Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What's on Your Bucket List?

Do you have a “Bucket List?” A bucket list, as you might expect, is a list of things that you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. You probably have one if you’ve ever said, “You know, I really want to try sky diving/riding a bull/climbing to the top of Mt. Everest (or something along those lines) before I die. Don’t you think that would be cool?”

At this point, your spouse will look at you in disbelief and murmur something such as, “No. That would be insane. I certainly don’t want to jump out of a plane/get gored by a bull/freeze to death halfway up Mt. Everest. I don’t want to watch you do it, either.”

So your cool idea gets stuck on the bottom of your bucket list and as you get older, you find yourself saying things like, “Yeah, climbing Mt. Everest would have been cool. I regret not doing that.”

Now let’s face the truth for just a minute. A lot of us think climbing Mt. Everest would be cool, but we’re not going to do it. We’re busy with our daily lives: raising kids, paying bills, cooking dinner, and cleaning the bathtub. Frankly, if you really want to climb Mt. Everest so badly that you’ll always regret not doing it, you should do it. Don’t bother to put it on your bucket list if you know it’s never going to happen. It’ll just make you unhappy in the long run.

I believe that you should actually be able to do the things on your bucket list. It is really satisfying to be able to check something off. You know you’ve accomplished something that was important to you.

For example, my bucket list consists of such things as:
1.      See the Dalai Lama in person
2.      Collect Chinese porcelain dolls while in China
3.      Train my dog to compete in agility
4.       Watch the top 100 movies of all time
5.      Travel to Vietnam and Antarctica
6.      Get my PhD
7.      Publish my novel
8.      See Mary Poppins on Broadway
9.      Spoil a grandchild or two
10.  Watch the Dallas Cowboys win the Superbowl from a seat in the stadium

So far, I’ve seen the Dalai Lama, started my collection of Chinese dolls, watched about 10 of the top 100 movies, started training the puppy, written the novel (it needs serious revision), and earned about half of the credits I need for my PhD in education. Needless to say, I have a lot to do before I can die. Seeing the Dallas Cowboys win the Superbowl from a stadium seat may prove to be the one impossible item on my list. I may not have that many years left in me:-)

Your bucket list is uniquely your own, and it is a work in progress until you take your final breath. Oh, and good luck if climbing Mt. Everest is on your list. Wave to me from the top.