Bucket List or Shopping Bag?


Bucket List – this is a term I hear a lot about these days. I saw the movie, I hear the term almost every time I get together with friends (especially those in my age group), and I feel like I need to find a bucket to begin filling it up with things I want to do before I die, if I am going to keep up with my peers. Whether I actually do the things I might put into my bucket is questionable, which leads me to the following pondering.

It’s something to think about. What size bucket do I need? What should go inside of it? Will it be cumbersome to carry, or light as a feather. Do I set it in a reserved spot in my living room, or carry it around with me all the time? Thinking about this reminds me of a blog I wrote, “The Shopping Bag” – http://jennielousdays.blogspot.com/2011/05/shopping.html a few years ago.

While the shopping bag in my blog was definitely not a bucket, there are certainly similarities in the two, as we travel through life, choosing what is valuable and what is not. As I consider the possibility of a bucket list, I can’t help thinking about my shopping bag. (Read my blog before continuing, and it will help you understand where I am coming from).

What would I put inside of my bucket, should I decide to get one? It seems to me what I am hearing from most people is that you put things you want to accomplish, places you want to visit, and things you want to do into your bucket. If this were the case for me, I’d be dumping my bucket out on the floor on a weekly basis, examining what’s in it, and constantly changing my mind.

The other night – one in which I was sleepless for several hours – I contemplated my life, where I’ve been, where I am, and where I am going. I have been to some really neat places on earth, and have wonderful memories of my travels. As I considered my life – and got a little too deep into it in my wakeful condition – I began imagining places I might yet visit and what the impact of seeing, or missing, them would be, considering the big picture. I came to this conclusion, and it’s kind of a strange one, if you think too deeply about it. When I die, it’s not going to amount to a hill of beans where I’ve been or what I’ve seen on this earth. What will matter is where I am going – and I do believe that there is something for me beyond this life. When I die, what might have been on my bucket list won’t really matter. Right now, for example, I am hoping to go on an Alaskan cruise next summer. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years. But, if I don’t go, what difference will it make when I look at my life as a whole? Not much, I think.

This all takes me around the bend to the idea of a bucket list again. I don’t think I want a bucket list. I much prefer the shopping bag that I wrote about years ago. But if I had a bucket list, it would be different from what I believe most other people’s are. Mine would include who I want to be, what I want to write, conversations and discussions I hope to have, wonderful smells, aromas, and tastes, laughter and music, hugs and kisses, licks and tail wags from friendly dogs, the wind in my face and sun on my arms, and knowing that I am God’s child no matter how often I come up short.

Bucket list or shopping bag? Take your pick! I’ll take the shopping bag and the journey!

Personally, I like rainbows, wildflowers, chips of robins’ eggs, birds’ feathers, and the song of a waterfall.


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