A relatively recent fad, the bucket list appears to be growing more and more relevant to baby boomers. Naturally, that’s because we are on the downside of our life span so it’s time to get some things done before we kick the bucket.
And therein lies the problem for me. Making a list of things to do/places to go before you die is an inherently pessimistic proposition. Would I like to travel to some destinations that have always interested me? Yes, definitely. But do I want to get to these places because time is running out, the clock is ticking, it won’t be long now, and just about all the sand has fallen through the hour glass? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got things I want to do but I hate the idea that I’m supposed to play beat the clock. I’m no procrastinator but I don’t like being pressured to do something before I think it’s time or I have the time to do it. I have to catch myself when tempted to say I’m doing something or going somewhere because it’s on my bucket list. Rather, I like to think I’m self-publishing that book or visiting that country because I'm lucky that I have the time/money to do it…and dying before I get to it does not enter into the equation.
A bucket list is almost like saying to yourself that you should be nicer to friends and family now. After all, your days are numbered and you want to be remembered as the kind person you think you are (or wish you could be). It’s a cynical gesture to make friends and family think you are (or were) a better person than you really are. And it’s all about getting it done before you buy the farm, check into the Horizontal Hilton, take a dirt nap, leave the building, play the harp or sleep with the fishes (more on that later).
Still, from the number of times I’m hearing people mention their bucket list, I may be the salmon swimming upstream on this one. Which reminds me, I’ve always wanted to swim upstream with the salmon. It’s on my net list.