Friday, 5 December 2014

Do you have a bucket list?

The older I get, the quicker time seems to pass - and the less adventurous I become. The saying "youth is wasted on the young" rings truer now than it ever did for me. When we are young we don't think of our own mortality and seem to think that the years in our bank of life are endless. I suppose we are more daring, more willing to try things because of that. Most do not have a concept of their 'must dos' before they are too old or sick to do them. So, after reading an article earlier this week about making a bucket list, I began thinking about the whole concept of having a 'things to do before I die' list. Once I got past the idea that it is a tad morbid, I started wondering about why someone would want to make a list like this. Those that talk about this tend to be well past 'youth' and looking towards retirement. Is it a sign of a life unfulfilled? Or a need to feel young and vital? Or a fear of death itself or not living your life to the fullest? Could it be a bit of all of those things and more?

 I wonder if the idea of a 'bucket list' excuses us from living in the present, from enjoying today, because we always assume that 'tomorrow' we can do what we didn't have a chance to do today. But what if there aren't enough tomorrows to do what we want to do? This concept of a bucket list only works if we are fortunate to live a long and healthy life, and in some cases have much expendable income. Lately I have heard so many stories of people who didn't live until retirement or if they did were not healthy enough to enjoy it that it gets you wondering if we aren't going about this wrong.

Rather than a 'bucket list' should we not be thinking about living in the here and now? If life is about the journey and not the destination, shouldn't we be worrying more about our experiences throughout our lives rather than waiting to cram them all into the last few years?  And how many things on a bucket list are more about the people you are with rather than the experience itself? I wonder if we should be encouraging our children to set small goals every year - pick one thing you want to do and work toward achieving it - so that they don't have a mile long list of things they want to do before they die when they may not have the time left to accomplish it. Rather than having a bucket list, maybe the goal should be NOT to have one, not to need one, and not to want one......

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