Everywhere I turn there seems to be a new BuzzFeed article about bucket lists – especially bucket lists for your 20s, bucket lists for singles, etc.
When I was a teenager, someone told me about bucket lists and they seemed like such a cool idea I went ahead and made one – but my bucket list isn’t something I’m in a huge rush to finish. There’s stuff on there that will take me an entire lifetime to accomplish, which I sort of thought was a key aspect to bucket lists.
I think the term has been misappropriated a little by our #YOLO generation. By throwing the words “bucket list” in front of a bunch of pictures of pretty places around the globe, I’m suddenly flooded by the urge that time is passing too quickly and I’ve got to rush off and go see these things now.
I think it’s connected to the same hysteria that made me wonder if my life was over as I approached turning 30 – only to find out that it’s not. Surprise, surprise, 31 and 32 still happened and I suspect time is just going to keep marching forward and I’m just going to keep being me.
There’s also an intense artificiality to all these bucket lists. It’s never something like visit Rome and have conversation with a local and a spend a few days calmly sipping espresso and thinking about life or take two years of your life and learn a new language.
- Visit Rome ✓
- Visit Budapest ✓
- Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro ✓
- See Victoria Falls ✓
It’s like if we just keep moving fast enough and collecting enough check marks, we’ll see all the things.
But I wonder if a lot of these are distractions from what really matters in life – not that I’ve fully worked out exactly what matters in life myself, but I have realized that I’m a hardcore check mark collector and that most of my bucket list check marks don’t matter all that much.
Honestly, I can check more things off the typical bucket list than most folks I know and I’m only 32. Are we just extra blessed at life these days that we get to experience so much more than our parents and grandparents or have we missed a more important boat? One that doesn’t seem to sail through millennial waters much.
I think the bucket list conundrum also connects to all the articles I read on how millennials like to spend their money – we’re an experience driven generation and I love that about us. We’d rather buy a trip to Asia than a shiny new car and I think that’s awesome – there’s definitely a lot that’s admirable in that mindset. I just also think that maybe we have to make sure we’re experiencing the experiences rather than just buying a collection of them. Personally, I’m not always sure that I do.
How about you? Have you noticed that uptick in bucket lists? Do you ever wonder if millennials are doing life backwards? Do you think the constant pursuit of the next check mark is worth it?