Bucket List: Item 3

Perhaps the term ‘bucket list’ was coined after the comedy-drama  of the same name, in which two terminally ill men go on a trip together to do all the things they wanted to do before they died (i.e. kicked the bucket).  I enjoyed the movie thoroughly.  If nothing else, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman sharing the stage is enough to get me to watch it several times over, if I can. If you haven’t seen it, do. It’s funny and wise at the same time.  But this post is not about the movie.

It’s about the whole notion of having a bucket list. I remember the first time a friend of mine showed me hers, over 20 odd years ago. It had over a hundred things she wanted to do before she died. One I distinctly remember was learning to ride a horse. I was quite fascinated by her list, but never quite motivated to make one myself. Since then, I’ve read several people sharing their bucket-lists which include travel to remote corners of the earth, adventurous activities like sky-diving, and perhaps making a movie or two. There’s even a website to record all your wishes. All great dreams and I’m not finding fault with any of them.

However, what I found most interesting was watching a TEDx lecture by Kathleen Taylor, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor called “Rethinking the Bucket List”.  Kathleen works at a hospice and is involved with counseling the dying. She speaks of how people who are aware that death is imminent, are no longer distracted by the mundane stuff of life, but seem to focus on being honest with themselves.  They start to become more open, intimate and honest. They reach out to others to find and give forgiveness and to express love. According to her at the end of their lives people are incapable of bull shit.

I begin to wonder why can’t I live this way all the time – I don’t need to postpone being authentic or getting truly intimate until I’m dying. What if I lived my life as if death was imminent?

Do you have a bucket list?