Bucket Lists

It’s a bit of a strange thing to think about things you want to accomplish before you die. It might be prompted by an unfortunate medical diagnosis, a change in circumstances, be it social or economic, or just idle thoughts. For me, I have a large desire to see my life improved in meaningful ways by changing my scenery. No impending medical crisis that I know of, thankfully.

In the setting of trying to improve my life, one of the things I thought about was all the things I wanted to check off the proverbial bucket list, to say I accomplished. Not to fill a ledger, but to create memories, to have experiences, to try new things. If you’re not happy in your current state of affairs, it’s madness to keep things just going. I’m not unhappy, but there are ways that my outlook could certainly be improved.

The first thing I’ve tried is switching off Windows, as I wrote about before. This wasn’t so much of a bucket list as it was trying to make my life easier by having a unified system to get work done. So far, it’s been a treat to answer texts on my computer, copy one thing from my phone and paste it on my laptop, etc. The switch hasn’t been without hiccups, but I have been pleased so far.

I’ve got a ton of things I still want to watch. I just started Stranger Things, for example. There are so many TV shows and movies I still need to watch that it would take me retiring today to likely see them all. I really need to sit down and create a watch schedule to make sure I make some progress. A bucket list list?

Most times though a bucket list is about sights and experiences. Living in Europe, at least part time, is at the top of the list. I want to drive a RHD vehicle in the UK. I want to skydive, once. I want to scuba dive in the Bahamas. I want to see the Alps. Tons of things like that, a lot of it seeing the world and interacting with different people. There’s too much to list here, and that’s what the actual list will be for.

The real point of this is that I’m looking at all the ways my physical and mental health can be addressed in ways that can be seen as proactive. I want long term happiness, but that doesn’t mean I can sacrifice the short-term. It does mean though that I’ve had to re-evaluate what I consider to be happiness that are in reality just short term dopamine hits. I love building LEGO, but it just sits on a shelf afterward. I love video games, but I don’t need to keep buying ones that I don’t play. These are physical things that don’t take up any real space in my heart. I can better use that time and money on things I really want, and really want to do, versus trying to fill a hole. Throwing stuff at a problem doesn’t fix the problem. Hoarding old PC parts doesn’t solve anything, even though I think one thing randomly down the road will fix or replace something that breaks. Get rid of what’s irrelevant, pay more attention to what matters, and what helps me accomplish goals or improve myself.

In 2020, I took a risk and ran the virtual version of the Peachtree Road Race to cross that off my bucket list, and on Monday I just completed my third – my second in-person. Sometimes when you cross something off your bucket list, it becomes a new hobby or habit. Just like I crossed a 5K off my bucket list in 2019, and I’m still doing them today. I’m going to keep finding ways to improve my everyday life while keeping an eye on the long term goals.

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