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The “Wicket” List

The “Wicket” List

Ah, the bucket list. Almost all of us talk about it, but usually in the “if I won the lottery” kind of way. They include all those things that most of us never get around to doing because much of the time, we have a regular life to live. Of course, the list changes over time based on life experiences, things learned, or promises made when drinking with friends. I never really thought much about my bucket list. It was there and I was doing what I could to whittle it down. I can tell you though, I’ve started paying more attention to it since my multiple myeloma diagnosis.

How my bucket list has changed

As alluded to, there seems to be one list that evolves over time. My young, living forever list included many adventurous things including hang gliding, skydiving, and traveling the world. Fortunately, I’ve done those, with the world travel coming from career choices. There still are places I didn’t get to though, which have been carried onto the later lists. Some of the things that haven’t been accomplished include going to the Masters, and seeing NC State win another NCAA basketball championship (God bless you, Jim Valvano).

As I got older, the list stayed ego centered but got bigger in some cases, and more focused in others. My “travel the world” started narrowing down to certain places or adventures like hiking in Peru to Machu Picchu, bungee jumping in New Zealand, and going to Croatia, where my family lineage is from. Put a check mark only on Peru. Added to the list were career aspirations like be the President of a company and retire by 60. I did both. I became a President when I started my own company, and I retired at sixty; not because I was a brilliant business man, but because I got multiple myeloma.  Be careful what you wish for…

As I approached senior citizenship, most of the adventures and travel items stayed (except for the bungee jumping part). I also created a list of concerts I still want to see. This short pre-MM bucket list of travel and music still exists, but I’ve added some new things since getting sick, including, run again, hold a grandchild in my arms, and see the final season of Game of Thrones (HBO dragged this one out way too long…wink).

The crafting of my “wise” bucket list

I have also started to realize a few things about bucket lists. The first is they can be used to inspire you to get better by giving you goals. The second thing is that when I was busy living my life and making grandeur lists, great things in my life were already being accomplished. Either due to naivety or ignorance, these things didn’t make my original “lists”. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I could take my experience and wisdom at 61, and go back in time to my young self, I would create a completely different “wise” list. It still would have my young man’s adventures, but would also include the following:

  • Watch my children happily grow, love, and be loved by their family
  • Watch my children become strong, caring, loving adults
  • Have my life filled with loving, and being loved by my family
  • Have a productive, ethical, and successful career
  • Experience God in my life and have others experience God through me
  • See the last season of “Game of Thrones” (Remember I’m going back in time)
  • Hold a grandchild

You see, I actually pretty much have completed my “wise” bucket list, or “wicket list” as I call it. Except for those troublesome last 2 items, I’ve accomplished many, ultimately important, meaningful things. I just needed a fresh perspective.

So, remember as you are busy living your life, it’s ok and healthy to make your bucket list, but never, ever forget to spend plenty of time living your “wicket list”.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Ann Harper moderator
    8 months ago

    Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

  • Carole McCue
    11 months ago

    Mike , I love your list. It includes the meaningful tjingd of life.
    My mantra and most important item on my list is “to never miss an opportunity to spend time with my granddaughter”

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    11 months ago

    This was so lovely! So funny, the movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgen Freeman was on the other day. I love that movie! Cheers, that we all prepare a healthy and fulfilling ‘Wicket List” too! 🙂

  • Susanheller68
    11 months ago

    So well said….I’ve always had a long bucket list….but life and work seem to always intervene.. As I’m faced with stage 4 T cell lymphoma, nos. I have a whole new list and set of dreams. #1 is getting to see my daughter graduate from high school. She’s a sophmore now… I just want the simple things in life . thanks for your article. ❤

  • Mike Padjen author
    11 months ago

    Thank you Susan. I’ll tell you what. When you see your daughter graduate, send me a photo and I’ll send you one of me holding my grandchild. Cheers to new dreams and simple things!

  • Bob McEachern
    11 months ago

    Beautiful piece, Mike. Thank you.

  • Mike Padjen author
    11 months ago

    Thank you Bob.

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    11 months ago

    @mpadjen Good read Mike, and good advice. We always have to be judicious with the time and energy we have, and doing only the things that are very important are key. I mean if you have energy left over then you can jump off the top of a mountain wearing a wing suit and fly through flaming rings while wearing a helmet cam. You know, the important stuff. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Mike Padjen author
    11 months ago

    @danielpmalito Thanks Daniel, so true about being judicious with our time. I never thought of doing the wing suit thing though. That may need to go on the list next. 😏

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