The Bucket List - things one wants to do before one kicks the bucket, the ultimate cliche. I happened upon the movie by the same name with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Although, in reality, we all do not have a friend like Edward who can finance our list or Carter who can make us face reality.
All this brings to mind our ultimate demise and limited time on Earth. Is the list something one truly intends to do or just a mental exercise? Which begs the question, when does one start checking off items on the list? Does one wait until one knows their days are numbered or does one start soon, ensuring that one gets through it. And, when is soon enough?
Also, does one share the list or keep it to one's self. In other words, does one want comment or suggestions? Or does it contain items that are personal, a little out there, maybe a bit more adventurous? Keeping it to one's self prevents judgement and unsolicited recommendations. Sharing it opens it up to explanation and justification. And, who really needs to know another's dreams and fears?
Do we start with simple things easily attainable? You know, those tasks we always put off - organizing one's desk, spending time with that great aunt who drives one crazy with unwanted advice. Do we venture off the known and get out of our comfort zone? Dining on Fugu Blowfish (from Japan), Hákarl (form Iceland), ot Locusts (from the Middle East. Do we say things that we have always wanted to say, but were brought up to be too polite to do so? Such as telling your friend that wearing caftans to dinner does nothing for her figure or mentioning to your daughter that the guy she is dating is absolutely useless and she will regret it later.
Do we go for adventure? Skydiving, for instance, personally this is no where close to my list, I have no desire to die prematurely, same for riding a Harley, or driving a race car on a NASCAR track. Life is short enough as it is. Do we travel to those far way places with strange sounding names? Or do we stay home and read all those books we have intended to finish for years now.
Do we spend money on objects we could never otherwise justify? That perfect house with the ideal kitchen, that sports car in gun metal blue, or that set of antique crystal we have admired in the store.
Or are we sentimental and wish to spend time with those we love, make friends with those we admire from afar, show those close to us that we really care.
In reality, when the paper hits the pad, it is all personal. It is a list no one needs to justify to anyone else. It should be full of decadent pleasures, expensive items, exotic experiences, and all those things we have put off for lack of time, effort, or justification.
I'll spare you my list, especially since I do not have one (yet). After all, everyone is not ready to face mortality. Not all of us are prepared to put these dreams, desires, and regrets on paper. Seeing it in writing is cathartic enough. Soul searching and admitting there are things we wish (need) to do. Promising ourselves we will act on our intentions. Realizing, our time on this planet is limited at most, measured at best.
The ultimate question is: Are we willing to bare our soul, justify our aspirations, and follow our dreams?