LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, November 22, 2010

Maybe There's a Hole in my Bucket List

A friend of mine recently hiked to the top of a tall mountain.  One of those all-day hikes to a lodge at the top.  Dinner and breakfast at the lodge and then a box lunch for your hikes during the day or back down the mountain.  There are no roads to the lodge; only trails.  Food and all supplies are brought to the lodge by llamas.  There is no electricity in the spartan "cabins" and guests must bring their own towels and washcloths.  I'm not at all surprised that this is something my friend would do.  It's something I would like to do as well.  But I admit I was a bit surprised when she told me the hike was on her "bucket list."  My surprise was not that this hike was on the list, but that my friend had a bucket list at all.

You see...I've never had a bucket list.  It never occurred to me that I should have one, even after the successful movie was made.  As I have talked with other friends, I find that many of them do indeed have bucket lists and delightfully cross off the events one-by-one.  Now that I've become more aware of bucket lists, I find them often in sidebars of blogs.  Click on the icons and you can read their bucket lists.


Bucket is not my bucket.  It's from Wikipedia.  My mop bucket is far more attractive.


Should the lack of a bucket list concern me?  Or the fact that I have no desire to develop one?  Does this mean my life is stagnant and I have nothing more to look forward to?

As I looked more and more into the issue, I have found dozens of Websites about bucket lists.  Perhaps the most extensive one is this one.  On many of these sites, you can read the bucket lists of other people and even follow them as they cross off the items.  You can "join" some of the sites and publish your own list and chart your progress.  The sites will even help you create a bucket list.  Excuse me, but isn't there a little bit of a problem if you can't create your own list of things you want to do?

Do I have goals in life?  Yes, I do.  Are there places I want to visit?  Yes there are.  But none of them are so important that I feel compelled to do them before I die.  I can die just as easily without those experiences.  In short, is there anything I can think of that would come to my mind in my last hours on earth to which I would say, "Gee, if I'd only done (insert item from bucket list)."  I simply cannot come up with a single thing.

I should provide a disclaimer that I have never been a keeper of lists.  When I was working, my life was consumed with lists and I couldn't have survived without them.  Now that I'm retired I manage to maintain a grocery list, and I do write appointments on a calendar, but I don't have any other lists.  Not even a bird list.  But I still know if a bird is a "lifer" because I know I've never seen it before.  My husband, on the other had, keeps a regular office desk "day-at-a-glance" calendar.  He tucks notes on his dresser and reminders on his bathroom mirror.  But even he does not have a bucket list.

Perhaps it's because we are physically and financially able to do most everything we really want to do.  And we do make plans.  One of our plans is to drive the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it's not sufficiently important for a bucket list.

I think perhaps I have taken the bucket list further than it was meant to go.  Perhaps it's more of a "want-to-do-sometime" list than "things I want to do before I kick the bucket."  So...do YOU have a bucket list?  If so, is it ranked from most to least important?  Do you share it with other people?  And most important of all...Do I need to worry because I don't have one?

20 comments:

Karin said...

Don't have a bucket list either. You've expressed very well how I feel too! Thinking back I never ever imagined I'd get to do all the things we did do/see/learn. I am content and it sounds like you are too!

TaraDharma said...

I've never even thought keeping a bucket list. The last thing on my mind will not be "Gee, I'm glad I finally took the Trans Canadian railway last summer....." Probably the last thing on my mind will be "wow, that was crazy fast."

Cicero Sings said...

I do not have a bucket list and am not about to start one. Like you, there is nothing that, if the end came tomorrow, I would be sorry I hadn't done. I'm pretty content ... just like Karin mentions.

KGMom said...

I think you tapped a seam here of non-bucket listers. I wonder if one has a list, and you do ALL the things, do you have to die then?
I too have personal goals, but don't feel constrained to record them, and cross them off.

(Love what you called this post.)

carolina nana said...

I've heard of the bucket list but I have no desire to have one myself. I think that is one of those things that people who have absolutely nothing else to do with their time do. I am to busy doing the things I would like to do to take time to make a list !!!
You have a blessed tomorrow.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Nope. No bucket list here. Just living everyday to the best of my ability and enjoying even the smallest of details.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I don't have a bucket list---but I hear and read about it on occasion. I think many just use the term --without meaning it to be something they 'have' to do before they die... But then, there are others who really get into it.....????

I do have some things on a 'wish' list--but don't make a big deal out of it. I hope to see the Grand Canyon someday --and also Hawaii... AND Alaska has been on my list of wishes --and hopefully, we are going to do that next summer.

Your friend who went to LeConte reminded me of my best friend, Judy. She and her hubby go up there every single year.... I don't think I could make it now since I've slowed down after my knee surgery.

Hugs,
Betsy

merrilymarylee said...

I don't have a bucket list either. If I did, it would probably contain all the books I want to read.

Please take photo of your attractive mop bucket. Maybe I'll be inspired.

Sam said...

You know, growing up, I wanted three things. A good horse, a good dog, and a good truck. I've got all three, plus a wonderful husband. Anything else that comes my way is purely a perk at this point!

Sam

Busy Bee Suz said...

You are so funny.
I don't have a list, and don't plan on making one.
So, as far as I am concerned, you are completely normal. :)

Vicki Lane said...

No bucket list for me -- I do keep lists of things I mean to do around the house and garden, books I mean to read, projects to consider, but nothing of the I MUST do this nature.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Well now I have an idea of what a bucket list is. Can't believe I've lived to the age of 70 without one!?!? How silly it all sounds.Just some propaganda pop culture idea of what we should all be doing -- keeping a bucket list. I'm with you -- forget the bucket list! -- barbara

Jayne said...

I think "that's on my bucket list" is more a catch phrase for something I really, really want to do in my lifetime. I don't have a list either, nor a bird list, and I've been a birder for a very long time. :c) When my mom and I went to Ireland, it was a "bucket list" time for her as it was somewhere she'd been wanting to go for some time and time was of the essence with her bad joints and vision. I think it's become more of a pop culture term really. And, I too, am intrigued by the description of your beautiful mop bucket?

troutbirder said...

Sort of it's vaguely rambling around in my head off and on. It contains thousands of items and thus I'm considering converting to Buddhism &/or Hinduism because the concept of reincarnation is increasingly attractive to me. Clearly one lifetime is not going to be enough to clear my list off.... :)

SouthernSass said...

I don't have one, I just try to do the things that I really want to do and enjoy life along the way!

Rudee said...

I read through a few of those lists from the site you linked and find myself uninspired. Perhaps it's because most of these lists are inherently selfish and that doesn't appeal to me.

I have dream vacations in mind and hope to get around to them soon, but I'm pretty content to go through life one day at a time. Like you, if I never made it to those places, it wouldn't be the end of my world.

I'm not a list maker either. That said, I have a virtual sticky note with my holiday knitting all planned out. I'd better stop wasting time looking at a list someone else has made and get back to my knitting.

robin andrea said...

I don't have a bucket list, and I've never thought of keeping one. I don't have a bird life list either. I am interested in what ever is happening next around the bend, and glad to have walked the trails I've walked.

George said...

I must confess that I don't have a bucket list either. Like you, I have things I would like to do and places I would like visit, but I haven't made an official list of them.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I may have mislead you about my mop bucket. It's better looking than the one in the photograph, but alas, it is still a mop bucket.

KB said...

I used to have a bucket list, although I didn't know that was what it was called. Then, a lot of the things on it (like helicopter skiing) became impossible for me to do much younger than I expected. I changed my approach then. Now, it's one day at a time, trying to have a good day on this Earth.