1 July 2014

Bucket lists are for the weak

Bucket lists are all the rage right now.  Lots of things to put on a long list of things you do before you kick the bucket.  Which means DIE.

But you're putting it on a list and you don't have a clue when you're going to, you know, kick the bucket. DIE.

So your bucket list is just a list of things that you are putting off doing because you're assuming you're going to live forever or at least have some clue about your departure date.  Dude.  Rethink.

You are totally not going to live forever.  And death is no more reliable about sticking to schedule than Tiger Airlines.  Quite simply, that list is going to look pretty pathetic taped to the outside of your coffin as it steams towards the conveyor belt taking you to be cremated. Or buried if you're like so last century about death.  (Personally, I'd prefer they were sure I was dead by actively burning me rather than giving me a little bell to ring through the top of my coffin should I wake up and think bugger! I never got through that list)

It was really a thing. I don't make everything up
Bucket lists are full of awesome things to do LATER.  Maybe it's just me and my legendary impatience but I don't get the concept of LATER when it's things you want to do which will only make your life more interesting.

And nobody ever puts 'Fight with my brother so we never speak again' on their bucket list do they?  It's only positive things.  Fun things.  Life affirming things.  Things like 'Ring my brother who I haven't spoken to for 48 years and say sorry for saying his wife was a fat cow' (and don't say 'even though she was' afterwards)

Bucket lists are things you want to do because they appeal.  But they appeal NOW.  They might not appeal when you're 110 and more likely to break.

I checked out the bucket list site and it's full of things like donate blood (done), bungee jump (done), parasail (done), get a tattoo (done), go caving (done), abseil (done), go snorkelling (done), get married (done), ride an elephant (done), go ziplining (done), run a marathon (a half will do thanks), go skinny dipping (done), go to Australia (done), Paris (done), fall in love (done done done), buy a house (done), whale watch (done).  The list goes on and DONE DONE DONE.

Not because I am awesome (okay I am) but because I can't be guaranteed that LATER is going to give me the same opportunities.  And definitely not at the same cost.  Because nothing ever gets cheaper.

Don't get me wrong - there are things I've tried and I will not be trying again.

  • Turns out I suck at professional hula hooping - I can NOT swivel my hips smoothly - so unless you need a hula hooper that only hulas on her neck or arm, I'm not your girl.
  • Belly dancing -  I was okay at stage one but moving onto the second stage proved I was more 'Thunderbirds are go!' than exotic dancer.  
  • Ukelele playing - I did lessons.  But I'm tone deaf, can't tune my ukelele and I only just cracked "You are my sunshine" by the end with absolutely no hope of ever being the next amazingly talented Israel Kamakawiwo`ole. 

My point is - people aren't putting things off that are impossible.  They are putting off experiences and encounters which speak to them now.  Sure, put 'make a zillion dollars and go to space with Richard Branson' on a list.  That requires more than good intent and some judicious budgeting.

And don't blame your children or your partner or your job.  The only thing that ever stops you trying new things is you.  Your children are not going to suffer from you throwing yourself naked into a river under a full moon or because you get a tattoo that says 'Jokes on you' in chinese characters on your shin.  They can watch you run and probably, inescapably, they will be way better at hula hooping when they try it.

So write a list.  Write a TO DO SOON list.  Cross bucket off that list for good.  Unless you have a hankering to buy like a thousand buckets.  In which case, get to it.  Those buckets don't buy themselves.

Sighs.  Looks at list.  Exasperated rant about people procrastinating about life (Done)


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