Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Wanna Do It All

For those of you that have no idea what is happening in this picture, I will explain. This is a man celebrating the annual tradition of La Tomatina, held in a city near Barcelona in late August. The festival lasts for one hour and participants grab curshed tomatoes from trucks and chuck them at other people, or do things like in the image above. It's an hour of pure release, senseless action, and unabridged fun. I actually plan on doing it this fall.

Very conveniently, it turns out to be the first item in this version of a Bucket List. Like any other, this is designed to list the things anyone should do before they die. However, I Stumbled-Upon this one and fell in love with it. It gives a great balance of experiences ranging from thrilling, emotional, spiritual, gastronomical, historical, rewarding, and even the ones we take for granted. It has 225 of the most interesting things you could ever do or see. I went through and read the description of all of them in two days at work and found that I have done 13 of them already, and I'm pretty happy about that. Because that's not so many, I will list them here:

6. Help a random stranger in distress (just this weekend I returned a patient's folder I found underneath a park bench outside a hospital)
23. Speak a second language fluently(fluent is debatable, but I'm defining capable of communicating in Spanish)
31. Climb Volcan Pacaya(volcano in Guatemala, March 2011)
46. Watch a Space shuttle Launch (Done from a dock in Florida in November 2002, not up close though)
50. Learn to Juggle (taught myself)
64*. Ride all of the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point (Except the Wicked Twister, only out of lack of interest)
126. Attend a midnight screening of a blockbuster (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in summer 2007)
129. Watch a movie at a drive-in theater (surprisingly easy in Barberton)
173. Visit Walt Disney World (Same Thanksgiving break as the space shuttle launch)
202. Build a bonfire and make s'mores (who hasn't)
207. Perfect a magic trick (learned a cool card trick during my gambling phase in the late 2000s)
220. Sleep in a hammock (thanks Mom and Jim)
225. Create a Bucket List ( I already had one, but now realize it needs revisited)

(There was also one that said "Eat out of your comfort zone," but I don't know if that's possible. I ate pig brains already and it may have been the best thing I have ever eaten. I don't know how to top that, and I wasn't uncomfortable eating it.)

This wasn't to brag, because really it is a ridiculously small portion of the things listed, but I am proud of this. I have had some cool experiences that I clearly (based on the facts in the parentheses[this is so meta!]) remember a lot about and will likely never forget. I'm sure some of you have many of the other things on here that I haven't done, but watch your back, I want to do them all.

Why have a bucket list? I think a lot of people get inspired to create this, perhaps after watching the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie or maybe after doing something that made them feel like a kid again, but never follow through on it. And after attempting to do a couple of them, they may get upset at the difficulty and abandon the effort. And even worse, they may return to the list years later and realize how little they still have done and feel awful. Wow, bucket lists sound awful...

But it shouldn't be looked at that way. Bucket lists can be used as general motivation to appreciate life. I have a lot of things on my bucket list that are very ambitious(visit 100 countries, for example) that can probably only be completed in ideal situations. However, the cool thing about that is, I want to do it. The battle we're fighting is not "can I do it" or "will I do it," it's "do I want to do it?" If you want to do some extraordinary things in your life, then you have an extraordinary imagination and potential. That has to be reaffirming in itself. The second we stop dreaming about our capabilities is the second we succumb to complacency. We should always dream huge, even if we know there's nearly no chance it will happen.

But when you do complete some of the things on your list, a couple of things happen. One; you get the satisfaction of completing something you set out to do, which is always wonderful. And two; you grew. Whether you did a good deed, felt a new feeling, saw a new people, you grew. You will learn each time you do something on a bucket list and become a more well-rounded person. That's my favorite part about them - it is one of the best ways to learn about life. 

So if you go through those 225 and find nothing that you haven't done (highly unlikely), get started with number 225.

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