A few months ago a friend posted on her Facebook page some beautiful photos she’d taken at Bryce Canyon National Park. I commented on the beauty of the location and she replied advising me to put the place on my bucket list. It then occurred to me that I have a number of friends who use the term and will wax dreamily, if not poetically, about their aspirations—especially those things on their bucket lists that have little chance of ever happening.
Without a doubt here are some things I’d definitely like to do of which I have a somewhat realistic expectation of happening, and some things I’d like to have happen that never will for any of a number of reasons. But, perhaps sad to say, I don’t have a specific list of absolute musts that would qualify as a bucket list. What I am developing, however, is a much more valuable list. A list of things I need to stop doing or prevent from happening. Not a what-to-do-before-I-die list, but a my-life-will-be-better-for-ending-these-now list. There are things we do, things we say, actions and attitudes we allow that negatively impact our lives, and which often we can avoid.
I call it the fuck-it list. Not so much for the convenient rhyming element with the name bucket list as much as because there comes a time when we just have to say “Fuck it,” as in “That’s it, I’m done. It’s time to move on. I don’t need this garbage. Life is too short.”
All too often we allow attitudes, circumstances, or even people to allow us to build a pied-á-terre, if not a mansion, in the land of negativity. I frequently tell people that there’s no percentage for me in complaining because doing so only makes my friends sad and my enemies happy; two conditions I do not want to achieve. It’s a mind-jarring realization for me the subtle power complaining has. Note well that I’m not saying to avoid discussing anything negative, but negative issues can be addressed without complaining (which makes the negativity far too personal). So while not necessarily the number one item, complaining is definitely on my fuck-it list.
That said, in no particular order, here are just a few others:
- Self-doubt — Reduce, as much as possible. There is no advantage to this mind set. None.
- Soul leeches — Eliminate association with them (I know who they are in my life; you know who they are in yours).
- Capitulating – My perception is that I do this far out of proportion to everyone else in my life. There are times, and certainly not all the time, when I should argue better and longer for something important to me.
- Lame excuses — Using these for not pursuing a dream or goal. Never forget that excuses are like the large intestine: Everyone has one, everyone has a different one, but they’re all full of the same fecal material.
- Roads not taken – Stop obsessing over these: what’s done is done. Besides, if I’m wondering about the beautiful scenery that might be on the road not taken, I’m not seeing the scenery that is definitely on the one I took.
- Being Mr. Agreeable – Absolutely must learn that saying “no” doesn’t make me a bad person. Separate from, but intimately related to, capitulating.
Get the idea? Yeah, I’d like to spend time on a Hawaiian beach watching the sunset (which will definitely be on a bucket list, if I ever develop one), but I’d also like, in fact more so, to put my darker side on the back burner and embrace a much more positive outlook. And, yes, I have already started working this list. Now go work on yours; I’d love to see replies with some of your entries.