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A person stands in silhouette at the end of a pier, facing the sunset on an ocean. Framing the image are silhouettes of flowering trees.

Visual Bucket Lists

If you’re reading this article, chances are you may be experiencing moderate to severe vision loss, the threat of it, or you know someone who is struggling with this disease. One of the most difficult aspects of macular degeneration is not knowing how long a person will be able to see well enough to continue living your life as you always imagined.

No regrets

Knowing this has drastically changed the trajectory of my life. I used to be a lot more conservative with how I spent my time and money, but now...I make it a point to do anything and everything I can, while I know I can still enjoy it to its fullest.

This isn’t to say that my life will stop cold if - or when - my vision loss changes from moderate to severe, it just means that I don’t want to have any regrets if - or when - that happens. You see, once you experience something in life that is beautiful... those memories stick with you forever. Nothing can take that away from you. Not even blindness.

What is a visual bucket list?

A bucket list, in general, is defined as a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. A visual bucket list is just a little more specific to our eyesight... where we may ask ourselves what things or places we hope to SEE during the part of our life where our vision is at its best.

Time that’s running out

Last summer, I flew to Florida to visit my sick grandmother. While spending quality time with her in the hospital, I had mentioned that it had always been on my visual bucket list to see an east coast beach sunset. My grandma knew of my vision struggles and the possibility that I’d eventually lose all of my central vision. I live in southern Illinois and don't travel out of state much... especially given everything going on currently... so my chances of seeing an east coast beach sunset weren't that great.

When I told my sweet grandma that I wanted to see a beach sunset, she basically made me go. I have to tell you, I was torn because she wasn’t doing very well, and deep in my heart I knew that this would be probably the last time I’d get to spend time with her. I had just a two-hour drive ahead of me to get to Clearwater Beach, so I left her hospital room in enough time to see it. And then returned to her bedside early the next morning.

Life lost

My grandma passed away less than a month after she sent me to see my special sunset and I will forever cherish this gift that she gave me. It had always been on my visual bucket list to do this and though my grandma’s time was running out... she knew that in many ways... mine is too.

How to start a visual bucket list

I suggest literally writing out a list of all the things you want to do and see! And then go do all of those things as soon as you can.

I have my list in the ‘notes’ app on my phone. Concerts and beautiful vacation spots are other items on my list... though it is really making it difficult for me to do these things right now. So, I’m intentionally spending my time ‘seeing’ all the joy in every day... the smiles on my boys’ faces, the beautiful flowers in my garden, and every single sunrise and sunset I can.

I’d love to hear what’s on your visual bucket lists! Let me know or post a picture in the chat!

Life is beautiful,
Andrea Junge

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