One of the buzz words in today’s society is "bucket lists."
What is on your bucket list? And are bucket lists for kids out of college, individuals going through a mid-life crisis or senior citizens?
The answer to that second part appears to be all three.
"People create bucket lists as seniors as part of bringing closure to their lives," said Dr. Bob Humphries, associate professor of psychology at Walsh University, via email. "Others create bucket lists for a particular year to be sure to do a particular think or accomplish something. We all make bucket lists."
Humphries indicated everyone makes a bucket list, writing that bucket lists serve as a basis for accomplishing goals, and are especially common among people who traditionally set goals. They can be unique to an individual or family or could be as simple as completing something around the house.
"Bucket lists can be fun," wrote Dr. Humphries. "We may have something we have always wanted to do and never been able to that we want to cross off that list and enjoy. Not all bucket lists contain indulgent kinds of things. Sometimes they contain simple things like traveling later in life, for example, when the demands of work before retirement have kept you from doing so earlier in life."
In earlier generations, the words "bucket list" did not exist. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, for instance, people played bridge or formed other card clubs, spent time with family and extended family. Society today has changed and the focus appears to be more on the me generation.
"I have not encountered a bucket list that someone would describe as selfish, per se," wrote Dr. Humphries. "I believe there is still a focus on families and the things we want to do with them and for them. Work and play have continued to be the two basic human activities and bucket lists can contain both."
Humphries wrote about some example of bucket lists people may have. "That project at the house I have never been able to get to may be a bucket list item or something more fun like transferring all my vinyl records to MP3s to be able to enjoy them.
"Like anything in life the bucket list can be an interesting twist on what has been thought of as more of a retirement, senior thing to create into a 2017 bucket list that can be enjoyed by all and meets our family, social, projects or fun goals for that year."
Today, social media plays a role in individual’s life. When one person has an experience and shares that experience, this can help shape bucket lists for other people.
"I am not sure of the role of social media," wrote Dr. Humphries. "I have certainly found a few lists on Facebook of things people wanted to do or have done. That has sparked a bucket list interest, but I am just not sure."
Bucket lists items often have a financial impact, whether that is part of house project or traveling to a destination.
"Financial risks are the same as adding anything to the list of daily activities we participate in," wrote Dr. Humphries. "Everything we do comes at a price and if we don’t have the money, we would be more responsible to create a list of freebies I want to do this year for example or plan a bucket list budget of some kind."
Humphries wrote it is ok for a husband and wife to have different bucket lists but he said it is also good that they can create some things to do together. He also wrote that famed psychologist William Gasser who gave us Realty Therapy would talk about the need for fun, and creating a bucket list could in fact meet that need whether or not we actually accomplish those activities.
"Anything we have put off, because we get busy with the day to day of work and family becomes a possible bucket list item," wrote Dr. Humphries.