When it comes to making sure they get the most out of life, a lot of people these days will make a bucket list to itemize all the things they want to achieve before they kick the titular ventricle (the bucket). While this is all good and well though, these lists tend to be filled with ‘achievements’ and ‘activities’ which really isn’t what makes up the real meat of life.
No, the things that give life its meaning and make it worth living are the more abstract experiences: the emotions, the relationships and the encounters that you can’t predict. These are what make up the colours of life, and these are the things that make life full and meaningful.
Below then is not a bucket list, but rather a number of moments, feelings and relationships that are worth chasing down. Oh and I’m leaving out the obvious things like ‘having a child’ or ‘falling in love’ because we all know those ones already.
Pushing Yourself to the Limit
Many people will go without ever pushing themselves to the absolute limit (and no, the Centurion Challenge doesn’t count). Taking part in the London Marathon is probably the closest I’ve come personally, but it’s certainly an experience worth chasing down. Once you know your limits, you’ll know yourself better.
Having a Holiday Romance
Holiday romances are bittersweet because they have a kind of time limit attached. While long-distance may be an option, chances are that at the end of the holiday you will go your separate ways. In a way though, that’s what makes the romance so beautiful – you will never argue, and you will never lose the passion. In your minds those two weeks will remain untouchable and perfect, and the beautiful surroundings that served as a backdrop to the romance will only sweeten the deal. It’s a great experience and quite magical when it happens.
Being Present for a Historical Event
If you want to seek out a historical event then you can look for things to attend such as presidential inaugurations or protests. A lot of the time though, being present during a historical moment will be pure luck and not something you can plan. I happened to be outside of the Libyan embassy in Tunisia when Gadhafi was assassinated for instance, and that meant I got to witness some amazing celebrations with people surfing on their cars and guns being shot into the air. Quite an unforgettable experience and one I’ll likely tell the Grandchildren. Even cooler than that though was my great uncle steeling a flag from Goering’s car in Nazi Germany!
Being Completely Alone
Most of us spend very little time on our own which leaves little time for reflection or quiet introspection. Going backpacking, or living alone is a great way to change this. Once you can live on your own, you’ll be much better at living with others (and far more self-sufficient).
Living Somewhere Completely New
I spent a year living in Leeds up North where I knew very few people and stayed in just a small bedsit on my own, but that was nothing compared to a female friend of mine who moved to Boston America (from England) for that year to work nightshifts in a sleep clinic. The experience of being a complete fish out of water and having to make completely new friends/find your way around shows you who you are when your creature comforts and anchors aren’t around to help. It’s incredibly liberating too.
Achieving One of Your Life Goals
Success is a feeling we hopefully all will experience in some capacity, but there are few things that compare to the unbridled kind of success you feel after accomplishing one of your life goals or having one of those ‘big’ successes. Not only is it incredibly vindicating, but it makes you feel like you can then accomplish anything you set your mind to. Which is good, because you can.