Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bucket Lists Are NOT Stupid.

I read a really stupid article today. Slate featured the article, "Bucket Lists: America's New Idiotic Pastime." If you don't care to read it, it basically says that bucket lists are stupid, dangerous and selfish.

I completely disagree.

A bucket list isn't about "hurling lists into buckets" (somebody fundamentally doesn't understand this concept, I believe).

It's about dreaming, it's about setting goals for yourself and it's about looking forward to life without letting the days get away from you. A bucket list is about making sure that you are making the most of your life.

Nobody wants to be eighty-five years old, on death's doorstep, saying, "I wish I had..." or "I regret that I didn't..."

The whole point of these lists is to (basically) prioritize. If you want to do all these things, don't spend your time and your money on things that you don't want or don't care about.

Without further adieu, I present you with my bucket list:

Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Do the Book of Mormon tour through Central America

Publish a novel

Visit Palmyra and the Sacred Grove

Go horseback riding


See a live Broadway show

Fly first class

Take martial arts classes

Learn salsa dancing

Learn to speak Spanish fluently- not just sufficient for work

Take all of our kids camping together

Go to General Conference in Salt Lake

Go to Dragon Con, or Comic Con, some nerdy convention, I haven't picked which

Teach my parents to swing dance


Take each of my boys to the MTC

Visit every branch of the Smithsonian

Tour the White House

Grow a successful vegetable garden- one that I can actually eat from all season long

Run away (drop the kids somewhere, or maybe this will be after they are grown, go to the airport, pick a place and just go... no plans, no reservations, just go)

Travel to Alaska

Sleep on the beach

Go to the beach in the winter and have to whole place to ourselves

Visit all 5 Great Lakes

Anonymously pay for a non-family member to complete a mission or go to college

Join a bowling league

Go ice skating outdoors, in a place where ice would naturally occur (not Mill Avenue***)

Learn to play to guitar

Put my head against the glass of the observation deck of the Sears Tower a la Ferris Bueller

Visit the Grand Canyon

Visit Las Vegas

Go to Disneyland at Christmas time

Visit Sea World

Swim with the dolphins (this was actually planned, and foiled during a trip to Jamaica in 2005)

Run a Disney 5K race

Visit Australia

Learn to surf.

Speak/ teach at EFY. In order to do this, I have to submit a video of me teaching the youth, so I need to get called to be a youth teacher or seminary teacher, or something of the like...

Camp out overnight in anticipation of something

Read the Bible, cover to cover

Read the Book of Mormon, cover to cover

Attend an Olympic event

Attend a major league sporting finals/championship (Super Bowl, NBA Finals, etc)


Camp in the snow

Visit the Caribbean

Visit Disney World

Dance on the beach

Attend a giant New Year's Eve block party

See the Northern Lights

Be in the "live studio audience" for a TV show

Learn to belly dance

Ride a zip line in a jungle or rainforest

Become a semi-skilled marksman (markswoman?)

See the Egyptian pyramids 

Do Summerfest

Do an all-day country concert

See a rock legend in concert

Solve the Rubik's cube, and be able to repeat the success

Do a fitness boot camp

Fit back into my size 8's and stay there

*Watch the AFI's greatest films of all time (I've seen a lot of the remakes in addition to the ones crossed off, but I guess I better watch the originals, too)

*Read BBC's list of 100 greatest books

Learn to ride a motorcycle

Take a helicopter ride

Rent a fancy sports car and ride the entirety of old Route 66 (alternately, we could do this on motorcycles)

Visit Ellis Island

Go to the top of Empire State Building

Dine at one of those rotating restaurants

Visit Arlington Cemetary

Go SCUBA diving

Go snorkeling


Be on Jeopardy

Read and study the Old Testament all the way through

Visit Oregon. (JD's extended family lives there)

Visit a Sandals-type resort: a tropical, luxury vacation without children running around... bliss.

Visit a palace

Get JD's side of the family ALL together for a family photo (this might actually take somebody being on their deathbed for this to happen.)- DONE! December 2010

Visit Washington DC.

Take a weekend girls trip with my sisters and do all indulgent, selfish, girly things all weekend long: massages, pedicures, manicures, shopping, eating out, makeovers, etc.

Ride in a hot air balloon

Serve a mission

Go dancing in New York City

*Get a Master's degree

Go hunting with JD

Learn to snowboard

Be entirely, 100% debt free (I REALLY want this one scratched off WAY before I die!)

Visit Hawaii

Take a cruise through the Mediterranean

Take a Disney Cruise


I know it's long... but I'm not even thirty yet. I should have time to get it all done! What about you? What's on your list? If it's too long to put in the comments, write your own post and drop a link to it :)

* these things are in currently in progress

10 comments:

  1. You BETTER come to Australia!!! I will haunt you in the afterlife if you don't. #justsaying

    Um. I mean... Great list!! No, seriously. About 90% of mine are travel related. And I put some of mine into my 101 in 1001 list. I also have a super secret list that I keep in the depths of my brain called "Celebrities I would like to meet and possibly convince to marry me." At the moment, that list is:
    1. Tom Hiddleston
    2. David Tennant
    3. Joshua Jackson
    4. Jeremy Renner

    Crap. I guess it's not such a super secret list any more...

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  2. Totally a legit version of a bucket list, IMO.

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  3. That's an awesome as list! Agreed with Melbourne, you should DEFINITELY come to Australia, and might I suggest you take the extra time and come over WEST! The East Coast is okay, but the West is BEST!
    Some of your items have got me dreaming... ahhhh. Good Luck!

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  4. I say that article yesterday too and didn't even read it, because just looking at the title my reaction was, "Pfffttt! No they aren't, that's stupid. It something is important to somebody, then writing an article about it being idiotic is idiotic in and of itself. Who are you to say people shouldn't dream or set milestones, stupid article-person?"

    So yeah. I think bucket lists are nice. It's a fun way to think of all the crazy things you'd like to do, such a skydiving, but it's also a cool way to notice what your real priorities are--such as setting one to reconnect with an estranged family member, or forgive someone who hurt you, or ask forgiveness from someone you hurt. That kind of thing.

    I hope you get all your list items!

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  5. I keep saying that I need to do this. I know that there are things "on my list" but I haven't written them down. After reading The List last week, SuzyG mentioning her before I turn 40 list, and now this - I'm taking it as a sign. *screams at the ceiling* "Alright, I get it! Make a bucket list. Sheesh!"

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  6. I keep saying that I need to do this. I know that there are things "on my list" but I haven't written them down. After reading The List last week, SuzyG mentioning her before I turn 40 list, and now this - I'm taking it as a sign. *screams at the ceiling* "Alright, I get it! Make a bucket list. Sheesh!"

    ReplyDelete
  7. I keep saying that I need to do this. I know that there are things "on my list" but I haven't written them down. After reading The List last week, SuzyG mentioning her before I turn 40 list, and now this - I'm taking it as a sign. *screams at the ceiling* "Alright, I get it! Make a bucket list. Sheesh!"

    ReplyDelete
  8. I keep saying that I need to do this. I know that there are things "on my list" but I haven't written them down. After reading The List last week, SuzyG mentioning her before I turn 40 list, and now this - I'm taking it as a sign. *screams at the ceiling* "Alright, I get it! Make a bucket list. Sheesh!"

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  9. Somehow the concept does not appeal to me, but I don't think it's stupid. Maybe it's because I am older, have traveled a lot, and I am living my dream, and my life is a bucket of magic.there are always things I I would "like" to do, sure, but not if it takes away from the time I spend doing the things I love, the things that enrich my life. Like Emma said it is a great way of prioritizing your life.

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  10. Reading about Bucket ListsSeptember 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    If you want to publish a novel you might want to add "take a writing class" to that list (it's "without further ado" by the way). I'm going to be the hater on this comment thread, mostly because of one thing you wrote:

    "Nobody wants to be eighty-five years old, on death's doorstep, saying, 'I wish I had...' or 'I regret that I didn't...'"

    Nobody has to be that person, regardless of whether or not they made and finished a list. It's all about perspective. Someone who made a bucket list and didn't finish it might be saying "I wish I had finished my bucket list," and even someone who finished theirs might say, "I regret that I didn't make a bigger bucket list!"

    Nothing at all prevents one from giving thanks, list or no. While the Slate article might have a sarcastic tone, I think what it's getting at is the ever-present workaholic idealism in western culture. We're told we need to do more, see more, be more, or we won't be happy, when in truth the only difference between "I wish I had..." and "I'm thankful I had..." is purely mental.

    I see a lot of the items on your list have to do with family, and I think it's great that you prioritize those relationships in your life. While you make a list involving activities with them as a way to express gratitude, others may find that type of formalism restricting and prefer to simply be present and enjoy the company of family when they are near. I know this is something that my mother and I differ on significantly - she loves to plan plan plan, and during visits we're usually shuffling between Segway tours and theater plays and trendy restaurants if she has her way, while I'd rather sit and mull over a crossword together at a local coffee shop for hours on end, or have an up-all-night game of cards or scrabble at the kitchen table.

    Basically, my mother is the type that would make a bucket list - I am not. In fact the very idea gives me waves of anxiety - more to do!? No thank you. That doesn't mean, however, that if someone asks me to go on a hot air balloon ride or take a trip to Bali that I wouldn't go, quite the opposite. But I prefer the mental space of being list-free, and I wholeheartedly understand Doonan's addition to his mock-up list of ridding his toe of fungus - I'd trade a year of swing dance lessons to stop getting pimples on my chin once and for all! ;)

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