WD Fyfe

A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society

The Bucket List

In a couple of months, the first of the Baby Boomer generation is going to turn 65.  While I welcome their demise, this is going to be a disaster of Biblical proportion.  The Grim Reaper has just kicked sand in the face of the biggest bully of all time, and the Boomers are not going to go quietly.  If we could have harnessed the energy produced by the collective egos of the Baby Boom, our dependence on fossil fuels would have been over – instantaneously.  Now, as they face extinction, the final flares of conceit are going to be awesome.  Prepare yourself, world.  For the next 10 years — at least — life as we know it is going to be put on hold while we hear endless variations of The Bucket List.  It’s already started.

Of course, like absolutely everything they ever got their mitts on, the Boomers are going to turn this into an all-consuming adventure.  They’re going to throw around words like “growth” and “healing” and “personal experience,” but, in the end, it’s going to be all about who’s got the most stuff.  There’ll to be books, websites, luggage, coffee cups, furniture, how-tos, greeting cards, television shows — Oh, God, just kill me now!  And forget about travel in the next decade because you’re going to be up to your elbows in old people — and not cool old people either.  It’s going to be those tidy buggers who have taken so much Vitamin I they glow in the dark.  Every chapter of Lonely Planet is going to be filled with creaky old farts and fartesses doing stupid stuff to demonstrate to the world they haven’t lost it – yet.  Skydiving, hang gliding, motorcycle riding and all the other bone-breaking challenges will be full up for the next couple of years.  The broken hips alone are going to confuse future archaeologists for centuries.  And don’t even bother about Kilimanjaro: you’ll be trampled in the stampede.  I haven’t even mentioned poetry, novel writing, painting or modern dance.  One complete generation is going to be scrambling around, trying to cram a lifetime of “meaningful experiences” into the quality years between the retirement dinner and the rest home.  Good luck, ‘cause it ain’t gonna fit!  But the worst thing about it, is, long before the gondolas in Venice fill up, they’re all going to want to talk about it.  Justify it. Analyze it.  Discuss it, and explain their reasons why.  Here’s the reason why: you clowns never just DID anything in your entire life, so now you need a Bucket List to motivate your ass?

Look, I’m sorry you missed a chance at Mary Elizabeth in grade 11.  I’m sorry you didn’t go home with Juan Carlos when you were backpacking through Spain in ‘71.  I’m sorry you spent more time renovating your house than living in it.  I`m sorry you never drove a Lamborghini and I`m sorry you missed the Pyramids.  (If Mubarak doesn’t hit the road soon, I’m going to miss them, too!)  Here`s the truth of it. Though.  Nobody sets out to have a meaningful life; it just happens that way.  Crossing off your experiences like items on a grocery list is not going to coax it along.  And here`s another revelation: it’s not a contest.  Just because you think up some esoteric activity you plan to do before you take the dirt nap, that doesn’t make you  more sensitive, imaginative or  smarter than the next guy.  So don’t strut around like you’ve just captured the flag on the moral high ground.  Finally, and most importantly, nobody but you cares why you want to throw a pebble into the Black Sea, and if you bring it up again, somebody is going to slap you.

Personally I think everybody should have a Bucket List.  I have one.  I wrote it when I was 12 – the first time.  The problem I have with Bucket Lists is that Baby Boomers have always had this uncanny ability to spread their regrets over everything they touch.  They taint everything with disappointment.  Then, they have an unholy need to prance their problems publicly.  They think it is somehow virtuous.  This latest incarnation, the Bucket List, started off as something whimsical, even magical (if you will) but it’s rapidly turning into a hit parade of songs not sung, roads not taken and opportunities missed.  It’s been hijacked by the followers of the gospel according to Lennon “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”   The plain fact is Lennon was wrong.  Every life is a continuum of “101 Things I Want To Do Before I Die.” Most people figure that out early.  If you don’t have a Bucket List throughout you’re life, you’re a dolt.  But if you’re depending on it to make the final arc to immortality for you, you’ve done something horribly wrong.

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8 comments on “The Bucket List

  1. N Watt
    February 2, 2011

    Forget the bucket list and spend whatever time you have left on this earth Living. Sure there are lots of things I would like to do, but if I don’t get to them, oh well, I choose to live my life, and deal with the good, the bad, and yes even the down right nasty, ’cause you know what folks, that is what real living means. This isn’t a job that we have to get done before the “boss” shows up, life isn’t a “to do” list or a job jar. Squeeze as much enjoyment as you can out of each day, scrape the list and start living before it’s too late.

  2. B.J. Vandale
    February 2, 2011

    Well, another movie set the world a talkin’. I don’t think I’ve actually had a “Bucket List” in the sense that WD is talking about. Yes, I have things I wanted to do and see, not so much before I died, just wanted to do them. If I don’t get to it, oh well. I’m one of the “Baby Boomers” who doesn’t want to hurl myself out of an airplane, climb the highest mountain, bungee jump off a cliff, I like my limbs exactly where they are. I want to enjoy my life as it is or as it comes. If someone else thinks they have to pack a lifetime of adventure into what time they have left, go for it, just don’t include me. I want to, weather permitting, take my coffee outside in the morning read the newspaper, move some flowers in the garden, go to a used book sale, enjoy the day. If we decide to take a holiday somewhere that will be good to. “Bucket List”, I don’t think so. For one thing I’m the type of person that would be right pissed off if I died before I got everything done. For those of you with a “Bucket List” go for it, just don’t come and tell me how rejuvenated you feel when you stroked something off your list. I spend all my younger years working to get to where I can do/not do as I please when I please. I think if I would have made a “Bucket List” it never would have included muscle liniment or my limbs in traction.

  3. amoriarty
    February 3, 2011

    The bucket list item I’m particularly fond of is “pay off the mortgage.” The problem is—-then what? Alot of life goes by while paying those bills. Ah, maybe I’m just jealous.

  4. B.J. Vandale
    February 3, 2011

    Yes I can see where the “Mortgage” would be right up there on a person’s “Bucket List” and I suppose if it isn’t paid by the time you are ready to retire and kick back, that would be right at the top of the list. If a person has a lot of bills to pay by the time they are 65, they just might have been enjoying their “Bucket List” along the way. That’s great. Most people can’t, they get the mortgage paid, the car paid, the children’s education paid and if you watched what you were doing you have money put aside for retirement. That is probably why all the “Baby Boomers” are supposedly trying to pack everything they can into the time they have left. It all depends on what you were doing on the way to 65. Everyone has a different “Bucket List” and a way to enjoy every minute of every day. The big problem is if you wait for the magic age of 65 your “Bucket List” just might fit in a thimble.

  5. Maggie L R
    March 22, 2012

    OK, so I have a bucket list and YES I have it posted on my blog for all to see, to laugh at, to criticize and to (I hope) be encouraged by. I find I look at my list with hope. I look at my list to remind myself that there is so much to live for. There is a reason to keep healthy. There is a reson to say no to the baked goods.. It reminds me to live each day to the MAX.!!
    Just sayin….

    • wdfyfe
      March 23, 2012

      I’ve looked at your Bucket List — ambition is never a bad thing. Let me tell you, from experience, the Sidewalk Cafe in Paris is worth every Euro.

      WD wdfyfe.wordpress.com

  6. Pingback: Even adem halen ~ Een Bucketlist via Pinterest? | Anita Holthuis- van Leeuwenkamp (AnitaHvL)

  7. Pingback: The Bucket List: There ARE Limits | WD Fyfe

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This entry was posted on February 2, 2011 by in Social Comment and tagged , , , .
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