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Number one: don’t put anything on your bucket list, you’re done, that’s it.
Of course, thanks to Hollywood it sounds good to all of us to the point where we don’t actually ask ourselves if it means something: sitting down on your desk and writing down all the things you want to do in your lifetime. When it’s phrased that way, of course no one is listing “call grandma every week”; that’s mundane, everyday activity, surely it can’t be the one thing you want to do in your lifetime? So you put down the bigger things, the things that scream adventure, the things that you imagine telling at dinner parties and everyone suddenly starts listening, laughing where they’re supposed to, and liking you: That’s someone who knows how to live, they say to themselves.
Yeah, well, sounds good, but no, that’s not it. Swim with dolphins was the first thing I clearly remember putting in my last collection of stuff I wanted to do. I recently discovered this list (made six years ago) and it suddenly felt so unauthentic, so made-up, so Hollywood-y, with extra sugar on top. Am I doing something wrong just because I haven’t swam with dolphins? Should I feel unaccomplished because of that? And isn’t that list just a way of past-me bullying future-me?
Nobody puts down things like “become more compassionate” on their bucket list. But in this past year, I did became more open to others, and it’s something bigger than swimming with dolphins. Right? Okay, it doesn’t sound so glossy, but instead of feeling unaccomplished because of what sounds like an adventure, I’m just going to forget the list and just try to better myself every day. Because let’s be real – having a good life is not usually about the dolphins, most times it’s about calling your grandma more.