Journalist talks to Life Enrichment about goals

Everyone has goals they would like to accomplish. Many are work related or related to their family, but people need to make time for the fun things in life as well.

This is where a Bucket List comes in.

Karen Roth Ridder, a freelance journalist from the Topeka area, visited the Butler Community College Life Enrichment group this week to talk about such lists in a presentation titled, “Bucket Lists & Looking Back: What Was Worth the Work?”

She told the group they would be talking about Kansas, aging, dreaming and adventure.

“That’s what bucket lists are all about,” she said, adding that accomplishing dreams requires work.

She has gathered hundreds of responses from all across the state on what is on people’s bucket lists. She said the responses have been inspiring.

Through her research she has talked to several people and shared some of their stories.

The first was Bill. He has spent thousands of hours fishing and golfing and now is over 100 years old. He told Ridder the older he gets the more time seems to go by quicker and he wonders if he still has time to do all of the things he wants to do.

“Many people decided to embrace aging,” she said. “The movie ‘The Bucket List’ defined for many a different way of embracing life.

“A bucket list is about dreaming and setting goals to make those dreams worthwhile.”

She also talked to a lady named Peggy, who in retirement has traveled, volunteered and stayed active. She said her volunteering took away her inferiority complex.

“She got over her fears in retirement,” Ridder said. “That tells me it is never too late.”

One thing Peggy told Ridder she was glad she started doing was taking the time to listen to people, and she wanted Ridder to let others know getting old can be fun.

“A bucket list is not about how much money you have to do things or your station in life,” Ridder said. “They are about dreaming.”

A third person Ridder had talked to was Florence. Florence enjoys living to keep life interesting and started water skiing when she was 50 years old.

“Most people have dreams that fall into one of three categories,” Ridder continued, “travel, money and body.”

Other categories include family, charity, skills and thrills, with the top thrill being sky diving.

Ridder said the fastest growing portion of the older population is those over 90 years of age.

“Living into your 90s is getting to be fairly common,” she said.

“Bucket lists are about the long road and the good things ahead. No matter where you live there are always adventures near by.”

She challenged them to set a time aside to take some of those adventures, and reviewed some things people could do around Kansas.

“Your life is wide open,” Ridder said.

She said they will be glad for those moments they decided to take a step out of the mundane and take a risk.

“Take on your bucket list and don’t look back,” she said.

Julie Clements can be reached at