The Bucket List and other life essentials

“ (pointing at altimeter) We’re at 3000 ft now”

“(thumbs up) Great!… How high are we going?”

“14000 ft”

“Oh, cool”
internal monologue and nervous laughter… “aaauummm… 11000 ft higher?! So, um, we’re pretty fuckin high already…”  

Goals, dreams, wunderlust – whatever you want to call it – we should all have things we want to do. The Bucket List.

A safari on the Serengeti, overcoming the fear of public speaking, diving with great whites, writing a book, learning to make the perfect pasta by hand, running naked in a rainstorm, solving a rubiks cube without pulling it apart  (or even getting tied to a chair in a sexual fantasy) – no matter what’s on it, our bucket list inspires us to break the boredom of the everyday, reminding us to challenge the senses, aspiring to be, and do, more than our daily selves.

For my 30th i had planned to skydive. I didn’t. Then through laziness and partner vetoes – 31, 33, 35 – all passed with that familiar “one day I’ll do it” tone. For my 39th birthday i finally fulfilled that dream

Waiting for take off, our group of 8 divers laughed in the face of fear, shared the nerves, anticipation, excitement (and questioned our sanity more than once); and then, with a few final thumbs up and nervous laughs, we boarded the plane; the really, really small plane with a plastic roller door.

So let me tell you, the flight up is like a bumpy six flags rollercoaster of emotional fervour – From hysterical giggles to bitten back tears, it’s terror, joy, anxiety and turbulence. It’s 1 phrase, 3 ways: Mack, Dude….

“WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK. ?!”

Sat with my feet dangling out of the plane at 14000Ft, about to jump, a wave (or cloud?) of achievement and excitement hit me. Over the years I’ve dreamed, watched hours of video, lived vicariously through others, imagining how this would feel and it been on the list so long that I was starting to believe I’d never do it. . The fear, the rush, the personal challenge, the joy, the fun – the feeling of truly living – it was even more than I imagined.

 

Through the 60 second free fall, I laughed – that real, heart felt, elated laugh that makes you know you’re living.

During the glide down to earth I smiled in wonder – wonder at the world below me, wonder at myself and wonder at the whole experience.

When we hit the ground, with high 5’s, faces beaming and dream fulfilled, all we could say was “AWESOME!”.

I don’t know about my dive buddies but I was ready to run to the nearest plane and jump again.

We think material items and being “busy” fulfils us and make us happy, but studies like Dr Thomas Gilovich’s provide evidence that fulfilling experiences bring much greater, long term happiness . Happiness, that’s the value in creating and fulfilling your Bucket List. As simple as it is important.

It took me 9 years. Don’t wait that long to fulfil a dream. Dig out your Bucket List, pick something, right now – and go live it.

What did you choose?

 

Advertisements