On bucket lists...
I don't have a bucket list.
Shocking, I know.
I've never had the desire to make a bucket list - formally or informally. I've been trying to figure out why and here's what I've come up with:
I don't want to prioritize my experiences. There are a lot of things that I would love to do such as hug a baobab tree, kayak in front of a glacier, go to antarctica... but my life will not feel incomplete if I don't do them. I've done things that I think should be on a bucket list but I think its kind of cheating to add them on after you've done them so then I would feel disappointed that it wasn't on my list. Instead I treat every experience like what they are: a surprise!
I do what I say I'm going to do. Ask my mother, ask anyone who knows me well. When I get my mind set on something, I pursue it one hundred percent until it happens. I have some specific goals and aspirations, but a lot of my goals are more general. I want to travel, I want to learn as much as I can, I want to understand the world, I want to see America from other country's point of view. I like to keep the specifics vague because I don't want to look at my list and be disappointed that instead of visiting the catacombs in Paris, I visited the ones in Prague. The specifics could lead me to be less grateful for what I've done as well as hung up about what I haven't yet accomplished.
I'm rather unpredictable. I know, it doesn't necessarily go with what I said above so let me explain. My life is not set in stone and I have no idea where I'm going to end up. I realize that buckets lists are subject to change but not the amount of change that I would probably cause. For example, two years ago I was dead-set on becoming an anthropologist. If I'd had a bucket list then, it would have been full of things an anthropologist would want to do: work at a museum (and visit all the famous ones), find something older than 1,000 yrs on a dig, and get a PhD. They're interesting, but they would not be on my list today. I can't predict the things that will be important to me in 5 years, let alone the rest of my life.
I don't mean to demean the bucket list. Everyone is different and they should do what works for them. Personally, I don't have a bucket list, nor will I ever. Instead what I do is keep a "What I've Done List." And I must admit, its pretty awesome.