The Bucket List
What is the bucket list? It is the name given to all the things we wish to do before we die, or “kick the bucket”. People usually never get to this list till they have warning, usually from their doctors, that they should start putting their affairs in order. Why? Why do we wait till then? Why don’t we go ahead and start doing all the things we wish we could, before we are threatened with imminent death? Are we too taken up with little details of our daily life? We lose sight of the big picture, we lose our dreams in the little details of shopping for food, doing the laundry, fixing the faucet and balancing the checkbook. Will the world collapse if some of those things got delayed a bit? Well maybe fixing the faucet, but the rest can wait. So why put on hold your dreams? How do we know, maybe we could die very suddenly in an accident, then where will that list be? All those wasted hours when you are not fulfilling your dreams.
Yes I know, I will have so many people say how impractical! But why? Why cannot we be as practical about fulfilling our dreams as we are about all the other ‘practical’ things we do during our daily life? We plan our days, or at least have a broad idea of what we will try to do for the day, other things scheduled for tomorrow, or for the end of the week. Even weekends are planned. Our holidays for summer, our plans for the different public holidays, so where are our dreams? Why cannot a Mom plan for a two day vacation, ALONE, in another town, where she could wake up late, be served breakfast in bed, go to a full day at the spa, dress up and go to dinner? Because that same Mom will be worried sick, have the kids had their breakfast? Did they put on their clean clothes for school? Did they get to school on time? Etc. We are the ones restricting ourselves!
Once you are convinced that you are your worst enemy where your dreams are concerned, your view of the whole situation will change. Will the world come to a complete stop if you take a few days off from work so you can go visit a place you have forever wished to go see? Or even go back to a place that you previously visited but still dream about? Will the business go down the drain if you just take a couple of days off – during the week – because you want to stay in bed, finish off a book you like, order in unhealthy food, and generally pamper and spoil yourself a bit?
The purpose of this article is that we should love ourselves a bit more. We deserve it, even if everybody else is pulling us in all different directions with words like love, duty, responsibility, and the like. All emotional blackmail that is designed to keep you to the narrow path, your nose to the grind, and your dreams just that, dreams. No. Every once in a while, revolt! Get out from the groove, out of the rut, which we call our normal, daily life. Just break the mold. Yes, very difficult, but it will never happen unless you, DELIBERATELY, do it yourself.
One of the most heartbreaking stories I heard is that of a woman who died without wearing a dress that she had bought but kept for a “special occasion”! That special occasion never came for her. She died having never worn the dress that she liked so much. MAKE your special occasion, don’t wait for it to just happen. It might never happen, like for that poor woman. She missed out on part of her dream. What a waste!
We, individually, are the only ones who know what our dreams are. Our current dream might be as simple as a day without telephone calls. So! Suppose your mobile broke down, or the network didn’t work. Just turn it off and become inaccessible. Another’s dream is to get in touch with all their school chums. Do it, now. Don’t postpone till you write this letter or finish the laundry.
I remember once at work, part of the job was very boring, filing. And every five years had to sort out what should be retained and what should be discarded. The number of memos with URGENT splashed all over gave me pause. Five years later I looked at them and thought, were they really as urgent as all that? How ironic! Five years later they are deemed worthless enough to be shredded and not retained. How many of our ‘important’ things of now, are really not that important. What gives them their importance is our perception. We think they SHOULD be important, we force ourselves in the mold to fit that, and thus imprison ourselves through our own narrow thoughts and beliefs. Of course this is compounded by our families, our colleagues at work, by society as a whole.
Why is it always true that life only starts when you break the mold and get out of your comfort zone? Because it is only when you do something new that you experience new feelings, find out more about yourself and your feelings. I am not saying that every experience will be good, but definitely every experience will be worthwhile, it will make you more aware of another aspect of yourself, new feelings, likes or dislikes. You grow, you become a more complete person. Ever heard of the person who had worked for ten years, but really had the experience of just one year because he kept repeating the same experience nine times! We do the same in our lives. How many times did you break through in your life? How many times did you revolt against what has been expected of you? How many times have you done something for YOU? Selfish? No, that is just another label by society to keep you knuckled under. You are not making a habit of shirking your ‘responsibilities’, you are just refueling your depleted soul. How we belittle that, whereas it is one of the most important aspects of our well being. Don’t you religiously take your car for maintenance on time? Then why are you so miserly with yourself? Put this article down now and start planning your special soul maintenance. Plan the wish you want to fulfill, NOW. Set a date, and DO IT. Good luck!
The Bucket List