Monday, June 18, 2012

The Bucket List

I am against bucket lists.  I have nothing against buckets or lists individually, or even a list of different types of buckets, but a bucket list is a thing I detest.  I don’t have one.  Never had one and hopefully never will.  To understand my distaste we have to look at what a bucket list is and what it says about you.  A bucket list is a to do list of things you want to do or places you want to see before you die.  What it says about you is that there is something that you always wanted to see or do but have never actually done so.  Where are your priorities at.  Why are you waiting till the end of your life to try something that you have always wanted to do? 
Now, you get a pass if you have never had the chance or the money, but that isn’t the case for most people that have a bucket list.  One thing that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list is skydiving.  I am pretty sure that every state has at least one place that you can go to that offers skydiving.  It costs about $200.  That is hardly a windfall,  anyone that owns a TV has likely spent this much money on a single item.  For the record I have done this event twice (first time when I was 16) and will do it again, weather permitting, next week. 
Do you know what puts items like this in bucket to be done later?  Fear.  Obviously jumping out of a plane is scary and for good reason.  Probably 100 people die a year from it.  But there are other examples; some people want to go to Paris.  To these people I say, “the borders are open, get a passport and schedule a trip.”  I understand that parents will need to wait until children are grown and that money will need to be saved to pay for the trip and time will be taken off work, but people that want this aren’t even taking steps towards it.  How many people want to travel the world yet they don’t even have a passport.  People like that don’t want to travel the world, they want to say they want to travel the world. 
What I am saying is that you should dump that dumb bucket out.  If there is something in life you want to do and you have the means to make it happen, then make it happen.  It won’t be any sweeter when you are old and on death’s doorstep and it might actually be less enjoyable.  Also, don’t do things just to check them off of a list.  If you want to climb a mountain, climb it.  If you have read that you should climb a mountain in a book of things to do before you die, but have no interest, by all means don’t climb the mountain.  Unless completing one of those silly checklists is something that you really want to do. 
Robert McCullough’s son David put it succinctly in a commencement speech at a local high school.  He said Climb a mountain to see the world no so the world can see you.  Having a bucket list screams, “Hey, look at me, I have a list, look at all the cool and trendy things I want to do and places I want to go.”  Everyone has things they want to do; they are ordinary.  Extraordinary people have a live time of things they wanted to do but accomplished.  Be Extraordinary!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And if you don't want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane there's always indoor skydiving.

The Angry Lurker said...

I like the idea of skydiving but that's about it, good luck Budd!

SteveB said...

Great post. I despise the checklist mentality of the bucket-list meme. Great quote at the end.