On Birthdays, Bucket Lists & Shots in the Arm

By Lois Winston

Have you ever noticed the older we get, the swifter the years go by? I can remember walking home from school and bemoaning the fact that summer vacation was still six weeks away. Six weeks seemed like an eternity to eight-year-old me. Now six weeks often flies by at warp speed.


I bring this up because February is my birthday month, and I’m wondering how I ever got this old. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I gave birth to my first son? I remember the day as if it were yesterday. Yet now he’s the father of three, the oldest of whom recently turned seventeen. 


Who knows where the time goes?


Judy Collins once asked that question in a song. I’m asking it a lot lately. Back in the sixties the Boomer Generation suggested no one should trust anyone over thirty. Now we’re confronted by the derisive insult of “OK, Boomer” by those under thirty. To quote from another songwriter of my generation, the times they are a-changin’.


Once upon a time birthdays were something we looked forward to—parties, gifts, cake and ice cream! Yea! So many of those birthdays connoted milestones we looked forward to—Sweet Sixteens, getting a driver’s license, voting, ordering that first legal glass of wine. Wishes were often fulfilled on birthdays, the one other day of the year besides Christmas or Hanukkah when you might receive that new bicycle or pair of skates.


Now at this point in our lives, if we want something, we buy it for ourselves. Most of us have too much stuff already. We’re at the point in our lives where we’re thinking of downsizing and getting rid of those things we haven’t used in decades. Why on earth did I keep a soup tureen I received for Christmas thirty years ago and still have never used? Does anyone ever use soup tureens? And when was the last time we used that fondue pot? 1980-something? Those and more—much more—recently made their way to a donation center.


Bucket Lists are now more important than soup tureens and fondue pots. Whittling down the Bucket List had begun to take priority, but then all those Bucket List items were sidelined, thanks to the pandemic. I still haven’t gotten to Scandinavia or Great Britain, and I really would love to see the Terra Cotta Warriors in China. But now all that has to wait. Top priority on my Bucket List these days is getting an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination. So far, I’m striking out.

Meanwhile, like so many people I’m living a virtual life these days. Recently, I was interviewed on the Chatting with Authors YouTube Channel, the brainchild of husband and wife writing team Janet Elizabeth Lynn and Will Zellinger. Check it out.


USA Today and Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is a former literary agent and an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

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12 replies
  1. Caridad Pineiro
    Caridad Pineiro says:

    I totally get how you are feeling! The time is rushing by and we've been in a standstill thanks to the pandemic. Hope you get to start working on your bucket list soon!

  2. Lois Winston
    Lois Winston says:

    Thanks, Caridad! I keep telling myself things will eventually get better. Even the Spanish Flu only lasted 2 years, and that was before antibiotics and vaccines. We just have to keep on keeping on until this is behind us.

  3. Debra H. Goldstein
    Debra H. Goldstein says:

    Whether it is the pandemic, aging, or seeing famous people (stars, writers, etc.) dying whose age seems ancient, I've been dwelling on this topic a lot lately. Not a good thing to do. Better to make new bucket lists. BTW, I've done Great Britain and the Terra Cotta Warriors were a highlight of my trip to China…. hope you see all your dream spots and a shot soon.

  4. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    Lois, your mention of fondue pots made me smile as I remembered the three I received as wedding gifts way back when. I watched your YouTube interview and enjoyed learning more about you. Here's to your bucket list. Bon voyage!

    • Lois Winston
      Lois Winston says:

      Gay, I only had one fondue pot, but I did receive three warming trays as wedding presents. Glad you enjoyed the interview!

  5. Kathleen Kaska
    Kathleen Kaska says:

    I enjoyed your blog post, Lois. My husband and I downsized many years ago and I still struggle with too much stuff in our condo. I made a rule that if I bring in anything new, something else has to go. I don't think much about my bucket list anymore. But I do think a lot about our monthly ritual of going to our favorite deli for a pint of porter and a slice of the best cheese cake in the world!

    • Lois Winston
      Lois Winston says:

      Kathleen, I'm going to have to adopt that philosophy. And cheese cake! How I miss NY cheese cake from Junior's!

  6. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    I recently read that there is a scientific explanation from brain research about the phenomenon of time flying faster the older one becomes. You've given me lots of things to think about in this post. It's fun getting to know you!

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