So, What’s With The Bucket List Thing?
Every treasured trinket, location or event lands in somebody’s bucket list, and we get to hear about it.
Stories about my family and friends’ vacations and achievements are great. Lists about what hasn’t been checked off are dull.
More assorted ideas….
Why Dump Your Bucket List Ideas? They’re Cringe-Worthy
- Fact: “Bucket list” is yanked out of a grim euphemism — “kick the bucket,” suicide by hanging.
- #1 ought be enough, but then, there’s the bad idea that your life has holes that can’t be filled.
- Bucket lists fill with things not done, places not seen. You’re missing out.
- Doesn’t advertising assaulting us everywhere offer enough reinforcement that our lives are missing out on so much already?
Where Does A Bucket List Come From?
Referring to suicide as kicking the bucket since my witless teen years, I see no way to spin it positive.
Kicking the bucket meant hanging by kicking the bucket you were standing on out from under you after putting a noose around your neck, if you were a bad guy, having the good guys kick it out to dispatch you to oblivion.
Such victims do not generally have flowery lists of to-dos or walks on exotic beaches fueling their fantasies.
But Rob Reiner’s dreadful movie with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson lamely tried to insert romantic fantasies into the minds of dying men, anyway. Even with three beautiful men of enormous talent, it couldn’t be done.
Showing You Where The Holes Are That Need Buckets To Fill Them
One good reason to dump your bucket list ideas is because they all look a lot like the holes Madison Avenue is always telling us we have in our lives.
A one hour immersion in prime time television tells me my truck isn’t tough enough, I need more testosterone, a smoking habit will kill me, my beer isn’t cold enough, and I need a better lawn mower for my apartment.
(Have you noticed that all those guys needing “T” to help with “taking action” have splashes of gray to go with trophy wives twenty or so years younger? What is Madison Avenue saying here?)
We do not need advertising to pitch us more holes for ourselves.
No matter how long we live, there are beaches on which the sand will never squeeze itself between our toes. There are exotic cities we will never see and dream lovers we will never find.
I’ve walked beaches from the Amalfi coast to Coney Island, and I don’t understand why I might waste time hankering for the ones I haven’t gotten to yet.
We’ve ridden vaporettos through Venetian waterways and strained our legs climbing to the top of Montmartre. If we never have fried rice in Shanghai, will it all have been in vain?
Any of us can get a thrill thinking about what we’ve added to our chest of treasured memories.
Do we need Madison Avenue or a bucket list to remind us we aren’t perfect and can never be?
We really aren’t, are we? How insufferable would we be, is we were?
A Reverse Bucket List
Memes are habits, as likely good as bad, that run threads through the social fabric.
We mistake them for truths, just because.
The bucket list thing is a “just because.”
Every time we add something to our personal bucket list, we mark a shortcoming in our lives. We haven’t done enough or seen enough or met enough. A bullet point must be added.
Dump your bucket list ideas still make sense, but my intuition tell me to make a reverse bucket emptying list.
Reverse Bucket List Ideas:
- I’ve been lucky enough have three wonderful women agree to marry me. Two actually did. One stuck.
- I earned over a million dollars in less than ten years and saved a lot of it.
- My wife and I have traveled all over the United States and much of Europe.
- And to top that, we live in New York City, our favorite place in the world.
- As a teenager, I wanted more than anything else to write novels. I now have a half-dozen ready and waiting for you to enter your credit card information on Amazon.
- We have beautiful cats. I get a kick out of sharing my life with them every day.
New York Times Reverse Bucket List
One more reason to hate bucket lists.
True to the spirit of newspapering that demands that, if you can’t find enough negative news, you make something up, the New York Times published a “reverse bucket list.”
They asked readers to send in the one thing they never want to experience in New York.
Let’s just say that along with the richest, most creative and best educated people, we also have our quota of the stupidest and dullest.
Who has the time to think up horrors to add to such a list?
Oh, and just to reinforce their snarky creds, the Times included a link to a study written up in the always sturdy New York Post that shows that New York is America’s unhappiest city.
Geniuses from Harvard, a university almost wholly responsible for the crisis in American business ethics, and the University of British Columbia, had nothing better to do with research dollars than to rig a study that gave them the headline they wanted for media recognition.
Never mind that the survey they culled (and tweaked) to get the result they wanted never asked about unhappiness, nor did they define the term. They and the New York Times got the negativity they wanted.
It keeps the presses rolling.
My Bucket List Ideas
Well, yes, I do need to say more.
It really is the age of taking action, according to the Viagra people, after all. And, really, everyone else has a bucket list. Why shouldn’t I?
My bucket list may be challenging, but heck, I’ve got a couple of good decades still in me. I can do it.
So, here goes:
- I want to know God better. Might as well start big. God’s too big to know in the factual sense, but not too big to spiritually share.
- I want to find new, creative ways to help others, including the animals I adore. Reducing the horror of homeless families would be a thrill as would increasing the awareness of people who vote and really run our countries.
- I want to have more friends, something of which we can never overload.
- Staying happily married and helping my partner fulfill her dreams is a core mission. If you are not doing all you can for the primary person in your life, you need more than any bucket list can offer.
- I want to see more live events, Broadway shows, concerts and even buskers. Appreciating the creativity of others fulfills a part of us we cannot be happy without.
- Speaking of that, I want to see more art, lots of it, in galleries, museums and from freelancers out in the parks in summer.
- I want to convince every one of you that the world is full of wonders that the avalanche of so-called news obscures every day.
- Oh, and I want to write more poetry. Yes, I know almost nobody reads it and, for sure, nobody pays for it. I don’t care. There are some things you cannot express any other way.
- Finally, I want to watch the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. As a rabid fan, I sat through those four straight losses and, in spite of my disappointment, still felt happy to have my team play so many extra games each year at a high level. But just one win, for me and my old friends in Buffalo, that would be nice.
So, there it is, my bucket list.