I’ll Show You Mine, if You Show Me Yours
How does your bucket list go? Hot air ballooning over the Serengeti, making love to George Clooney in an elevator in Italy, riding on the Orient Express, walking the Camino de Santiago? By and large, money and time are what are required to make these things happen (with the exception of George Clooney where a chloroform-filled handkerchief may also be required) so why do we not cross these things off our list, if and when these obstacles are removed?
There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza! So What’s the Excuse?
A bucket list is a living, changeable thing. It should fill us with excitement and expectation. So why are they not usually achieved? Why do we not strive towards making them a reality? Why do we make excuses?
One of the greatest excuses is that we still have plenty of time, we’ll do it later. We are waiting for something to happen first. As Dr. Suess puts it:
“Waiting for a train to go…
Or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
Or waiting around for a Yes or No
Or waiting for their hair to grow.”
We find ourselves waiting to retire, for the kids to grow up, for our first million, for the Maharaja of Jodhpur to arrive on his trusty Marwari horse, kick in the door at work, pull us out from behind our desk (our skirt might rip a little at this stage, getting caught in the desk drawer, don’t you know) flinging us over his shoulder and racing off over yonder distant hill.
From the factual perspective there won’t always be a later. Time on earth is finite. Someday there will be nada “later”. Perhaps it’s time to befriend the fact that if someday I will die, well, that means that I must be alive now. I am a living thing that’s chomping at the bit of life. From the “spiritual” angle there’s never a “later” anyway – just a now. We can only ever experience life now. Later is a figment of our imagination – a series of thoughts we have about a future time, something that might/could/should happen but are only thoughts in our heads right now. So maybe we should stop putting off for later and start living now.
Well Fix it Dear Henry! Get Creative and Start Living the Dream.
If you have within your means, the time and money to pull off some or all of your Bucket List, please stop wasting time reading this article and get to it! You don’t need others, you just need you. If, however, your current reality limits how much action you can take right now, you can still take steps to experience before you experience. Savour the journey. Do the aperitif version until you finally get to the feast.
If you want to visit a vineyard in Tuscany, then buy a variety of Italian wines, listen to Andrea Bocelli, read “Under the Tuscan Sun”, eat a bowl of pasta, shout “Mama Mia!” and “Napoli” from your windowsill.
Fake it until you make it.
If you want to bathe in the Japanese hot springs with the Macaque monkeys, well, sit in an outdoor heated pool and read a Haiku poem, breathe in nature. You may or may not achieve what’s on your bucket list but, in the interim, you can sample the flavours and take steps in the right direction. Your soul will thank you for it. When the pearly gates finally beckon, you want to look back thinking, “I’ve had a full life. I did some things I’ve dreamed of, and to hell with the ones I didn’t get around to…at least I had fun trying.”
So… as Dr.Seuss so wisely puts it:
“Be your name Buxham or Bixby or Bray
Or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting
So………get on your way.”