For those unfamiliar with the term, a bucket-list is essentially a list of experiences one wants to gain before ‘kicking the bucket’ or ‘meeting their Maker’. Hollywood is partially responsible for making ‘The Bucket-List” concept widely popular. It has been romanticized endlessly as the ultimate gift one character can give another; they are to help the other main character cross off all of the items, travel to remote destinations and partake in kooky adventures- all this mentioned on the bucket-list before they die.
Ever seen Mandy Moore’s ‘A Walk to Remember’ ? One of Jamie’s wishes is to be in two places at the same time, so Landon makes it happen:
It is easy to see the allure in choosing this concept for moviemakers as it makes for a straightforward plot line. But here, on this blog, we are sticking to the real world.
I say down with the bucket-list! Enough with adding bullet-points upon bullet-points to soothe the frustrated soul and the impatient mind into believing that you will, indeed, take a big juicy bite out of Life- Someday.
As a South Asian woman, especially as a Pakistani woman in today’s world, the lingering narrative is to ‘wait’ – wait until you are married to travel, wait for approval from a large, faceless ominous presence called “log” (a Desi-Urdu term for community) before choosing your major for graduate school, wait until the kids are older before going back to work (or to begin working in the first place!), wait for a better time for your partner before trying out a side hustle – just keep waiting.
If you are reading this, you are practically enrolled in the Catalyst Woman movement. I will let you in on a little secret- us Catalyst Women, we do not wait for change to happen – we are the ones who make it happen!
Ease off the brakes and gently push down upon the accelerator when it comes to living your best life in 2018. Replace the winding scroll of travel destinations, quirky hobbies and languages to learn with a point-by-point Action Plan. Rather than dampen your dreams (and your spirit) by banishing them to a distant, undefined point in the future, try feeding the same list into a task management tool like Asana and start figuring out the logistics for attaining “Experience #1”.
Be realistic about what resources you have at hand – so that means taking a long, hard look at whether you have the basic requirements sorted – the savings, the passport,the right credentials- before embarking on “Experience #1”. Worst case scenario? You’ll find out exactly what needs to be done before you can scale Mt. Kilimanjaro or enroll in vegan cooking classes. Add that to your ‘to-do’ list and get cracking!
If your dreams are founded upon undeniable aspirations, they deserve a chance to be actualized. No one will give you express permission to do so – not your boss, not your partner, not your pets- so you will need to be practical, focused and find motivation from within yourself about it all.
What is more logical and practical than an action plan?!