You’ve probably come across Bucket Lists – lists that people make of things they want to do and places they want to see before they die.
But how about an unbucket list? Ann Brenoff recently coined the term on Huff/Post50: a list of things we’ve done and hope never to do again.
“Easy!” I thought, and quickly jotted down some ideas:
- Childbirth (plus other sources of extreme physical pain)
- Grief and other forms of emotional pain (not that we can stop the things that cause it from happening)
- Hearing someone younger tell me I am clearly “middle-aged.” Ouch!
The pain of childbirth was not that horrendous (thanks to an epidural) and was more than made up for by the birth of our son. And compared with many people’s ailments, I’m lucky that the physical pain I’ve experienced in my life has been minimal.
The emotional “pain” I experienced during my teenage years, along with the various disappointments suffered since then, are all minor when I look at the serious psychological issues people deal with their whole lives.
And, yes, aging isn’t always easy, but I’ll take that over the alternative. Besides, isn’t 60 now the new 40? ;-)
So I’ve learned it’s how we respond to hardships that matters. Will we rise to the occasion and deal with them, or just crawl up in a ball and cry?
I choose to dig deep within and find the positive in difficult times.
My Un-Bucket List just morphed into a Gratitude List!
My Revised Un-Bucket List
Happiness and pain have a lot to do with what I can control in my life and what I can’t. So here’s my new list: Things I Can’t Control and Don’t Want to Experience Again.
- Hearing about family or friends diagnosed with cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or other serious illnesses
- Facing the deaths of family and friends
Those are the two things I would absolutely love to live without, and I will deal with everything else life throws my way.
And here’s what I heard from Audrey, who’s old enough to be my mom but says her mental age is 59:
“I have no un-bucket list. Everything I did has been an experience (good or bad), which makes for memories, mistakes or just learning more about life.”
What would you put on your Un-Bucket List? Please add your thoughts below.