I 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?