Trivia buffs swear that the phrase “bucket list” came into existence in 2007 along with a Rob Reiner movie by that name. The buddy flick featured Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as terminal cancer patients, who escape their hospital beds to embark upon a wish-list of adventure travel before they died. Those of us who came of age before 2007 already knew the euphemism “kick the bucket” to avoid saying words, So-and-so died. But we’ll concede that the movie made it trendy for regular folks, young and old, to speak of having a bucket list.
With good fortune in more ways than one, we might live long enough to accomplish that one big thing, or count down the list of aspirations that thrive in our fantasy lives. Some individuals envision climbing Mount Everest, or the Great Wall of China, or Mount Machu-Picchu. Or cruising around the world. Or retiring early to lie on a beach in the Caribbean.
If you think about it though, the action taken by the two accidental buddies in “The Bucket List” did not result from years of well-thought-out planning. It was a spontaneous response to their “nothing to lose” prognosis. Good for them that they had the money to fulfil a year’s worth of expeditions.
Yet their real moment of bliss had nothing to do with money. It happened when one character, urged by the other, reunited with his estranged daughter before his death.
It’s great to have a bucket list. Dreams are free. Some people will be lucky enough to tick items off their list. Some people won’t.
Even with the most exciting bucket list in hand or head, there is factual reckoning.
Tomorrow isn’t promised. Whether we’re in good health or ill. Whether we are 18 or 80.
So, how about a “Do It Now List.”
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