You’ve heard of the Bucket List, right? That list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket? That list that looks completely unlike what you are actually doing right now? That list that would take you your whole life to work them all in even if you started last year?
Yeah. I fall prey to that sort of thing, too. A few years I stumbled across the 101 Things in 1001 Days project, and I got sucked in to having goals. I listed my 101 goals, I tracked my progress for a few months, I felt sad and happy when I did or didn’t check off a goal. And then I forgot about the whole thing, and now it’s years later and I’m not even sure I could list 25 of the things that were on the list.
If I can’t even remember what was on that list, how important were they to me, really? I’m doing 101 different things right now and having a great time, so why would it be important to have a certain list of things that sounded good on a certain day?
Whether it’s a Bucket List, a 101 in 1001 list, a “40 before 40” list or any other style, a lot of people’s lists are very, very similar.
See Paris. Write a novel. Get a tattoo. Learn to play piano.
The thing is, I’m 38 years old. If I haven’t written a novel yet, it’s probably because I don’t want to.
Additional Reading: Get Your Shit Together
I have so much time. I have plenty of time to do the things that I want to do. You can tell which things I want to do by which ones I do.
Those things that I might write on a list? Those are the things I think I’m supposed to want to do. They don’t actually suit my life, my desires, or myself.
So, instead of a Bucket List, how about a Fuck It List?
This is the list of things I feel absolutely no need to do before I die. These are things that I previously thought I wanted, but at this point it’s time to realize that I don’t want them. My Fuck It List is a work in progress, of course. There’s little need to write it down. It’s simply a useful mental trick. When a “should” pops in my head, I can banish it with a “fuck it”.
Here are some of the prominent items on my Fuck-It List:
Write a novel. Travel out of the country. Lose weight. Get married. Do Pilates. Learn a foreign language. Learn to drive stick. Go hiking more often. Organize a music collection. Learn to meditate. Learn about fashion.
None of this is to say that I never want to do something new. I “accomplish” all kinds of things. I frequently think of something I want in my life, and then I go out and make it happen.
It’s just that I don’t need a list to accomplish these things. And if I never get around to something I don’t need to beat myself up, “refocus”, “buckle down” or whatever. It means that it wasn’t a priority for me.
Fuck that shit.
Guess who’s in charge of my priorities? Yeah, it’s me, of course!
What I want is to be myself. The only thing on my bucket list is to be the most me during the life I have left. To accomplish that, I give myself permission to do whatever the fuck I want to do. I’ll be able to tell what I want to do by looking around and seeing what I’m doing.
What’s on your Fuck-It List?
(This post has been updated from an April 2010 version.)