Last Sunday, a friend asked me what’s on my bucket list.
I rambled for a few minutes about all the things I want. It all felt like a load of crap.
Bucket lists are an admirable practice. It’s important to take time to assess where you’ve been, what you want and make a plan to get there. If you’re into that sort of thing…
There are some people who have amazing creativity and nerve in creating their lists. These lists are awe-inspiring and put the standard “101 things to do before you die” to shame.
Uncomfortable without a list, and waiting for midnight to strike on my 28th birthday, I sat down to brainstorm one.
Then, I answered some emails. Then, I hung up my laundry. Then, I took a phone call that turned into an hour of pleasant rambling. Just before starting to do the dishes, I recognized the avoidance and shelved the whole thing. I don’t want one and, frankly, I don’t need one.
High-fiving a penguin sounds really awesome, for example, and the journey it would take to get there could be such a great story. Traveling is fun, penguins are adorable and who doesn’t love a solid high-five?!
But the reality is that most people don’t want to high-five a penguin, they want to have experiences that rock the heart.
Maybe it’s just frustrating because ‘the rest of my life’ feels like a long time (that will inevitably race by like wildfire) but I’m not convinced you need to a bucket list to truly live. You can run around the entire globe and meet a million people and become completely fearless without really ever letting anything sink in deeply. Running around is often just that: running around.
For many of us, the last few years is proof that there is no way to know what life will look like in the upcoming few. With that, and my mom’s brief life in mind, I do something every day that scares me. That daily commitment has led to amazing experiences and incredible connections in a way that feels accidental but… perfect. None of it was on a bucket list anywhere.
I’m convinced that even if I experience none of the amazing things that could be listed on a personalized bucket list, life will be better than if I did them all because what I can imagine is nothing compared to what is possible with an open mind and heart.