Many people have much grander lists than I. I’ve seen those who would like to visit all of the seven continents, climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, go on a dog sledding expedition, chase a tornado or pet a penguin.
Of course, the question is raised as to why anyone would have a bucket list and why they chose the items they have. Mine aren’t anything grand, but there is something exhilarating about the idea of being able to accurately shoot a bow and arrow, ride the air in a balloon or hike (or ride a donkey) down the Grand Canyon; and riding a train seems to place me back in time.
According to a psychology article written in February 2011, there are a variety of reasons why people make bucket lists.1 Some believe it is a way of making life memorable and meaningful. Having goals, which is another way of looking at a “bucket list” might give a person the drive and motivation to accomplish those things in life that may seem challenging, unlikely or far reaching in the whole scope of things.
My husband tells about the many GI’s who wanted nothing more than to get back from the Viet Nam war and see the country they fought for. For them this was the ultimate “bucket list” should they survive the onslaught of ammunition coming their way. They had no way of knowing if they would be the next one to draw their last breath.
There are others, like the man who made a cross country road trip to celebrate his beloved dog’s life; or the woman with cancer, along with other things, who wanted to meet Robin Williams before she passed away; or the couple who discovered their unborn child was going to be severely handicapped and decided to take their unborn little one to all kinds of wonderful places before his birth. This little one lived only four hours after birth, but experienced through his mother, a vast array of special moments because the parents chose to honor him, even knowing they would soon face one of the most difficult times in their lives.
So I challenge you to reflect on what you want to do before you leave this life. How important is it to you? Is it worth the effort (and cost) to see it through? If you don't have a bucket list, perhaps this is a great time for extra motivation toward something you might not otherwise try. Share your ideas!