I often hear people talk about the things they want to do before they die. They create giant lists, mostly wishful thinking, of things they imagine would make them happy. Thrill seeking activities. Far away places to travel to. Famous landmarks, national parks, mountain ranges, caves and canyons. And although all of the items on these lists seem new and exciting, many of them never get checked off. I, myself, have made several bucket lists that were never touched again after their creation. Then instead of being a list of things to do before you die, these bucket lists become reminders of unfinished business. A reminder of what you wished, and dreamed you could’ve done, but never got the chance. Instead of being something positive, and something to look forward to, they turn into a list of could haves and should haves.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t dream. Of course you should have goals of what you want to do with your life, and places you’d like to go. But why would we continue to make these extravagant, unrealistic lists, if all they are going to do is disappoint us in the end? And instead of writing page after page of wants, wants, wants, and materialistic items to own someday, or fancy, expensive places to travel to, why don’t we list off ways we want to change the world and help others?
But there is a way to make a list, and have goals, without ending up with unfinished business and disappointment.
So today, I am sharing my Anti-bucket list. Things that I plan to never do in my life. A fool proof way of making specific goals without leaving incomplete tasks in the end. I know they say to “never say never,” but I’m feeling pretty good about the following:
- I will never go bungee jumping. For whatever reason, jumping off of a cliff, bridge, etc. with only stretchy extension attached to your ankle sounds “fun” to some people. Yeah, no thanks.
- I will never go deep sea diving. Being that far underwater for that long sounds as cool as it sounds terrifying. I will leave it up to somebody else to tell me what’s down there.
- I will never ride a bull. Probably not even a mechanical one.
- I will never grow away from my family. I will always keep them in my life, and include them in the things I do.
- I will never chase a tornado. I’ve been deathly afraid of tornados for as long as I can remember. Why would I ever purposely go towards the fear?
- I will never rob a bank. Do I really even have to explain this one?
- I will never use a Ouija board. I’m not saying I believe EVERYTHING I have been told about those things. I’m just saying that if any of it is true, I would rather not be involved in it.
- I will never eat octopus. I’ll have the octopus soup, hold the octopus.
- I will never purposely make someone feel self conscious, or upset in any way. Some people make themselves feel better by putting others down. I promise to continue to be kind and treat everyone with respect.
- I will never live in a house too big for my own good. I don’t understand why some people feel the need to live in a house so big that they probably don’t even see certain parts of it for weeks on end.
- I will never run for a political position of any sort. I hate politics.
- I will never fly on a small, sketchy plane that isn’t through an international airport. I’m already afraid of planes, I don’t need to add anymore risk factors to the picture.
- I will never stop helping the less fortunate. I will do my best to help people in need, make donations, and volunteer for as long as I live.
- I will never own a tarantula. I’m sorry, did you say giant, furry spider? I will pass, thank you.
- I will never stop dreaming. Maybe I’m hypocritical because I just explained why I sometimes find it unreasonable to make exorbitant, costly lists of things you wish you could do someday. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment, but you should dream, and you should chase those dreams. You should travel to places you love, and do the things you’re passionate about with the people you care about (even if that means taking some risks and doing outrageous, extreme activities once in awhile).
All I’m trying to say is life isn’t a to-do list. Dreaming isn’t about checking items off of a piece of paper, it’s about being spontaneous, and overcoming obstacles to get to where you want to be and to do what you want to do. The best memories usually don’t come from preplanned item on lined paper, but from living in the moment.
Take your life day by day, and always remember that the biggest things in life are not always the best. You don’t have to free fall 10,000 feet from a moving plane to be happy.