Richard Carnes: A new ‘Bucket List’ for each decade |

Richard Carnes: A new ‘Bucket List’ for each decade

Upon turning 20 years of age I made a list of what I wished to accomplish before hitting the big Three-Oh.

It included, among other things, who I wished to spend an evening with (Farah Fawcett), who I wished to help bring an end to (Ayatollah Khomeini), to do whatever was needed to help end the Carter administration, and to earn my first million, with an emphasis on the word “earn.”

I also resolved to stop laughing whenever someone talked about having an actual computer in their house, to move to either an island or the mountains, read everything by Carl Sagan and Stephen King, and to consider writing a novel.

I vowed to see the world.

At 30 my to-do list before turning 40 included a wish to spend an evening with Cindy Crawford, defeat the evil Safeway in my bid for Vail video rental supremacy, be elected to some position somewhere, and a promise to myself to never sell a single copy of “New Kids on the Block” to anyone for any reason.

I resolved to increase the RAM in my business computer and to even think about getting a faster one at home, maybe going so far as to paying for an “on-line service” to access something called Compuserve. I pledged to read everything by Richard Dawkins and John Grisham, and to actually write a novel. The whole million dollar thing was there as well, but I was willing to perhaps reconsider my staunch definition of the word “earn.”

I vowed to see the world with a significant other.

Turning 40 was quite a shock for my last list, as I no longer wished to spend an evening with anyone except my wife (though I was still not responsible for the subject matter of dreams), but I did wish to survive the Y2K nonsense (on the off chance it would turn out to be more than a zit on an elephant’s ass), and vowed to do whatever was needed to help end the Clinton administration.

I resolved to have a better understanding of capital gains, to ensure college funds for all three boys, keep every computer in the house virus-free, come up with an ending for that damn novel and to read everything by Christopher Hitchens and Nelson DeMille.

I vowed to show our boys the world.

I haven’t put much thought into the next list so far. I’m not sure if that’s because I want to try and finish accomplishing everything on the 40-year list first, or if I’m simply procrastinating because I still have a whopping 16 days left before I need to start the 50-year list.

Why rush it?

Either way, chances are it will include attempting to remain at least somewhat visually appealing to my wife, rebuilding a financial portfolio, publishing a novel, learning how to use the words “consistency” and “golf” in the same sentence, continuing to write this column every Tuesday for another 10 years and seeing the world with my family.

As usual, I hope to actually accomplish about half of the list.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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