Declaration of Independence…From Bucket Lists


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Today is the Fourth of July, and I’m declaring my independence—from bucket lists.

Yeah, I know. That makes me a little like an anarchist. But being like other people is overrated. Almost everyone has a bucket list and feels oh so smug when they check off an experience.

I hate smugness, especially when someone does something spectacular or cute to justify it. Check out this chick…swimming with sharks. And yes, that is a smug smile behind her scuba gear.

That’s also why Grumpy Cat drives me insane. She’s cute and smug—and has almost six million Facebook likes.


Well, I’m not having any of it. I don’t want to work that hard to feel smug. Besides, I’m a homo sapien, so I can never be Grumpy Cat. And swimming with sharks? Hell no.

Besides, it’s much easier to avoid taking action than taking action; and who isn’t for the easy way?

Full disclosure: I don’t have a bucket list. This fact is odd considering how much I love a good list (just ask my husband). I have some fuzzy ideas of things I’d like to do some day, like touch my toes without bending my knees and sleep through the night without worrying about a bunch of useless shit. But an actual bucket list? Nope.

So here are 28 things that are not on my bucket list, or wouldn’t be if I had one. I could have come up with a lot more but I had to take the dog out to pee, then get triple Americanos from Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure…now those are a couple of bucket list items I could get behind.

  • See the Chippendales (the male dancers, not the Rescue Rangers)
  • Climb Mount Everest
  • Ride a komodo dragon
  • Ride a unicycle
  • Cross the ocean in a sailboat
  • Spend any time below deck in a sailboat (damn motion sickness)
  • Sit on Santa’s lap
  • Clap during songs
  • Floss my teeth with barbed wire
  • See how long I can hold my breath underwater while chained to a John Deere tractor
  • See how long I can hold my breath while my husband “dutch ovens” me
  • Be buried alive
  • Be buried, period
  • Redo high school
  • Wear neon colors (I’ll be good as long as I don’t have to redo high school)
  • Live without electricity for more than a few hours
  • Eat anything while it’s still alive and most stuff that’s already dead
  • Participate in an impromptu interview on the local news (because everyone who does sounds dumb)
  • Drive somewhere I’ve never been without a map
  • Run for political office
  • Run
  • Use a level for every picture I hang (my husband’s seizing right now)
  • Spend time in prison (unless it’s with the ladies of Orange is the New Black)
  • Spend time with someone who feels the need to fill every moment with talking
  • Stop reading
  • Stop rolling my hoodie strings or shirt hems
  • Tightrope walk over the Grand Canyon or a box of puppies
  • Ride the Silly Silo at Adventureland (and I don’t have to because they retired the vomit-inducing beast in 2013)

So, what about you? Do you have a bucket list (smug bastard)? If so, what’s one thing you would never put on it? And just because I’m nice, if you have one, tell me one thing that’s on it…but only if you haven’t done it yet!

9 thoughts on “Declaration of Independence…From Bucket Lists

  1. Kelly-
    This post made me smile because I have one in my “blogs to be written file” entitled “Four things that shoud be on everyone’s bucket list.”
    Truthfully, I don’t have an actual list. I’m like you. I have a vague idea – climb Mt. Hood (not Everest or K2, only insane people or my fictional characters do such a dumb thing) and take a Caribbean cruise are two items I especially hope to accomplish. I don’t feel smug when I can mentally cross something off; but I do hum with accomplishment (like when I went to Germany last summer – mark travel to Europe off the imaginary bucket list). I see the “list” as a way to remind myself of things I want to accomplish or see or experience in the few short years I have on this planet.
    I doubt I will cross them all off and I’m not dogmatic about it anyway. Sounds like the cruise will happen in 2015, and I was thinking about celebrating half-a-century by climbing the mountain (inexperienced climbers just hire professional guides and take the ‘easy’ route up).
    My post is likely to be about things we don’t think about being important to accomplish until we lose someone dear to us and we can no longer do them. Like take a vacation with my mom, sister and neice (which was planned for this August but mom passed in January). Wish we would have done it last August. Can’t change the past, but I can reflect on other things I will regret not doing and put them on my imaginary bucket list.

    1. I’ve had the same thing happen, Sharon—have an idea for a blog post and see a similar take or twist on someone else’s. Too funny! I really like the idea of yours. I’ve mentioned taking a trip with my mom too and keep putting it off. Your comment has made me seriously consider moving up that timeline.

      Sounds like you’ve had some pretty awesome experiences so far! Keep going…like you said we only have a few short years here.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    1. Hi Kit! Yeah, I could have added sky-diving to my list/non-list too. I wish I felt differently about it because it seems that most people are so jazzed about the experience afterward. But I really would like to limit the death-tempting things I try in this life. Guess I better stop driving a car then.

      Thanks much for reading and sharing your thoughts! Have a good holiday—bucket list or not!

  2. Hey Kelly! Oops! I guess I am one of those smug bitches you are talking about because I DO have a bucket list and definitely feel good when I go “check!” Something I HAVEN”T done yet but I WILL is go to Egypt….but we are sort of waiting for the inconvenient dictatorship to work itself out so I can do!

    But NOW I find I need to have an un-bucket list because I could just as equally come up with a list like you of things I NEVER need to do. Thanks for the idea. Happy Independence Day! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living recently posted…Simple Living–A Cure For FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)My Profile

    1. Just between you and me, Kathy, I’m secretly jealous of people who check stuff off their bucket lists. Nothing worse than a list with nothing checked or crossed off. So you go! Although, like you said, maybe not to Egypt yet…

      Thanks for reading and sending your thoughts my way!

  3. Lol I love your Anti-Bucket List… I don’t have one, honest! Which, like you say, is weird, because I have a list for *everything* else! Anyway, why is it called a bucket list?! Which leads me to something on my Anti-Bucket List: Boycott Google.
    saralitchfield recently posted…The Night ButterfliesMy Profile

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