The Bucket List

Ever since the movie ‘The Bucket List’ written by Justin Zackham and starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson hit the screens the phrase ‘bucket list’ has been tossed around. It has made it into the lexicon, pretty much like ’24/7′ and to have ‘closure’. One of the big ticks on a lot of bucket lists is to climb Mount Everest. In fact, with a spare fifty grand and two months of your life, you too can add to the growing number of ‘Summiteers’ or frozen bodies the tick has created in the past couple of decades.

I always wonder how much a claim to something like this is done for one’s own personal development, to prove to yourself you can push your boundaries… and how much is about showing off. Don’t get me wrong, showing off is a genuine human trait we have all shared a sometime in our lives and not restricted to toddlers or teens. However one should consider the risks involved and despite a 13 year old and a 76 year old on the list of Summiteers, getting to the top is still no walk in the park. Is it worth it? Only those who try and fail or succeed can answer that question. The rest of us can only answer the question ‘is it worth it for me?’

Not for this little black duck. Even if I had the money and time I don’t have the health and fitness anymore. Life deals you your hand and shuffles the cards now and then and while once you were young and fit and healthy you can easily become older, overweight and ill. You have to be honest and to an extent accept your situation and limitations while always looking to stretch those boundaries and achieve more. You can do this sensibly or stupidly. For me, even thinking of Everest is stupid. Sensible is perhaps something a little more within my capabilities and experience, like sailing around Cape Horn.

I’m 50 next year and I plan to round the Horn as one of the events on my own ‘bucket list’. I call it the ‘Faking It At Fifty’ list because I don’t feel any pressure to get it ticked up before I kick the bucket, rather just within the year I turn 50 and the year I am 50. So I have 24 months to work with. If I don’t get it all done in time… I’ll add it to my ‘From 50 to 60′ List. There’s nothing like being a little flexible when it comes to ticking off things on lists… or life itself for that matter. Few things we ever contemplate, attempt or achieve are truly, ‘life or death’ after all.

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