For all of those who thought this blog post was me debating the pros and cons of creating an inventory for your storage vessels, I am sorry to disappoint. The sort of bucket list I am of course referring to is a list detailing things you wish to do before you die, or kick the bucket.
The aim of this blog is to get you thinking not about death (because that’s a bit grim) but rather about the things you would regret not doing should you get walloped by a bus tomorrow.
So ask yourself these questions; have you loved enough? Laughed enough? Cried enough? Seen enough of the world? Challenged yourself enough? Been awestruck by something? Truly helped someone?
The list of questions to ask yourself is endless, questions that question your existence and your future. It’s the sort of thing you do during a sleepless night or causes a sleepless night as cross examining yourself usually doesn’t aid your search for sleep. Mine first began just after I left school; it was first a list of things to do before I’m 30 but has now become too long and too ambitious to be done in a few -I’m not telling you how many- years. It was scribbled on a post-it note late one night before I left school and it contained my first and possibly most ambitious challenge: go to every continent in the world. This remained the only entry until I was sat in the shadow of the Himalayas and felt the world towering above me. I think those sort of moments fuel the bucket list mentality, when you feel tiny and insignificant compared to the world we live in, as it makes you question your mortality, question how you have lived your life up to now and how you will leave an imprint on this earth long after you’re gone.
My list is now two pages front and back containing doodled down dreams, on coffee stained and rain damaged bits of paper. Some of them have been scratched off if I’ve completed them or lost interest in actually doing them (e.g learning to juggle). Like in My Name Is Earl, I have great satisfaction in crossing them off as it feels like I am one step closer to appeasing my inner question mark. While some of them are personal and therefore private I will share a few with you:
• Go to Paris
• Touch the megaliths at Stonehenge
• Have my own photographic exhibit
• Get an article published in a leading UK newspaper (and be about something intellectual, not something gormless)
• Publish my Tibet book
• Run a marathon
• Live in London (for at least a few months)
• Go back to India (as soon as this one gets crossed off it goes back up again, what can I say I’m addicted!)
The key thing when writing your bucket list is not to look back and regret what you haven’t done or missed opportunities. Avoid asking what happened or how you could have kept hold of something you loved or you’ll end up crying in the fetal position inhaling chocolate like air. Rather look forward and imagine what you could do and could be.
So I hope you get writing your own, scribble them down on the nearest thing: a napkin, scrap paper, the nearest bald-headed man, whatever you can get hold of. Make sure though that above all that you are inspired by them and let them drive you forward for the future. So when you’re on your death bed (which will hopefully be very very far away) with a piece of paper with a cross through all the writing, you can kick the bucket with a smile on your face and get the rest you will no doubt sorely need by then!