Many of us remember the heartwarming movie, “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman about two extremely different older men, one of whom was dying of cancer, and how they decided in the last days of their lives to do all the things they had always wanted to do. As a result, I think many of us were encouraged to create our own “bucket list” of the things we want to do before we leave this earth.
Lou Holtz also talks about writing down the 100 things he wanted to do before he died. I asked our children to do this as a family many years ago, and recently I found my youngest daughter’s list. Although it was written as a junior high student, she was surprised that as of today, she has done almost all the things on her list. Now it is time for her to make another list!
One of the things that has been on my bucket list for a long time is to be able to swim with the dolphins. I have always been a swimmer and in fact, earned my way through college by teaching swimming. Even now I swim a mile several times a week.
In early February, I was invited by a dear friend to visit her in her lovely 7000 square foot condo right on Seven Mile Beach (although they tell me it is not really 7 miles) in the Cayman Islands. I had a wonderful, restful time with her, and toward the end of my stay, I discovered that they had a special lagoon where you could swim with the dolphins.
Jane drove me over, and I signed up for the middle group. There were three choices — the first group got to touch and play with the dolphins and there were about 6 people in that group. The “high end” group got to do many more adventuresome things, and there were 6 people in that group. I, however, was the ONLY person in my group (a HUGE stroke of luck), so I was blessed to have TWO dolphins, a trainer, and a photographer all to myself for 45 minutes.
Because I was alone, I got to do many more things than even the high end group, including swimming belly to belly with both “Darwin” and “Copernica,” being pushed by them on a boogie board, riding holding onto one fin on either side of me, and the very best was being able to stand up with my arms in the air and one foot on the back of each one as they speedily swam across the lagoon.
What an awesome experience it was — to touch them, kiss them, play ball with them, have a water fight, feed them, and even touch their tongue and teeth. I must admit that it was bit “scary” when you were waiting in the water for them to “pick you up” since they came from behind you, so you never knew for sure when they would arrive. Then it was amazing how FAST they went!
The trainer asked if I wanted to do something they were just beginning to train them to do that no one else had yet done. Of course, I said “YES!” It was swimming belly to belly (Darwin on his back) in a huge circle. All the while my personal paparazzi was taking over 300 pictures! (I will post some of them on my blog).
How I treasure that experience, and it made me go back to my bucket list and think about the other things I would like to do before my time is up. Do you have a bucket list? If not, I encourage you to make one in the next few months. I think it is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy — when we put things in writing, it somehow seems to open up the opportunities to actually do them. I will be eager to hear about YOUR bucket lists.
TO learn more about Barbara’s work and mission, go to www.barbaraglanz.com