Kick the Bucket List

Okay, I know this is counter to the grab-all-you-can, live out- loud ethos so popular right now. It just seems that the ‘bucket list’ approach to life is as much about consumerism as  as it is about life fulfillment.  Instead of competing over what things we collect, we’re  competing over how many experiences we’ve had.  And generally, the more dramatic (expensive) and risky the experience, the more desirable it seems.

Bucket lists typically include things like jumping out of planes, deep sea diving, bagging Tibetan peaks or going on safari in Africa. Not so common are things like  learning to grow tomatoes, entering a watercolor in the local art exhibit, or teaching an ESL class.

I’ve heard people talking about their bucket lists, but rarely hear what happens after they’ve had the experience.  Which makes me wonder whether crossing something off the list ends up being as satisfying as expected.  Maybe it is, and the more sensitive among us don’t want to gloat! Or does a new goal automatically replace what’s been crossed off?

I don’t know if I what I have could be called a list.  I do have some aspirations, among them learning to be a better photographer and writer.  I’d like  to be less distracted by constant activity, and more present to my loved ones.  I intend to spend more of my time living in the moment, and less time worrying.  If it works out, maybe I’ll learn to play the drums.

This doesn’t mean I advocate inertia.  I still love adventures and want to make the most of the time I have left in this too-short life.  It’s just that I don’t want to approach life with a business plan.  Who knows – taking an unplanned detour might lead to a fascinating hobby or new love.  Or I may find that helping someone else reach one of their life goals will be as satisfying as checking something off my own list.

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2 Responses to Kick the Bucket List

  1. B says:

    I love this. I’ve been reading a lot about bucket lists, but decided if I was to write down any of my ambitions then they’d be little things I could achieve in a year: like ride a bicycle (which I did and am still gloating about!) I have never thought about bucket lists in this way but you have a point. Saying that if I were to have a bucket list so to speak I would definitely have sky diving on there, but I’d also have volunteer for at least an hour a week for three months. I guess it balances out.

  2. monicles says:

    I tried something I’d been wanting to do for years, which is to jump from a rope swing into the water. I landed in a shallow spot, which fortunately resulted in only a few scrapes and bruises (including a bruised ego!) I think I’ll stick to bike riding…

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