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The Bucket List Concept

Updated on March 20, 2018
DzyMsLizzy profile image

A lifelong reader & writer, Liz writes poetry; articles on this, & other sites; & playing with words. She also enjoys movies & reviewing.

The Bucket List

Have you seen the movie, The Bucket List, starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson? With screenplay written by Justin Zackham and directed by Rob Reiner, it follows the end-of-life adventures of a pair of mis-matched men who become unlikely friends.

Released in 2007 by Warner Brothers, it has been around long enough for most people to have seen the film either in the theater or via some other medium. In fact, it's been around long enough for the term "bucket list" to have become part of the general popular concepts, appearing often in both spoken and written communications.

There are not many folks these days who do not know what you mean in referring to your bucket list. Those who look at you with a blank stare have either been hiding under a rock, or are living in a country without much access to Hollywood's offerings.

The Bucket List Movie Trailer

What Is a Bucket List?

As explained in the movie, it's a list of things we wish to do, see or accomplish before we "kick the bucket." While the term 'bucket list' may or may not pre-date the movie, the idea has certainly been around as long as modern society has had access to leisure time.

Ever since we crawled out of our caves and began to form into societal groups, humans have wondered about the world beyond their immediate existence. With the advent of the industrial age, the idea of time off from working, hunting for food and maintaining the home became accessible to sectors of society other than the wealthy ruling classes.

How Do You Decide?

A bucket list is a very personal thing. As seen in the movie, it may be something you don't want to share with others. The content is as individual as you are; one person's grand aspirations are another's concept of stupidity.

It does not matter, for such is life and society itself. If this were not the case, there would never be any personal disagreements or wars.

Here are some possible items that might appear on a bucket list. These are things I've tossed together off the top of my head. A couple of them appear on my own list; most do not.

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil..."

— Shakespeare; from Hamlet

Some Possible Ideas People Might Have

  • Become a hermit and live off the land
  • Travel the world in first-class style
  • Go on 'walkabout' in Australia
  • Join a protest march
  • Star in a movie
  • See Niagara Falls

  • Climb Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
  • Go skydiving
  • Go whitewater rafting
  • Swim the English Channel
  • Write the next great novel
  • Go bungee jumping
  • Visit Irish Castles

How Long Should the List Be?

From the above suggestions, I'm sure you get the idea: -the list is as long or as short as you like, and the things don't necessarily have to be reasonable.

It's an exercise of the imagination; a projection of forgotten childhood fantasies; a sophistcated person's studiously selected choices. It is many things.

Is Such A List Realistic?

It can be, depending upon your chosen items. However, it is likely that most of us will never finish doing the things on our bucket lists, and some of us won't be able to do any of them. It will remain an exercise in wishful thinking.

Why is this? Because with the possible exception of the 'become a hermit' option, each and every one of those things requires money; some of the things require a lot of money. In the current economy, with people losing jobs and even their homes, travel and great, thrilling adventures are once again retreating into the realm of the weatlhy and ruling classes.

For myself, it is utterly unrealistic. I expect to accomplish the things on my bucket list after I've "..shuffled off this mortal coil..." and am free to travel as pure spirit energy, unencumbered by the need for money or any form of mechanical transportation.

Unrealistic or not, it is fun, and good for the imagination. If nothing else, it can lead us to fascinating books, movies and articles on our chosen destinations or activities, allowing us to enjoy them from the safety of our living rooms without risk of breaking our elderly bones.

Feel free to share your list, or an item or two, in the comments if you wish. "Extra points" if you guess which of the suggested items are actually mine. ;-)

© 2012 Liz Elias

What's on YOUR Bucket List?

Submit a Comment

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hi there, peachpurple,

    You should check out that movie; it's very interesting, and well done. I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for stopping by.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    i have never made a bucket list, maybe it is not a trend for asians, nice to know how you made them

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, alifeofdesign,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your experience. I'm so sorry to learn you had to deal with "The Big 'C'. " I do hope you are recovered. I agree, your timing was off in watching that movie, but I am pleased you enjoyed the hub anyway. I hope you get to do all the things on your 'G' list, and many more.

  • alifeofdesign profile image

    Graham Gifford 5 years ago from New Hamphire

    I've add 'a list' for many years. I keep it in a journal nearby so that I can aspire to experience new things in this oh-so-short-life. I actual watched the "Bucket List" when I was first diagnosed with cancer (not wise, I realize), so I'm not a big fan of the movie or the term bucket list. My husband once called it the "G" List and that term has stuck ever since. I love the feeling of crossing something off my list. Like shiningirisheyes, there a few things that I can't seem to accomplish-yet. One of the greatest elements of the "G" List is the trying. Fun hub-thank you.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello there, shiningirisheyes,

    It sounds like you're one of the lucky ones! From your profile pic, it seems you are still plenty young enough to indeed, have plenty of time to get that pesky item completed--heck--you may even have time for a second list! ;-) Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing!

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 5 years ago from Upstate, New York

    I have a bucket list and was very successful until I hit one particular item. I have repeatedly failed at accomplishing it but I haven't kicked the bucket yet so there's still time.

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    @ cclitgirl--We liked the movie, too; it's in our collection of DVD's. I know what you mean about being a 'servant to the lender;' sadly, we'll never escape that one. At our ages, we won't outlive the term of the mortgage. My list is mental-only, as well; as I noted, it's always changing. Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your comment.

    @ GClark--Thank you very much for your input. I'm pleased that you enjoyed it, and my take on the matter. I would be interesting to query kids--especially those young enough to think they'll go on forever.

    @ b.Malin--Good for you! I hope you do reach 110, and become one of those adventurous Little Old Ladies (the original meaning of "LOL"), who do things like take balloon rides for their 100th birthday! I'm glad you liked the artcile, and I thank you for stopping by and adding to the chat.

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 5 years ago

    It was a Fun, as well as Interesting Movie and Concept...The Bucket List, Mmm, I guess the older I get, I think about it. Not that I've written anything down yet, still feel I've got lots of time, I plan to live to be AT LEAST 110...So...Anyway, DzyMsLizzy, l enjoyed your change of writing with this Hub!

  • GClark profile image

    GClark 5 years ago from United States

    Interesting and well-written hub. I especially liked your reference to the concept of having a "bucket list" being an exercise for your imagination. Totally agree that our list would vary considerably depending upon our age. Gail

  • cclitgirl profile image

    Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

    I loved that movie! I have a bucket list, but it's a mental one at this point. I have more immediate bucket needs: pay off the mortgage so that I'm not a "servant to the lender" as the saying goes. After that, I intend to check off more things from that bucket list. :)

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, Josh3418,

    Thanks so much--I'm glad you liked this bit of fluff. I haven't actually written mine down, either--the list, such as it is--resides inside my mind, and is constantly being edited.

    I do like Morgan Freeman--he's a very versatile actor. In this movie, I think Nicholson went a tiny bit "against type" which was interesting. Now, don't let me keep you from getting busy writing your list! ;-)

  • josh3418 profile image

    Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania


    I loved the movie! Can't go wrong with Nicholson and Freeman! LOL

    Excellent hub, some of those ideas you have listed would be on mine, I just haven't written one yet. But, I plan on doing so, and your hub has given me some motivation! Great job Lizzy!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Hello, Wayne,

    Well said. I'm sure, also, that the items appearing on any such list would vary wildly with the varied ages of folks in that audience, and I'll wager than any one person's list will shift as they age: what you write as a 12-year-0ld will surely differ from your 20-something and 50-something list.

    Thanks much for the input and the vote!

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

    I think it would be very interesting to take a theater full of people and ask each one to write out a "bucket list" for themselves. The lists would likely be a different as the personalities of all the people yet share common points of interest. Some would list a whole lot dare-devil type things that even given the opportunity I would probably pass on. I spent years flying airplanes but I don't have the slightest desire to experience jumping out of one. I don't like high places thus take me off the rock climbing list. Hot-air balloons are out too...I want to fly with a motor and wings! Then there would be the dreams use their list to show their compassion...I want to cure world hunger then be president of the USA! No doubt, we would see a wide expanse of extremes in such an analysis. Good write here and a fun read...I liked the movie too and I learned from it that friendship both cherished and respected, is far more important than a bucket list. Thanks much. UP WB