Whatcha Gonna Do Before They Come for You?

One of MTV’s newest shows is called The Buried Life. The series, a documentary of sorts, follows four Canadian college students who decide to spend their summer vacation whittling down a list of 100 things they want to do before they die.  Yes, they are revisiting what has in the past few years become very a popular theme–the bucket list, but they are doing it with a new twist.  For every item they take off of their list, they have to help someone else, a stranger, achieve a goal as well.  It is interesting how all of a sudden people feel not only the need to define their life goals but to attach the threat of death to them.  I get why two septuagenarians with terminal illness might want to make sure they get some things done before checking out, as was the premise of the 2007 movie The Bucket List. Heck, I can even understand why people in their (cough, cough) forties might want to create such a list.  But college students? Really?  They are worried about mortality now too?

When I was in college, I definitely thought about what I wanted to do, who I wanted to become, I just never remember thinking, I better write this down and get it done, before I die! I never even really gave thought to mortality until my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 53.  I was 24 when that happened and though I never thought about life and death the same way again, I didn’t start listing things I had to get done for fear if I didn’t, I wouldn’t.  Even now, almost 18 years later, I don’t view life as if I am on the clock.  Who knows, maybe I should.  Perhaps those Canadian college kids will wind up with lives far richer than they would have had they not made their list. They do have a TV series after all.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of stuff I still want to do.  As a matter of fact, I am more aware of that now than ever.  It is the opportunities I see others (especially my children) taking advantage of and pursuing, however, that inspires me, not the fear of death.

In that spirit, here are *five things I hope to do one day.  *Not in order of importance, just off the top of my head.

1.  I want to run with the “G” flag across the field of Sanford Stadium.

2.  I want to learn how to play the xylophone part in Violent Femmes song Gone Daddy Gone.

3.  I want to go roller skating in Venice Beach.

4.  I want to play tennis with John Isner (if forced to, I’d settle for James Blake or Rafael Nadal).

5.  I’d like to produce and report a story for Real Sports with Bryant Gumble.  I already know the topic, but think I’ll keep it to myself, just in case…

How about you?  Don’t be shy, what’s on your list?


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6 responses

  1. Wow, I was thinking about my children as I read, then you said it, “It is the opportunities I see others (especially my children) taking advantage of and pursuing…”

    When I think about the future, the only genuine aspirations I have are for my children.

    Perhaps I have grown complacent, but a couple of years back I decided to slow down. My wallet was heavy with various metallic Frequent Flier and Hotel Guest cards. I saw a lot of the world, too little of my children.

    After much evaluation and re-evaluation I came up with this:

    1. Coach my son’s little league team.
    2. Walk each of my daughters down the aisle several years after watching them graduate college.
    3. take the family sailing around the Florida peninsula, from Jax to Pensacola.
    4. Spoil grandchildren!
    5. Watch the Dawgs play in the Rose Bowl for a National Championship.

    • What a great list Mike! I will definitely join you for your item #5–even buy you a beer if I see you up there! 😉

      I find your comments very interesting. I have spent (willingly and deliberately) the past 17 years focused almost solely on my children and family. I am just now starting to think about what I’d like to do in the future. I have a few more years with both kids at home though, so I have some time to figure it out. Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I don’t think it’s so much about mortality. I personally, on my blog, have a list of things to do. I used the Day Zero Project website, and my “completion date” is around the same time I’ll graduate college.

    Also, it’s a well known fact that defining your goals helps you accomplish them 🙂

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