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Living the list: How do bucket lists change our lives?


Do you have one?
A bucket list?

It's a term made popular by the 2007 movie with the same name.
Basically it's a list of things you'd like to do before you kick the bucket as the saying goes.
We tag along with a man as he checks off part of his list and reminisce with a woman as she shows us how she got five of her ten done.

You've heard when one door closes, another one opens.
Sometimes that door is 10,000 feet above the world.

For others living the list means hearing the splashing sounds of horse hooves in the ocean. “
I remember getting off this horse saying I can die now,” says Tammy Koenig of Fall Creek.

Jerry Berseth says, “I want her to have something to remember me by,” as he talks about skydiving with his granddaughter.

Jerry Berseth from Fall Creek has had his feet on the ground for 75 years now, but on this day his feet and his hopes were shooting sky high as he and his granddaughter prepared for takeoff.

“We are both here to skydive for the first time in our lives,” he says.

“When you get older you put things together, things you want to do, things you should have done a long time ago.”

Skydiving jumped onto his bucket list a while ago. “The add on now is to do this with all my grandkids when they turn 18,” he says.

That will make him 88 when the last of his six grandkids takes the leap.

“How high to jump? 10,000 feet. That's 2 miles! Wow, wow,” he asks another instructor.

So while grandpa wrings his hands waiting for his turn, worrying a bit as his grandkid climbs for miles,
Tammy Koenig's bucket list is taking her miles from home.

“I don't think you can start too early. I had 10 good items, scratched off 5,” says Tammy.

She started scratching things off her wish list of life after her mom's life ended at just 68 years old. She had pancreatic cancer and the loss was a call to action for Tammy. “You know it's now or never, let's do it.”

She's clip clopped around central park in a carriage, had a masked moment at Phantom of the Opera and swam with stingrays. “There were so many stingrays everywhere. Oh and I'm feeding him shrimp here, isn't that cool?”

But the experience that most fed her soul, was riding horseback through the ocean and onto the white sands of Grand Cayman. “Some days when I'm in crazy turmoil I can watch it again and I'm right back there.”

“Accomplishing some things on a bucket list brings you some peace, that's good for the mental health,” says Dr. Harlan Heinz, a local psychologist. Bucket lists are often loaded with adrenaline pumping goals, but sometimes it's about clearing the air with a loved one or friend, saying I'm sorry before it's too late.
But if you do have exciting experiences on your list, just daydreaming can be beneficial.

“Research shows if you have something to look forward to, it pumps serotonin,” says Heinz.
And it wasn't just the serotonin that was pumping as Jerry got to see his grandchild glide to the ground.
Pride, too, was coursing through his veins as happiness landed here.

It was time for jerry's optimism to buckle up and take a big time ride.
“Every day is a good day when you're above ground and vertical. That's a good day,” he says.

Jerry was soon to be way above the ground and free falling for a mile in 30 seconds.
And while their bucket lists are different, the sentiment from Jerry and Tammy is the same.
“It's good to get outside your comfort zone because you don't know if you can really do something until you step out there and once you do, you feel so great,” she says.
Jerry, stepping way out, spreading his wings. Tammy, making memories. “Don't let anyone tell you you can't because you can,” she adds.

And a lesson for us all to really live this life we're given, seizing the day and living the list.

As Jerry comes down from his free fall he says, “I can't wait to do it again!”
Jerry and Tammy aren't done yet; Tammy wants to hunt caribou in Alaska. Jerry wants to take his wife to Boston to see the fall colors.


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