The Armageddon Bucket List

Things you should do … while you still can!

By Stacey Ritz

You’ve always dreamed of … what? If you’ve dreamed of doing it, why have you been putting that one thing off? Is it time, money, guts? What’s holding you back? Emma Cline explained that she’s always wanted to float in the Dead Sea (it is the mecca for health research and treatment), while Kathryn Clover dreams of moving to Los Angeles to become a burlesque dancer. Karyn Jones dreams of publishing the great American novel. Our aspirations may differ, but we all have that one thing we dream of doing at least once in our lifetime. What is yours? If Armageddon truly comes, if the world truly comes to an end – what will you do with your last day on Earth?

Emily Kleier Park shared, “A few years ago I went skydiving. It took me a while to work up the courage to do it, but boy was it worth it!” Skydiving is certainly a top wishlist item among Dayton area residents, but not many are like Emily and have actually taken the plunge. Still others like Aaron Kim want to bungee jump, but have not yet planned a date to do so. Aaron explained that he’s waiting to find someone to do the bungee jump with him and then he’ll set the date … if Armageddon takes place there’s just a few days left to jump!

Taking a dream vacation is on the top of everyone’s wish list – but finances and time seem to be the number one reason cited for not following through. But what if we only have weeks or days left? Would you take that vacation? Cheryl Brun said she would quickly get on the move and take three vacations, “I would vacation in Tahiti and stay in one of the huts on the water that you can only get to by boat. Then I would go on a Greek Isle cruise and then onto a sailboat, cruising wherever I want to go!” If the world is ending, why not? Anna Wiebe Simesen would travel Europe by train. “I have downloaded train routes and planned this fantasy in some detail. I would start in Ireland, then Wales, then England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece …” A lot of stops to make and a lot of sights to see! Jeff Weller wants to set foot on all seven continents. At this point he has only been on one – he has six more to set foot on before Armageddon strikes! Jordan Brinkle wants to visit the Grand Canyon and also “drink all of the beer I can find … if the world is going to end, I may as well enjoy my final moments!” Still others like spouses Travis and Becca Strife want to find adventure in the form of climbing one of the world’s seven summits, “Mount Everest would be good!”

Ok, so besides jumping out of the air and taking an amazing last minute dream vacation, what would you do if you knew you only had a few weeks or days left on Earth? Would you learn to fly a plane? Go whitewater rafting? Lawyer Kathryn Clover explained that she would “move to L.A. and become a burlesque dancer. Lawyer to burlesque dancer … that is a Lifetime movie in the making!” she laughed.

Would you seek adventure or moments of calm and tranquility? Would you be alone or surrounded by others?

“I would simply spend time with my closest family and friends,” shared Traci Anderson. “They are what make life worth living. It seems we are all always so busy that we hardly have time for each other. I would want to spend actual time with them – not texting or emailing but real time and I would let each of them know how much they mean to me, how much I love them and appreciate them. In fact, I should probably do that regardless if Armageddon really happens or not. It’s such an important thing to do, but I think we all overlook it day after day.”

Meanwhile, an anonymous Dayton resident shared that he would have just one simple wish, “I wish I could hold hands with my partner as we walk down the sidewalk and not be made to feel less than by the stares and glares of the public. It’s a really simple thing, but to us, it would mean the world and if Armageddon really comes, that’s what I will do. That’s what I wish for. And if Armageddon doesn’t come, I hope this moment will come one day for us and for millions of others, I hope our society will move forward and be accepting.”

Will we see you next year? Will Armageddon come? Only time will provide us the answer, so what will you do with your final days? What is holding you back from your dreams? Whether you dream of spending more time with those who love and support you or jumping from a plane, why are you wishing instead of doing? If it’s finances or time that’s holding you back, set a goal and make it happen. If it’s guts that you’re searching for before you can tackle your dream, find them, they’re there. If you can dream it, you can do it. We may only have a little time left – how will you spend it and who will you spend it with?

Reach DCP freelance writer Stacey Ritz at


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