January 15, 2008

Cancer, senior discount spur new 'Bucket List'

As I race through the last days of a web site redesign that will end 29 years at the same publication, I am creating "Bucket Lists." There is the rush to explain the thinking behind what's there, the determination to get everything in place and, finally, a focus on my next steps.

Seeing "The Bucket List," with an unasked-for senior discount, and my dad's latest operation helped clarify which list to work on.

Scattered in journals, old Daytimers, and loose papers are lists of goals over the years.

Lately, I have been rushing through a checkoff of things that MUST be in the showpiece I will oversee. Quick, get that poll in, those comment features in. Find ALL the folks already blogging. Get pages about the things that make Flint, Michigan, Flint done. Figure out how to highlight video, squeeze in the latest social media tool.

I had a plan for what happens next - breathing space. My material and threads, my paint and brushes, my wire and beads beckon. UFOs wait - that's unfinished objects for the non-quilters or crafters who stumbled here. My husband cannot believe he has thrown out two months of JoAnn and Michael sales pieces. Folks joke that I have caused the local branches of these and other raw material outlets to consider bankruptcy.

My side of the family hasn't had its Christmas gathering yet.

Yet, the plan to focus on family and friends, on me began to slip as I heard of others' dreams. Suddenly, I am swept up in searching for potential funders, possible grantmakers for projects as diverse as digital media and black-and-white photographs of a town saying goodbye.

Suddenly, I am fascinated by the possibility of writing about things I love.
I jump to get details on possible consulting jobs helping other newspapers change attitudes, at offering corporations diversity awareness sessions, and developing alternative sources for news.

But then, a cashier gives me a senior discount 18 months early. Ouch. I also realize it has been at years since I was inside a movie theater when I used to go at least once a week.

Plans of family time, of friend time, of me time come back into focus.

Perhaps, though, it was my brother's call that made me realize the list that needs the most work

My father had another tumor removed from his throat, which explains his reluctance to talk. Perhaps, chemo will work again.

Me? When I am done with this gig, I won't. It is time for family, for friends, for me


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