For many years, many blogs, journals, spaces, faces, etc. I have read about the bucket lists, paths to happiness, 365/365 (except leap years), 101’s 1001’s, 50 things in 2012, Mo’s and other various projects. I’ve even taken part in them, and sometimes actually ‘win’ them. Usually not though. Especially not NaNoWriMo.
This doesn’t build my cynicism towards them (one of the very short list of things that do not irritate me), nor will I mock any person’s attempt to achieve their goal, short or long-term. On the contrary, I am one of those ‘enablers’, who tells you to buy those shoes, that electronic device, that SuperBurger Deluxe with Cheese, because like that little voice, I know you want it. Yes you do. Go for it. You’re welcome! So the lesson for today is, don’t tell me what you want to do, unless you want to do it. Which you do. Yes you do.
We have goals. It’s the reason long-term memory was included in the evolution upgrade. Or maybe not. So we’re essentially obligated to have goals, like how we’re guilted into using Mail Merge on MSOffice because we paid so much for it, and wind up only using maybe five Word features, including bold and Lucida Calligraphy (for those special announcements). In other words, by all means I should have a bucket full of goals and stuffs.
Ok! Win the lottery! *drop*. Into the ol’ bucket it goes.
Really, because after that, the possibilities are endless. Even things that I have no idea right now that I want to do, I will. I can now travel around the world, or not. I can get my book published, either by bribing the right people or just printing it up myself. I can even buy one of them printing presses and cut out the middle man. Mimeographing is yet another option, and that can guarantee sales, since everyone will buy a copy just to shove it in their face and inhale deeply, without a teacher yelling at them to stop fooling around pass the rest of the tests back.
I will not live this life as if it is a countdown, as though I have to ‘get things done’ before I die. I don’t care how good any person works under pressure, that’s too much. Let’s say I complete it all; then what? Should I have made a loooong list of things, half of which I can seriously accomplish? NO! That leads to the moment, 6 hours from now, or 60 years from now, my last thought would be – “I never got to finish that list or do…” Screw that. I would rather have a list that I build as I go along, as I LIVE, and experience, learn and prosper. My last thoughts would be all I HAVE done in life, the happiness, bittersweet and what has put me on the path to where I am.
What we strive for in life is in a way, futile. The world will turn after we are gone, and it will not remember our high scores, our trips, how good we are in the sack (unless the legends have already started; but still you know how they get changed over generations). We forget as we age, we fall short in our last years of our goals, so the pressure to do them now is always there. We have a life to live though, and should pay more attention to it, as without a job, or responsibilities, we wither and lose our desire for better, as it is pulled from our weak gravitational pull.
I see too much competition, even amongst those who are cohorts, colleagues, or following the same path. No matter how good we are, there is always something better to accomplish? So do we settle, or do we keep that goal, and be content? Should we strive to be rich? To take just one step on every continent in the world? To bang an A-list celebrity? To make yourself a great batch of chocolate chip pancakes with bacon and fresh maple syrup and not feel guilty? Whenever I have an urge for a filet mignon or t bone steak, I go to my favorite butcher shop and pick out a nice chop. I season it the way I want then broil it up, and enjoy. Nothing to it. Not a drop in the bucket; just me, satisfying my need, when I can, and more importantly, because I can.
You know what though? Go ahead. Make a bucket list. Get yourself an empty bucket, and fill it up. Not with the things you want to do though. Ah, no!. What you do it, fill it up with everything you have accomplished, everything that you have experienced and every moment that you have been thankful for those things having been part of your life. Yes even the sandwiches. Warren Zevon was right on the money.
I remember all of those honey/maple roasted turkey heros with American cheese lettuce and honey mustard on soft sub rolls that I used to make back in the day. They are not part of my life now, but the memories of that yummliciousness will stay with me always. *drop* In the bucket.
Ok I will admit, I do have goals. I once planned to read Les Miserables (full version), and I did it! Next is Don Quixote, and yes I have it in my bookshelf, a full version. So ok I will have read two of the most amazing books in history, but I will not take that knowledge, the love and amazement at the literacy wonderfulness that is reading, with me when I die. I will do it, regardless of that macabre thinking, for what it gives to me as I live each moment while I read the words and turn each page, then one day finally slapping it closed. Done.
Don’t worry about what you will do with your life. Just enjoy it.
The only disappointment anyone could feel would be that accomplishing, finishing or experiencing anything on any level, is better than the idea that they were ALIVE when it happened, and what each moment brought with it.