Imagine two terminally ill men, a billionaire and a mechanic, realizing that they both share a passion to accomplish unfulfilled dreams until they ““kick the bucket.” “The Bucket List” refers to a wish list that these two men try to fulfill before each kicks the bucket. After they break out of a cancer ward, they head off on the road trip of a lifetime with an itinerary that includes racing cars, eating giant plates of caviar and slinging poker chips in Monte Carlo, becoming friends along the way and learning to live life to the fullest. Each goal that is accomplished is ticked off the “bucket list”, and they realize that this adventure is what defines them as human beings and gives them the joy that had been quite elusive in the past.
I can connect to the film because we are all in the same boat. Whether we’re going to die tomorrow or the next day or down the road, we were born with the knowledge that we’re going to die. Everybody has that on some level.
““The Bucket List” is fictional but famous stories of ““life lists” abound, inspired by close brushes with death. Ted Leonsis, the owner of the Washington Capitals and one of the geniuses at America Online grabbed some paper while an airplane flight experienced severe turbulence. Ted listed down all of the things he’d do if he survived this plane ride. He lived, of course and now uses his ““life list” as a tool to teach others about how to set and achieve goals, using a life list as the roadmap for a fulfilling life.
Dalai Lama, in his 19 ““instructions for life,” is similar to ““The Bucket List”. Dalai’s first instruction is: ““Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.” Number 16 is: ““Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before.” The idea of life lists involve taking action and taking risks.
Ultimately, the film’s message is to find joy in life.
The road from mourning to joy was not easy. Pain is our greatest teacher. Regardless of where the pain comes from, there are always lessons to be learned. Pain from losing my loved ones moved me towards finding the joy. Grief is inevitable but misery is optional. Joy over misery is the path I chose. Today, I find joy in myself, from my husband, friends and family. Finding joy is tantamount to finding yourself.
Watching “The Bucket List” may not inspire philosophical introspection, but it’s quite likely to make you re-examine your priorities. Before watching this movie, my “bucket list” was already in place. Just to give you an idea…my bucket list revolves mainly on travel and advocacy which I am trying to achieve little by little. Most of all, it is to enjoy life.
Recovery is not solely about stopping the pain. Recovery is about learning to make ourselves feel better. It’s about making ourselves feel good.
Enjoy your day.