Overheard at some retail store or another, a teenager was talking to her friend:
“What’s on your bucket list this weekend?”
Using the phrase ‘bucket list’ conjures up pictures of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson as senior companions. Not a pretty visual. But a movie that probably spent more of its budget on talent than the screenplay has become a household phrase. Except in the case of the teenager mentioned above, I think the definition of a bucket list is a group of things to do, go, or be before you kick the bucket. Before you die. Right. Do you have one?
My sister has mentioned hers; a friend who’s 10 years younger mentioned fulfilling one of his recently – to make a music video. I don’t even have a list. Late to the party again.
It can’t really be that hard, can it? Say that I might draw up a list and actually try to check things off, much like a daily to-do, what would mine have? Is it as simple as things I haven’t done but want to? Or must it be spiritual like a trip to Mecca or Israel or Tibet? Can it be spectacularly and financially improbable like taking a rocket ship to a space station? Or is it all of the above – anything and everything up for grabs, like a wish?
I can think of a few things I haven’t done, and still plan to. Do those become my bucket list by default? I intend to go to Europe after my little birds have left the nest (Yes, it’s true (and embarrassing) that I’ve never been, but I’ve been a little busy for 16 years). Is it possible my list might be boring? I’m confused. Do I have a big bucket, a little bucket, a galvanized-steel bucket or a little blue sand-castle building bucket with a yellow shovel? If I identify things I may never get or go or be, so as to make the list more precious, wouldn’t that simultaneously be dis-heartening? What if I can’t think of anything that is so profound but reachable, or so unusual or so…worthy of such a lofty list?
In line to crest the half century mark on my next birthday, this non-existent list is thus far serving to remind me that I’m behind and haven’t done so many things. How can I achieve anything on my bucket list if I haven’t even created one? What if, in running out of time trying to define things I want to see or do, I use up the time making a list. Is #1 on my list simply to create a list?
I’m so full of questions about something that isn’t even required in life, and yet that seems to hold so much destiny. Endless possibilities. That’s my list. Why narrow it down?
Got something to add?