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Maybe It’s Time to Empty that Bucket

·351 words·2 mins
Self Improvement Survival

Ah, the bucket list. You know… all the things that you would like to do before you die. Why do they call it that? I didn’t know at first but did some digging, and apparently it literally comes from the idea that it’s all the things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” Yes, really.

Wow. Okay.

Suddenly, a bit of self-improvement verbiage that I’ve taken for granted for years and years reads markedly more morbid. So it goes.

Anyway, a friend of mine shared an essay recently that really resonated with me, called The “Let It Go” List. The premise is paring down your bucket list. Because frankly, a lot of us are being hoarders with dreams and hoped-for-experiences. (I’m guilty of this by the way.)

From the article:

Over the holidays, I stumbled on  a list of 50 spectacular sites around the world. You check off the ones you’ve already been to and then press enter to find out, at the rate you’re going, how old you’ll be by the time you see them all.

My answer: Age 164.

My fate was bleaker. I was 286 years old. Ooo boy.

Maybe View It Like a Menu Instead of a To-Do List

There’s some solid advice in that article I linked — to pare down the bucket list. Cross off items that don’t spark joy. Strip some of your to-do list off and make a never-going-to-do-list. And enjoy the relief that comes with it.

I’m taking it a step further. Because honestly FOMO has gotten a little nuts these days. There’s a kind of dream-hunger and ambition that’s all too common that sets pretty much anyone up for failure, no matter how charmed and exciting their life is.

But that’s only if you view the bucket list as a to-do list.

Me? I’m thinking of it more like a menu, like at a restaurant. Just like I’m perfectly fine with not trying literally everything a restaurant has on offer, I feel comfy not being able to do literally everything that sounds kind of neat before I die.


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