Why I Don’t Need a Bucket List

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI recently tried to write a bucket list. I was unsuccessful.

I’d just read this short, but thought evoking post from Basically Classy entitled before I die.

And felt inspired to think of all the things I’d like to achieve before I kick the bucket.

But try as I might, I couldn’t do it.

And not for the first time I might add.

The internet is full of Things to do before I’m 30/I die/I settle down*…*delete as necessary! However, I have always found this tough to do for some reason.

I found focusing on all the things I have yet to experience quite heartbreaking. Not that I don’t think we should have dreams and set goals – I absolutely do.

But I think that we live in a world of comparison, where it’s totally acceptable to only post the perfect parts of our lives on social media, where people are not content with what they have and a ‘dog eat dog’ mentality has us all working our asses off.

And at times, some of us can feel a little disheartened, as if we don’t meet the standard, insecure or maybe just a little sad.

Bucket lists are in theory a list of wishes, things you dream of doing before you kick the bucket. People make them so their life will have purpose and is full of once in a lifetime experiences.

However, and this is my issue with them…they’re too big!

And I don’t mean they are long – I mean they are full of tasks and experiences that are grandiose, extravagant and ‘once in a lifetime‘.

We don’t all have the health, time or resources to climb mountains, live abroad for a year or maybe even go skydiving. Some of us have commitments, restrictions and maybe even a lack of desire to go on a pilgrimage, be enlightened or change our lives.

And I’m here to tell you, that’s okay.There’s nothing wrong with that.

Nor is it wrong if you do crave, strive and yearn for excitement and experiences that are wild, wonderful and life affirming.

I believe we all have one thing in common.

The desire to have experiences that are memorable.

Whether they are new or familiar, exciting or comfortable. We all desire to create long lasting memories, feel special, connect with others and enjoy life even if it’s right in our own back yards.

So, instead of writing an enormously extravagant list of specifics – how about you create a list of subheadings that loosely define what you want to experience, feel, see or do?

For example – you want to visit new places, but can’t travel abroad right now for whatever reason. How about you make a list of places nearby or easily accessible with a little planning that you could visit? They might be a little closer to home, smaller and more achievable.

That local restaurant you’ve never gotten round to eating at, a walk in the park on your own, a day at the zoo, breakfast in a cafe or coffee shop you’ve never been in before, jump on a train and ride to the last stop – the possibilities are endless.

Okay, it’s not the same as going to a new country or visiting the seven wonders of the world…but maybe you’ll still get to experience the joy of exploring a new area. Maybe you will be inspired to go out regularly and do new things? Maybe you find a new hobby, new friends or simply get a thrill from stepping out of your comfort zone?

I’m not saying don’t do something that’s grand and once in a life time – but what I’m saying is do it because you want to or the opportunity arises – not because you simply want to cross it off your bucket list! Sometimes the most amazing experiences we have, where everything comes together: company, atmosphere, laughter, love – cannot be planned. They just happen.

Here’s another idea – how would you feel about creating a list of things you have done rather than a list of things you wish you could do.

Maybe creating this list will help you live a life of gratitude, become aware of all you have and encourage you to notice the little things in your every day that make you smile.

So here’s my list. It’s not particularly long nor is it particularly astounding – but honestly, I don’t really want for much.

I would like to experience beautiful places – that includes restaurants, hotels and beautiful spaces in nature.

I would like to stay young at heart, have fun and be spontaneous – laugh a lot, not take life too seriously and live a life where I say yes more often!

I would like to have fabulously  authentic relationships – that includes meaningful conversations, friends that lift me up, people I can look up to and learn from, spend time making memories.

I would like to be excited by life – jump out of bed in the morning, feel inspired to try new things, meet new people and stay open to opportunities that come my way.

I would like to become freer, financially secure and work less – less routine, more me time and space to be creative.

I would like to live a life of gratitude and happiness – surrounded by my family and friends, be thankful for what I have, smile lots.

As long as I stay true to what I desire in my life, I believe I will live an authentic, fulfilling life. This list isn’t exhaustable – but these are the things that are important to me regardless of whether they are costly, simple, once in a lifetime or everyday.

I don’t need a bucket list – my dreams and goals are ever changeable. They are presented in opportunities that come my way, the people I meet and the little things I do regularly.

Let me know below, how do you feel about bucket lists?

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13 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Need a Bucket List

  1. Great post. I was the queen of list making last year…not bucket list but ‘to do’ lists. I would make them so long and feel so overwhelmed I didn’t get through as much as I would have liked. Now I am making realistic lists of things I can actually achieve in a realistic time frame. I don’t want big holidays and lots of things. Like you I just have gratitude for what is in front of me and live in the moment. I’ve never seen a post like this, people are always so ‘pro bucket list’ like it’s something we should all have. Thanks for the reassurance Nicky x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, where do I begin? So much value in your words here, so much I agree with! I love that you put on your list having “fabulously authentic relationships”. So rare these days, and so incredibly priceless when you find them and nurture them. I like your thought about us all wanting memorable experiences. We all vary in our idea of what makes something special, exciting, or memorable, but variety makes the world go round 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I totally get this! When people say have goals, be bold, be brave it always resonates with me thoughts of pressure to fulfil a life experience worldly defined as great. This read has certainly change how I feel about this – your proposal of a gratitude list is one I like the very much.
    Throughout the year I write notes about something good that has happened or a good feeling I had or a nice quote I heard and put it in a jar. On new years eve I look back at all the notes and keep a smile for the next year ☺ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m totally with you on that. I’m a strong believer in changing things that you don’t like. It’s pretty dismal to just have this list of things that you want to do, but maybe they aren’t even realistic or just aren’t meant to be and, when the time comes around, you’re just that much more disappointed. As for that list of things you have done…meetmeinnevada mentioned it once; she called it a reverse bucket list. (I made one last year! XD) I agree with you that they’re much more gratifying. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t really have s bucket list as such. There are countries I’d love to visit one day if I ever get the chance but apart from that I’m pretty content with my life. Enjoying the odd family camping trip, trying out new restaurants and being grateful for the little things makes life worthwhile. Wonderful post Nicky. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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