I admit it! I have a bucket list! An actual hand-written list of things I have never done that I wish to do at least once in my life before I …”kick the bucket”. Even though I am perfectly healthy and have the genetics to potentially live a long, long, lo-o-o-o-ong time, when I saw “The Bucket List” movie, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to give it some thought and see what would come up.
Some of the items on my list are pure fantasy, some are practical and some are quite attainable, given hard work and opportunity. Without going into the details, generally, the list comprises destinations I would like to visit, musical artists I would like to see in concert, books I would like to read, personal goals I would like to accomplish, and things I would like to learn or perfect, given the time, opportunity and the right teacher. It’s a very personal list that form things in my “pursuit of happiness” that could be diametrically opposite of someone else’s… and that’s ok. In the end, I think it’s a nice thing to have, to not lose track of your inspiration and to help make your dreams a little more tangible.
I have been extremely fortunate in the fact that a couple of times per year I will check that list, buried away in one of my filing cabinets, and sometimes realize that I can cross one or two items off the list! In that train of thought, I can only assume that those bucket list items are indeed near and dear to my heart and I am working towards them, whether consciously or unconsciously. Last year’s items I crossed off included seeing Lady Gaga in concert for the first time and visiting Paris for the first time, where I finally got to see the Eiffel Tower in person, and see legendary works of art in Paris’s fabulous museums. These were all incredibly fulfilling experiences that resonated with me on many levels.
Of course, upon reviewing that list periodically, I might add a few new items based on things I have seen or heard, whether through family, friends or things I have seen on TV or in movies. The Amazing Race is to blame for some of the recent additions over the years… some I would really want to do, others I would NEVER do!
I would not be devastated if I did not got to complete all of the items on my bucket list, but in a way, I like to think that having such a list is a bit of a personal GPS system! While some might view a bucket list as purely frivolous, I would like to think that a bucket list keeps me driven and focused on the things that are important to me personally. When you look at my list, a lot of the items are related to the arts – not surprisingly – and related to the things that inspire me creatively… clearly a passion with me. For someone else, the bucket list could represent things in the athletic discipline; for some, milestones in the world of business; for others, the bucket list could be more spiritual.
If anything, I think a bucket list can help us remain focused on our dreams and try to reconcile those ideas into our day-to-day living and try to find a way to make them happen, if opportunity and hard work opened the door to them. Sometimes it does not take shape exactly as we envision, but if you keep your eyes open, you might be surprised at where you might find it.
For example, I had always been interested in working in television, yet wasn’t quite certain how to make the leap from the steady job that paid my bills to making that dream come true. After a bit of research, I found that our local community television station was always looking for volunteers to help produce television programming. The hours were very flexible, training was provided and they needed assistance any time of day, including evenings and weekends. I jumped on the chance and before I knew it I had the best of both worlds, still holding down my day job and steady pay, and volunteering a few hours per week, helping make local TV shows. I stayed with the community channel for 3 years, maintaining a pretty healthy balance, while making a dream come true. Also I added some pretty incredible experience to my resumé.
At the end of the day, it really not really matter what you aspire to, but if the stars lined up and opportunity presented itself to make a dream come true, do you know what you would want to cross off your list?