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?