A bucket list is a very special thing, so much so that everyone ought to sit down and make one at some point in his or her life. So what is a bucket list exactly, you may ask?
Very simple: it’s a list of things you want to do before you die.
The term ‘bucket list’ comes from the colloquial expression ‘to kick the bucket,’ which refers to dying. Of course, this expression is used only amongst close friends, and
depending on whom you ask, it can be considered inappropriate, or in bad taste. If I were to say “I couldn’t believe it when Billy kicked the bucket,” some people might give me a few strange looks!
How does kicking a bucket refer in any way to dying? Well, there are several stories regarding the origin of this expression, each more dubious than the last, but the one this writer finds most plausible relates to hanging. It’s said that when people hanged themselves in the old days, they would stand on a bucket, and when that fateful moment came, they’d kick it out from under themselves and…there you have it: kicking the bucket.
But how can such a dark colloquialism lead to an idea that for many is defined by hope and expectation? Well, if you thought about all the exciting and glorious things you’d like to do before you die, wouldn’t you be thrilled putting them to paper and mapping out your future dreams? Anything you want can go on the bucket list: live in New York, live in Tanzania, work for NASA, start a fly-fishing business, white-water raft a Grade 5 river, marry the girl next door from your home town…anything you want to be able tocrossoff the list before the big day comes.
To be honest, this writer hasn’t made his bucket list just yet! The day will come of course, and when it does I know I’ll have a few ideas ready. Living in New York City, at least for a year or two, has always been a dream. There’s no place like it in the world, and you can discover something new every hour of every day. I’d love to learn how to fly a plane. Don’t worry, I won’t be piloting your transatlantic flight any time soon, but the thought of coasting in a single-engine Cessna over the Channel Islands off my native Santa Barbara brings a smile to my face.
Do you have a bucket list made yet? If not, get started soon, because the endless ideas await!