For a long time, the most common expression featuring the word bucket was ‘kicking the bucket’. A somewhat humourous metaphor, it essentially serves as salve for the ominous image of the end of life.
In recent times, the bucket has been kicked over to a more positive, forward looking concept – albeit still relating to the end of one’s road – the ‘bucket list’. One suspects that longer life beyond work years has something to do with this growing popularity.
With the advent of better health regimes, aided by enhancements in medicine, people have more post-retirement years to enjoy. Having some financial stability means opportunities to explore a wider thematic or geographic scope of life’s offerings, making inclusions on ‘bucket lists’ more realisable. That said, even those of modest means can have aspirations fulfilled in their lists, it’s just that they will probably need to focus closer to home.
What makes ‘bucket lists’ unique is that all of us will have different locales or activities prioritizing our lists. Some of these will be checked off at earlier stages of life, depending on circumstances; the traditional approach of some to travel parts of the globe after university, and before settling into a career, provide a character building illustration.
But many inclusions in our ‘bucket list’ evolve over time. It may depend on finances, or available free time. It may depend on one’s horizon, shifting beyond the constraints of vocation. It may also require having the courage to face beyond comfort zones, such as flying, climbing a mountain, or even addressing a crowd of strangers.
The June issue of Toastmaster magazine includes an article addressing an example of the latter. The author began taking on speaking engagements after the release of a book. She enrolled in Toastmasters, and her capabilities measurably improved, to the point that she decided to pursue a ‘bucket list’ goal of performing stand-up comedy for a live audience. She prepared and performed a three-and-one-half minute set at a comedy club open mic night. With friends and family, along with strangers, in the audience she made the experience a success – a big check-mark off her ‘bucket list’!
Here’s are ten suggestions you may wish to consider in developing your own ‘bucket list’:
- Try traveling to places outside your neighbourhood
- If scheduling to attend a famous wax museum, don’t hold a candle to it
- If cashing in your chips, do it at a casino
- Make sure planning for a hiking adventure includes a buddy, in case you get lost and the food runs out
- If looking to take on a dangerous physical challenge, bring along some books you’ve always meant to read to enjoy during your recovery
- Plan to visit foreign landmarks where communication is not dependent on knowing extinct languages
- When looking after a home for someone in their absence, wear gloves if searching for hidden treasure
- Try to avoid a sinking feeling before you go spelunking
- If going on an adventure cruise, prepare for activities beyond shuffle board
- When attempting to dive off a cliff make sure you’re facing the water
These and many other tips can help make creating your own list a barrel of fun.