On the surface, bucket lists are a great idea, right? We’re all getting older, most of us are more financially secure than when we were young. So before we kick the bucket, isn’t it logical that we should make a list of all those things we’ve always wanted to do, and start ticking things off before it’s too late?
So what would be on yours? Sipping a cappuccino in a cool cafe in front of the Trevi Fountain; front row seats at the Royal Opera House; learning to play a musical instrument? Or are you more of a daredevil, with a list including things like bungee jumping, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, or trekking up Machu Pichu?
Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong! First off, what are you waiting for? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a bucket list as ‘a list of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying’. Woah there. What’s all this talk about dying? We might not be as young as we were, but most of us don’t feel like old codgers yet (even if our kids might think we are). Why wait until we’re old (I mean really old), or ill, to do the things we’ve always wanted to do? We’re all guilty of putting things off: whether it’s because we’re reluctant to spend money, because we don’t want the hassle (isn’t it easier to just plod along in our regular, comfortable lives), or perhaps because we’re afraid of failure (okay, so learning the guitar isn’t as easy as I thought it would be). But if life has taught us anything, it’s that you never know what’s around the corner. So. No time like the present.
But if we decide to ditch the bucket list and instead choose to live our lives to the fullest, all the time, then we also need to think about how to achieve that.
Okay, so climbing Uluru is pretty awesome, and seeing the Northern Lights is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience.
But the things that could really change our lives for the better might be a bit closer to home than we realise. Like working less and enjoying more quality time with our families. Or spending less time on Facebook and more time playing hide-and-seek with our grandchildren. Complaining less about where our partners leave their dirty socks and wet towels, and instead focusing on enhancing our relationships, being more loving, and making day-to-day life more fulfilling.
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the idea of a bucket list. But let’s make sure it’s got the right things on it…