Carpe Diem!

By Chelle Cordero

December 21, 2018 4 min read

In 2007, a movie premiered about two men who had terminal illnesses. Although they started out as strangers, they soon began traveling the world together, fulfilling the "Bucket List" one of them had written down.

The term "bucket list" is a list of things to do before you die. The term is derived from "kick the bucket," an idiom and euphemism for dying. The good news, though, is that a bucket list can be started at any age and no longer carries the morbid finality of being close to one's deathbed.

All people should write a list of all the things they would like to do, including places they would like to visit, activities they would like to try, concerts they want to attend and maybe even new foods they'd like to eat. Don't worry if you can't think of everything right now; there will be plenty of time to modify and add to your list, as you no longer have to wait until the twilight years to start it. The concept has become so popular that the internet is teeming with blogs about enjoying life and fulfilling bucket list activities.

So, you start out with a list. It could be 10 or 100 items, and it might seem a bit overwhelming. These pie-in-the-sky dreams, although definitely exciting, may seem too far out of reach for the average human being, and before long, this lengthy list with all of your fanciful dreams is shoved deep in a drawer and forgotten. Along with that forgotten list, the desires and hopes that were recorded slowly fade until there's nothing but regrets about the things you could have done. Maybe, when you realize how close you are to the average life expectancy, you might try again, but you just don't have the energy anymore to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or hike the Appalachian Trail.

Here are some tips to get through your bucket list no matter what age you are when you start it. Write down anything and everything that thrills you over the thought of carrying it out. Next, prioritize and choose the three to five things you most want to do. What do you need to do in order to pursue any one of these items? For instance, if you want to fly a plane, you'll need to get a pilot's license, or at least take flying lessons toward that goal. You'll need access to a plane, and you'll probably have to file a flight plan. Take a look at the activity and decide if it is best to do in a particular season. These are the type of details you'll have to work on in steps.

Decide whether you need or would prefer a buddy to work with on an activity -- such as hiking the Appalachian Trail. To work with a buddy, you would have to coordinate timing and even supplies, and both of you need to be in decent physical shape. Having a bucket list buddy helps with accountability, encouraging you to actually follow through on your list. Many people simply let their lists go because no one else is watching, but holding yourself accountable by sharing your dreams is a very strong motivator. Let your friends know about your bucket list, enlist their help and even participation and share your accomplishments when you get to cross something off as DONE.

Annette White, author of "Bucket List Adventures: 10 Incredible Journeys to Experience Before You Die," said: "The reminder that our time is limited is actually one of the best gifts given. It is one that can guide us to achieve what is most important to us before it is too late."

There are several bloggers who share their bucket list endeavors online. There are also sites where people are invited to join and post their lists within a group so everyone can see when you cross something off; each list owner begins to cheer everyone else on and is encouraged by hearing the success stories. It is never too early or too late to begin your bucket list.

Carpe diem! Seize the day and enjoy life.

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