Do you have a bucket list? I’d be surprised if you didn’t. Everyone seems to have a bucket list these days, but if the term is one that is new to you, perhaps a short definition is in order.
What Exactly is a Bucket List?
A bucket list is, by definition, a list of things that you want to do before you die. The term gained in popularity after the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” where Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson (both of whose characters are dying of cancer) create a bucket list of things to do before they die – and then actually do them. But where did the term come from? Better yet, what kinds of things would you put on a bucket list?
Origins of the Term “Bucket List”
There is a good deal of controversy as to the exact origins of the term “bucket list.” Some people say that it dates back to the Middle Ages when a method of execution involved the victim standing on a bucket with a noose tied around their necks. The bucket would then be kicked away and the victim would strangle to death.
Another popular theory involves a reference to the Catholic custom of holy-water buckets. It used to be that after a person died their body would be laid out and a bucket of holy-water would be placed at the feet of the corpse. Friends and family who came to visit and pay their respects would sprinkle the body with the water
Finally, there was once a children’s game that was quite popular. In this game children would kick a ball about buckets that were placed randomly. If they kicked the bucket they would automatically lose the game and have to sit out.
It is easy to see how the term could have been adapted to be associated with death and those things that you would want to do today if you thought it possible that you might die tomorrow. But how exactly do you make a bucket list, and what kinds of things would you put on your bucket list if you were to make one?
Making a Bucket List
Making a bucket list is easy. You simply start writing down the things that you’ve always wanted to do but that you never got around to doing like bungee jumping, skydiving, traveling to Italy or learning French; something that you have always wanted to do. Sound simple? Well, it can be a bit more difficult than you’d think. Especially when you have to actually choose the things you really want to do and not be constrained by societal norms and traditions or expectations as to what is “right” or “wrong” or what is acceptable behavior.
The key of course is to simply start writing the first things that come into your head with no consideration of whether you should or shouldn’t want to do a particular thing. By writing exactly what comes into your head you are being true to your innermost core, and being honest with yourself is the most important thing of all.