Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

As I sit here and write this blog, it’s my birthday, and I notice that every year my bucket list grows shorter. 

Now, I’ve checked a bunch of stuff off, because I’ve done them:

Kiss a dolphin

Go to New York during Christmas time

Go on a road trip with friends

Buy a homeless person a full meal

Be in two places at once

Save a life

Attend a masquerade ball

Play messy Twister (don’t ask)

Meet a celebrity

Make a dreamcatcher

Pay for a stranger’s groceries

Visit all 50 states

Get a tattoo

Be a part of a flash mob

Visit Alaska, Italy, Greece, Turkey, England, France and Ireland

But I have also scratched off a bunch, not because I’m scratching off the list because I’ve done them but because I realize I’m too old to do them. Things like: 

The one about skydiving. Sure, sounded great until I saw the news about the older woman who slipped out of her harness while tandem jumping on her birthday. I’m like, “Crap! I’m too fragile, and I’ll break.”  Crossed that one off. 

Backpack through Morocco? Not since menopause hit. I need a turbojet fan at night. Crossed that one off. 

Get on all the rides at Universal Studios? Not unless I want to vomit with the increased tendency for vertigo that aging caused. Crossed that one off.

Crowd surf at a huge concert. Actually, no. Never wanted to do that. I hate crowds and hate strangers touching me! 

But I still have more on my list I do want to do. Things like:

See the Northern Lights

Step foot on all seven continents

Get in a taxi and yell, “Follow that car!”

Go parasailing

Run a half-marathon

Throw a dart at a map and travel to wherever it lands

Play hide and seek in Ikea. (Truly … but I need a partner! Hubby says “No way!”)

So, what are the lessons Nurse Jackie is trying to impart here? One, you have a very stressful job. Take your paid time off time and start crossing off things from your list — because you’ve done them, not because you’re too old to do them.

And, if you are planning awesome activities at your facility but are waiting for the right time (right supplies, right whatever …), do it now before it gets crossed off for someone who would have loved to do it but can’t because they got crossed off of life.  

Just keeping it real,

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.