Throw Away Your Bucket List Ideas Now!
Miami Beach On Many Bucket Lists
So, What's With The Bucket List Thing?
Does it get tiresome hearing about this or that trinket, location or event someone's added to their bucket list ideas?
For me, it does. I love stories about my friends' great vacations and achievements. I get nothing from lists about lack that can never be completely checked off.
Bucket Lists Are Cringe-Worthy
- First,"bucket list" is yanked out of a pretty grim euphemism - "kick the bucket," which is something a suicide does to hang himself or herself. That should be enough, all alone, but then, there's the rickety idea that your life has holes in it.
- The ideas are all about things not done, places not seen. They can only make you feel like you've been missing out when you're already doing what you wanted to do instead, a self-defeating exercise.
- Doesn't the advertising assaulting us everywhere offer enough reinforcement that our lives are lacking so much already, from fancy cars you need for freedom from everything except monthly payments to remedies for every symptom of anything the ad agencies figure out might worry us?
- To those objections, I'll add my gut dislike for the pressure of memes, spread like wildfire across social media, especially the ones made viral by really bad movies with great stars like, say, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.
So, Where Does A Bucket List Come From?
Let's take this one objection at a time.
Having referred to dying as kicking the bucket (grimly) for as long as I can remember, it's hard to spin that baby positive.
Kicking the bucket meant hanging by kicking the bucket you were standing on out from under you or, if you were a bad guy, having the good guys kick it out to send you away to oblivion for your misdeeds.
Such victims do not generally have flowery lists of to-dos or walks on exotic beaches fueling their fantasies.
But Rob Reiner's dreadful movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson lamely tried to insert romantic fantasies into the minds of dying men, anyway. Even with three beautiful men of enormous talent, it could not be done.
I rest my case on this one.
Inspired By Madison Avenue Everywhere
Showing You Where The Holes Are That Need Buckets To Fill Them
And all the ideas in those buckets look an awful lot like the holes Madison Avenue is always telling us we have in our lives.
A simple one hour immersion in prime time television tells me that my truck isn’t tough enough, I don't have enough Testosterone, the smoking habit I do not have is killing me, my beer is not cold enough, and I need a better lawn mower for my apartment.
By the way, have you noticed that all those guys needing "T" to help with "taking action" have splashes of gray to go with trophy wives about twenty or so years younger? What is Madison Avenue saying here?
Long story short, subject to an endless barrage of advertising that tells us all those things we lack, we do not need to dream up more holes for ourselves.
No matter how long we live, there are beaches on which the sand will never squeeze itself between our toes. There are exotic cities we will never see and dream lovers we will never find.
I’ve walked beaches from the Amalfi coast to Coney Island, and I still don't understand why I might waste time hankering for the ones I haven’t gotten to yet.
We've ridden vaporettos through Venetian waterways and strained our legs climbing to the charms of Montmartre. If we never have fried rice in Shanghai, will it all have been in vain?
Any of us can get a thrill thinking about what we've added to our chest of treasured memories.
I have never once met anyone who did anything less than the her or his best in every situation. Do we need Madison Avenue or a bucket list to remind us we aren’t perfect?
Well, we really aren't, are we? How insufferable would we be, is we were?
Another Way - To Live Life at Its Fullest
You won't find a more uplifting movie anywhere. Sally Hawkins character is determined to be happy - now, not at some future date.
Live every day committed to happiness now, not wishes.
A Reverse Bucket List
Memes are habits, as likely good as bad, that run threads through the social fabric.
We find ourselves mistaking them for truths, just because.
The bucket list thing is a "just because."
Every time we add something to our personal bucket list (he wrote, struggling to get that awful image out of his head), we make note of a shortcoming in our lives. We haven't done enough or seen enough or met enough. A bullet point must be added.
My gut reaction is to make a reverse bucket emptying list.
Reverse Bucket List Ideas:
- In my life I have been privileged to have three wonderful women agree to marry me. Two actually did. One stuck.
- I earned over a million dollars in less than ten years and saved a lot of it. My wife and I have traveled all over the United States and much of Europe.
- And to top that, we live in New York City, our favorite place in the world.
- As a teenager, I wanted more than anything else to write novels. I now have three ready and waiting for you to enter your credit card information on Amazon.
- I have beautiful cats that I get a kick out of sharing my life with every day.
Filling Up My Reverse Bucket List: Naples
New York Times Reverse Bucket List
One more reason to hate bucket lists.
True to the spirit of newspapering that demands that, if you can't find enough negative news, you should make something up, the New York Times just sponsored a "reverse bucket list."
They asked readers to send in the one thing they never want to experience in New York.
Let's just say that along with the richest, most creative and best educated people, we also have our quota of the stupidest and dullest. Who has the time to think up horrors to add to such a list?
Oh, and just to reinforce their snarky creds, the Times included a link to a study written up in the always sturdy New York Post that shows that New York is America's unhappiest city.
Geniuses from Harvard, a university almost wholly responsible for the crisis in American business ethics, and the University of British Columbia, had nothing better to do with research dollars than to rig a study that gave them the headline they wanted for media recognition.
Never mind that the survey they culled (and tweaked) to get the result they wanted never asked about unhappiness, nor did they define the term. They and the New York Times got the negativity they were hoping for.
It keeps the presses rolling.
My Own Bucket List Ideas
What have you got to say?
Well, yes, I do need to say more.
It really is the age of taking action, according to the Viagra people, after all. And, really, everyone else has a bucket list. Why shouldn't I?
My bucket list may be challenging, but heck, I’ve got a couple of good decades still in me. I can do it.
So, here goes:
- I want to know God better. Might as well start big. God's too big to know in the factual sense, but not too big too spiritually share.
- I want to find new, creative ways to help others, including the animals I adore. Reducing the horror of homeless families would be a thrill as would increasing the awareness of people who vote and really run our countries.
- I want to have more friends, one thing of which we can never have enough.
- Staying happily married and helping my partner fulfill her dreams is a core mission. If you are not doing all you can for the primary person in your life, you need more than any bucket list can offer.
- I want to see more live events, Broadway shows, concerts and even buskers. Appreciating the creativity of others fulfills a part of us we cannot be happy without.
- Speaking of that, I want to see more art, lots of it, in galleries, museums and from freelancers out in the parks in summer.
- I want to convince every one of you that the world is full of wonders that the avalanche of so-called news obscures every day.
- Oh, and I want to write more poetry. Yes, I know almost nobody reads it and, for sure, nobody pays for it. I don't care. There are some things you cannot express any other way.
- Finally, I want to watch the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. As a rabid fan, I sat through those four straight losses and, in spite of my disappointment, still felt happy to have my team play so many extra games each year at a high level. But just one win, for me and my old friends in Buffalo, that would be nice.
So, there it is, my bucket list.
What have you got to say for yourself?
I did mention that I write books, didn't I?
Everything I've ever put between covers is on my my Amazon Author Page.
If you already have your credit card handy, here are shortcuts to my novels.
My Latest, Published This Year
Better off living with the messes than sitting around waiting for lightning to strike.