Recently I went to a 60th birthday of some really close friends. It was a great night and everyone was enjoying themselves.
I walked over to a couple of men who were also celebrating being 60 this year and we started chatting about the things we had done, the things we hadn’t done; general chat about our lives.
I must admit to being shocked by these two very successful men – they were quite gloomy and finally admitted that they had achieved everything that they had set out to achieve when they left school. There was nothing left on either of their ‘bucket lists’ for them to do! They each had achieved the pinnacle of their careers, had really happy marriages, great kids, travelled extensively , had had great hobbies and had played sports when they were younger but now there was nothing left to do.
This reminded me of a very dear friend who I met when we were both at university. Her dad told me one day that he had studied every degree there was to study with the exception of medicine and there was nothing else of interest for him to learn. Sadly he passed away a few months later – just before the beginning of the computer age and all the new learnings that go with it. I always believed that he gave up when he thought there was nothing more for him to do and he thought that his life had lost any meaning for him.
So while chatting with these two friends I thought they might have been on the same path to oblivion if they didn’t do something about creating a new ‘bucket list’ now.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions what about adding ideas to your bucket list – or better still add to it throughout the year so there is always something to look forward to and you remain hopeful of the future.
Bucket lists can include simple things such as a walk in the park, going to a movie or a restaurant you have read about and want to visit, a list of people you need to call during the year just ‘because’, travel destinations, a new sport you are interested in or a new hobby. Anything and everything that you think might even mildly interest you goes on your bucket list and then you always will have something to look forward to.
Writing the bucket list down is very important too because when you are feeling a bit down or lonely your mind scans back to all the times you felt down or lonely before and you feel worse – it is also impossible to think of new things to do when you are feeling lonely or just miserable.
I suggest that you add one item or idea to each of the following categories and when you have finished with one idea then add another one so that there are always a minimum of 5 things on your list.
These 5 things are important for us to maintain a vital life:
- Work or something that contributes to financial security
- Some sort of sport to keep us physically fit
- An hobby for relaxation
- Some sort of learning to keep our minds mentally alert
- Family and friends for social and emotional well being
Then on top of that we need to speak to at least 7 different people every day.
If we all maintain our lists as a vital part of our life then we will not be like my two mates at the party who had nothing left to live for.