Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bucket List Part 1

What is a bucket list?

Life’s journey often starts without a clear path laid out.  Most people don’t have an exact clear life plan when they are in middle school, high school and sometimes even in college.  Our first steps in the journey are tentative and flexible.  That is okay.  That is normal.  We blaze our own path in the beginning; our youthful confidence ignores doubt, missteps and ignorance.

Life takes shape and direction at its own pace.  People develop a concept of themselves and what they want to do; they develop and follow an internal compass.  Along with near and mid-term plans people conceive an ethereal concept of some distant future.  People begin to create dreams, wishes and aspirations of a conceptual nature.  These conceptual ideas are presented in concrete terms of things they want or want to do.  Thus is born the “bucket list.”

In the beginning the list is short including only major events: I want a small family, I want to go college, and I want to visit Italy.  Items are added and removed.  Events change the list: you go into the army instead of college, visit to Canada not Italy and the family is larger than planned.  That is just the way it is.  You adapt to the circumstances, change your expectations and move on.

I am not sure when the term “bucket list” or common use of a written list came to be.  Now at every turn references are found to the bucket list.  A 1000 things to see before you die, 50 things to do before you die, 111 ideas for a bucket list and summer bucket list are actual web sites on the Internet.  I didn’t bother to view these pages.  I am sure they are interesting and of value, at least to the authors.  They are the author’s lists, not mine or yours.  Do I really want to see the Pyramids in Egypt, climb a mountain, run a marathon or find a long lost friend?  The bucket list is only of value to those who engage in writing them.  How do they know what I want to do or need?  Am I part of a giant marketing research effort?

My simple life philosophy eschews the need for a formal list.  Wanting things or wanting to do a prescribed list of tasks is not pleasant, it creates urges to get, do or have material items.  It causes greed and desire to have things that others have or have done.  I am not them (whoever they are), and I don’t want their things or lives.
I don’t feel the need to have list of things to do because I am not ready to go just yet.  All I really want is to be the best “Warren” I can be, nothing more, nothing less.  List not required.

More Next Week

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