My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘life experiences’

My stay-in-the-bucket list

Most of you have all heard about the concept of having a ‘bucket list’ or, rather, a personal list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life-experiences you wish to have before you ‘kick the bucket’. I think that everyone should have some sort of list like this, whether it’s written down, emailed to your i-phone, or just simply in that noggin of yours somewhere. Having such a list allows us to be held accountable for what we want to achieve, see and do in our lives, helping us to maximize every moment we have and live life to the fullest.

                 What do you want to do before you die?

My bucket list is a mile and a half long, filled with things like “Write and publish a book” (check!), “Kiss somebody in the rain” (super cheesy, I know. I blame Nicholas Sparks), “See a baseball game at every stadium in America”, “Eat my way through Italy”, “See New York at Christmas time (double check!)”, “Run a marathon” (that’s run a marathon, not watch a marathon of Seinfeld because let’s face it, I do that every weekend), “Send a message in a bottle” and “Make a positive difference in someone’s life.” The thing about this bucket list is that each and every item is completely do-able and is a sort of stepping stone for me to go out and make these things actually come to fruition. Slowly but surely, I hope to cross off each and every item, bringing with them unbelievable experiences and incredible memories.

Along with my ‘bucket list’, I also have another list, one that I would like to call my “Stay in the bucket list.” This list is full of items that I hope I don’t ever have to do, see, hear or experience in my lifetime (again). After all, life is just too short to repeat  what didn’t work for you the first time, right?

                                           Yeah…that can just stay in there.

Here, in part, is my “Stay in the bucket list”…

1. Drive my manual VW Bug (or any stick shift vehicle for that matter) through the hella-hilly streets of San Francisco. My stick shift and hills are most definitely not on good speaking terms…nor do I think they will ever be.

2. See any “show on ice”.

3. Eat squid.

4. Wear apparel, cheer for or have any positive affiliations with the Chicago Cubs.

5. Sit through any movie starring Gerard De Pardieu. Ditto for Pauly Shore.

6. Attend a kiddo’s birthday party at Chucky Cheese. Oh who am I kidding. I totally would because pizza. And singing/dancing mice.

7. Attempt to curl my hair. Or cut my hair. Or straighten my hair without the help of a pro. No, it’s not rocket science but…well, for me, it kind of is.

8. Attempt actual rocket science.

9. Go ice fishing. Sorry dad, but I just don’t see the point of sitting in sub-zero temperatures for hours on end, freezing your hat off, just waiting for a fish that will most likely never even attempt to take your bait because they, unlike us, don’t want to risk getting frostbite and hypothermia. In fact, I bet they all get a good laugh, watching us from below wondering what in the world we’re thinking.

10. Eat said fish (because why would anyone want to eat anything that smelled so…fishy?!)

11. Go into a bookstore and leave without buying anything. It’s not that I don’t want to do this, but more like it’s physically impossible for me to do so.

12. Mistake sugar for salt on my Cheerios.

13.  Mistake salt for sugar on my spaghetti.

14. Go for a run in my new kicks through a dog park. The poo-to-shoe probabilities are just way too high.

15. Listen to country music.

16. Drive through Nebraska. Or Kansas. Or Oklahoma any time between March – October. I didn’t like the movie Twister and I certainly don’t want to be in a live-action version of it.

17. Not do something just because I’m afraid.

18. Or let the opinions of others cause me change who I am.

19. Ever doubt the positive power of a cookie.

20. AND FOR THE LOVE OF RUNAWAY CARS, I WILL NEVER, EVERRRRR FORGET TO PUT MY PARKING BREAK UP. AGAIN. EVERRRRR.

This was a just a snippet of some of the things I don’t want to do before I kick the bucket, and I’m sure that as I learn and experience new things, yet another item will be tacked on to this list. Although both lists can be beneficial, it’s important to balance both what’s in, and what isn’t, in your bucket to ensure that you have a great day and an even better tomorrow.

So what are you waiting for? Start crossing those items off (or keeping them on, especially if it involves eating fishy squid while listening to country music on your road trip through Oklahoma.

Question of the day: What are some of the things you want to do before you die? What are some of the things you don’t?

I’m Too Old For This List

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If you read the Internet at all, ever (and if you’re reading this, I’m guessing that you do), you’ve probably noticed a proliferation of articles of the “25 things you should know by 25″ and “30 lessons I learned at 30″ and “21.5 things to do before you’re 21.5″ variety. I can see the appeal of these articles – there are very few things that are universal about the human experience, but aging is one of them. We all have ages, they’re all increasing, and these articles appeal because we can see how many of these things we’ve accomplished so far and try and do some of the others if we haven’t reached that age yet, or see how our experience compares if we’re passed it.

At their heart, these articles are well intentioned, a chance for those who have already been there to pass along what they’ve learned and done and what they wish they’d known earlier.

That being said however, I think there’s a danger in people choosing to read these articles as a checklist (or in the articles titling themselves “26 things you must know before you turn 26″). The thing about life lessons is they’re life lessons, not “article I read when I was bored and killing time” lessons.

A lot of people, myself included, aren’t wired to take things at someone else’s word; we have to experience them before we can really understand. If the rules for a successful adulthood were something that could just be written down in a quippy list, wouldn’t they teach a course on it in college so we could all be wildly successful starting at 21? It’s great to know what other people wish they’d understood sooner, but on some level, I think there’s always going to be an element of needing to go through it. There are also some things on these lists I don’t need to accomplish by 25 or 30 or ever (like the list that suggests going on a four-day bender. Nope. Definitely NOT for me.)

But seriously, have you seen the things we’re supposed to accomplish by age 30? According to exactly 10 seconds of Googling this morning, I’m supposed to see a music festival, buy dinner for my parents, travel, play a weird sport, party, vote, dye my hair, let go of a friendship, like myself, exercise, cook, start a 401k, discover myself, travel some more, camp, buy a really expensive piece of clothing, be alone, ask for help, be less jaded, watch the news, live abroad, learn self defense, stop eating in bed, start flossing, kiss someone out of my league, work in a service job, work in my dream job, find a hobby, go backpacking, make a budget, find a good hairdresser, order less takeout, make more friends, fall in love, get my heart broken, find a personal style, try exotic food, have confidence, have a savings account, live in the moment, plan for the future, and oh, not forget to make my bed.

I’m exhausted just writing this list, let alone doing all these things, and that’s just a random sampling of the things on these lists.

Aging is universal, but the human experience isn’t. The things that shaped someone else into the awesome person they are at whatever age aren’t necessarily the things that will shape you.

As of right now, I have exactly one item on my ‘to do’ list: Accept that no one on the internet knows me or my life or what’s reasonable for me to accomplish by any given age.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat some takeout in my unmade bed WHILE wearing that very cheap piece of clothing I just bought at Goodwill. Suck on that, list!

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