Way back in 2007, many of us went to watch the movie The Bucket List, and soon after everybody had one. The internet is full of them – 101 things to do before you die, 553 Bucket list ideas for 2021. Much like the movie, these ideas are often fantastic places to travel to, or experiences to have that are almost out of this world to ensure that by the end of your life, whenever that might be, you don’t have any regrets of things you didn’t do. Unfortunately, we don’t all have super-wealthy benefactors that can fund a trip anywhere and if the past two years have taught us anything, it is the moral of the movie that is most important – family is worth more than any trip.
Do we really need a bucket list while we are young and/or healthy?
I would definitely say yes. Our lives are filled with such a lot of responsibility – work, studies, family, kids, payments, and more. It is never a bad thing to have a list of things you still want to see, places you still want to visit and experiences you want to have regardless of whether you are in school, university, or a nine-to-five. Your bucket list can be a reminder of why we put in so much hard work. We want to achieve things, we want to provide for ourselves and be a success, and we want to provide a healthy and happy home for our families and sometimes we need some motivation to keep us going.
Do I really need 101 things on my bucket list?
Here, the answer is definitely no, you don’t. One person may have 200 items on their list, another may have only 20. It is all about what you think is important enough to you to put on it. You might find some things on the list of 200 items that many will consider to be extremely mundane: Hold a butterfly on my finger, plant a seedling and watch it flourish. It’s all about how you perceive the world and for some, in those simple moments of being they find all the joy in the world.
So, what do I add?
There are some important questions to ask when you create your list though and one of them is all about realistic attainability. I’m not saying list only the things that you know you will be able to do in the next year or two. As a school student, you might have 5 different countries you want to travel to, none of them places you can go to any time soon, but they are there, and you will work towards them. This is true for all of us. They say if your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough, and your bucket list can be the same. The things might be impossible now, but that’s why we don’t do them today, right?
With attainable, I mean list things that you know you will actually do. If you see someone climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on Facebook, you might think that it’s amazing and it should go on the bucket list. If you are not a hiker at all, though, and you don’t like the activity and you have no actual interest in starting to hike, then why waste the space for an activity you will never tick off. If, on the other hand, it is just the motivation you need to start exercising and hiking and in 5 or 10 years you get to stand on top of the world, then, by all means, add it as a perfect example of what your bucket list should be all about.
Remember the small stuff too, though. Hold your partner’s hand as often as you can because one day, they won’t be there anymore. Wear that dress with all the funky colours because you really do only live once. Go up to the stranger and compliment his tie or her shoes or his glasses or her hair, you might just make their day a little brighter. Hug your child and say, “I love you and I am proud of you” as often as you get the chance because that encouragement and support will last them a lifetime.
Your bucket list and the items on it is all about living a life that is worth celebrating when it is done, not because others think it is remarkable, but because you became the person you wanted to be and achieved the things you wanted to achieve – the great, the small, and everything in between.
But for now, the very first item on your bucket list should be getting your affairs in order. Visit https://sonjasmith-funerals.co.za/my-life-file/ and download the list of important personal documents that should be kept in a safe place, your LIFE FILE. Your next-of-kin will thank you (and us) later…