chinese Magazines. I also had a book with my parents published in China, in which I was the photographer rather than the writer. I am working on the second one. So, even though, I don’t have a novel published as on my list, I am very content for what I accomplished. Who knows. Perhaps one day I will be able to have a novel published. If not, no big deal. That one line on the list is crossed out. 🙂
Here are a few more items on my “to do” list (I didn’t even know the term “Bucket List” at the time):
“To be active and healthy”: I was more than 10 pounds heavier and certainly couldn’t hike all day. Even though I am now more than 10 years older, I feel 10 years younger! Thanks to hiking!
“To be open! Make new friends”: Without taking too much space here, let me just say I was very closed up and I was really lonely 10 years ago. Nowadays, I am very open and certainly I have no problem meeting people or making friends. This sense of confidence is so essential: I know I am not alone! Even when I travel solo right now, I don’t feel lonely at all. I am connected to the world!
“Not to be so fearful”: Well, I was so fearful at the time that I didn’t even know how to set a clear goal. Since then, I have done a number of “crazy” things such as scuba diving in Florida sinkhole, repelling down 200 feet waterfall in Costa Rica, learning to fly (got my private pilot license), jumping out of perfect airplanes…
“To travel and to see the world”: I have been to several countries since then, mostly on my own. Now, I am taking this trip of life time! Even in my dream, I couldn’t imagine that one day I would be able to take such a trip, all by myself!
The list goes on…
The ironic part is, on top of my list, I hoped and dreamed that I would find “true love”! Well, this line is still not crossed out. However, I don’t feel bad or sad any more. It would be great to share life with a like-minded person. Without him? I am happy to enjoy life the way I can. I have loved, wholeheartedly, and I have been loved before. Very grateful!
So, there are still plenty of things I love to do and hope to accomplish, but I no longer label them as my “bucket list”. Just as Jim, the interesting gentleman I met at June Lake, I am a woman without a “bucket list”. 🙂
Do you have a bucket list? Are you doing anything to cross out one line at the time?
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html