Kicking the Bucket

—Brian—

Some people develop a “bucket list,” a list of things they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket.”

I’ve never made a bucket list. However, some years back, I started to develop what I called the “Anti-Bucket List.”

My Anti-Bucket List was a growing list of things that I said I would never do in my life.

I know “anti” is not the correct grammatical way to put it. But what I found was that for years I had been saying I would not do certain things and as the list started mounting, one day I just called it my “Anti-Bucket List” for the sake of giving reason to my weirdness… and it stuck.

I think it just made it weirder.

But for years I stood by this thing.
I believed what I was doing was something good… It made sense to me…

Sure, if I had put stuff on there like, “I’ll never…
Do drugs
Steal
Speed
Get eaten by a shark…”

It would make sense. Those are all good things not to do.

However, my Anti-Bucket list was a bit different.

It had things like…

Never drink coffee
Never learn to tie a tie
Never watch Lord of the Rings
Never ride a ride that goes upside down
Never eat biscuits and gravy
Never hold a baby before it can hold its own head up
Never help someone move more than once
And other random things.

And… I had reasons for EACH of these things.

For example:

This will sound dorky, but…
In college I got into an argument with a friend when the movie Lord of the Rings was coming out. He said that the trilogy would be better than the Star Wars trilogy. I’ll spare you all the nerdy details and just say I ended the conversation by saying, “Well… I’m never going to watch Lord of the Rings then.”

Thus… it got put on the Anti-Bucket List.

Now funny thing is, my friend doesn’t even remember the conversation. However, 17 years later I still refused to watch it when someone would talk about it and say, “You’ve never seen Lord of the Rings? You gotta watch it!”


I think I developed this growing list of things I would not do for two main reasons.

The first reason:

I liked to be comfortable… I liked things to be easy… no conflict… I liked to play it safe.

I knew that if I had a list of things I would never do, then I could stay in my own comfortable bubble and do only things that were easy for me.

The bigger picture was that not only was I not doing things that were on my Anti-Bucket List, but I found it easy to not do any things that might have caused me uncomfort or things that weren’t easy for me.

It became more than a list… It became the way I lived my life.

When we only do things that are easy or comfortable for us, we become selfish.

IT IS COMFORTABLE TO BE SELFISH.

And that is what I had become.

I mostly did things that were good for me or benefitted me in someway.

I think we all battle this… some more than others obviously…

But deep down, we have to fight off our selfishness.

The second reason:

I had a fear of failing… a fear of something not being perfect… of not being right or things going wrong.

It becomes easy to not do or try things when you are AFRAID of what the result might be. 

I constantly focused on the negative.

I knew that if I did something or tried something, there was a chance it might go wrong… so why try? I was content and okay with the current situation, so why do something different or new?


I’ve begun to change my thinking on this.

I’ve gotten rid of my Anti-Bucket List… But it hasn’t just been about getting rid of the list.

For me it has been a total mindset change… one that I am still working on.

But isn’t the main thing in life that we are constantly working on becoming better people?

A better parent
A better spouse
A better brother/sister
A better employee
A better friend
A better neighbor

And the way to do this is to just start somewhere…


The first thing off the list for me was learning to tie a tie.

I still remember where I was.
I still remember the stress surrounding the situation.
I still remember Anna-Marie handing me the tie, saying, “Here is Knox’s tie. He needs it tied, and you gotta do it.”

At the time I was going through a period in my life where I was discovering how selfish I had become…
I was realizing that my negative mindset needed to change…

As I watched YouTube videos on how to tie a tie…

I was working on learning to tie a tie… but I was really working on breaking away from my negative mindset and my selfish nature.

IMG_4848


In the near future, I think I will create an actual Bucket List.

I’ll come up with a list of goals, experiences, and things I want to do before I die.
But for now, I’m going to keep kicking the bucket…

The Anti-Bucket List is just a result of the larger picture for me.
It’s not the problem.
It’s just a simple image of the larger issues I needed to work on.

I would encourage everyone to kick their own bucket.

Let’s keep removing things in our lives that aren’t really us…
Those things that don’t make us the people we want to be…
The stuff that holds us back from being the best version of ourselves…

Next up for me? Biscuits and gravy…

(Does it not look like someone just puked on your perfectly good biscuits?)

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