One great part of my job is interviewing lots of interesting people. People who change my perspective and make me think for much longer than the duration of the phone call. One of those people was Scott Jones, a recent Ted X speaker, who enlightened me about the revelatory concept of a “fuck-it” list.
“I don’t need to see the Pyramids,” he admitted. “I don’t need to skydive. I just want to enjoy the small parts of everyday life.” Scott became a voice in my head from then on. I realized that there were things lingering on my bucket list that no longer made sense for the current version of me. I was putting off these activities for a reason.
When I was honest, I really didn’t want to do them. By letting them go rather than just putting them off, I made space for what I really wanted.
Intrigued? Here’s how to build your own:
1. Start looking for the areas of your life plagued by "shoulds."I am a yoga instructor, yet I always think it’s unnecessary when people say they should do yoga. There are many other opportunities to find inner calm or exercise or even wear those killer yoga pants. Maybe it doesn’t make sense for you, even though your friends are doing it. That's okay.
2. Take notice of the things you keep de-prioritizing.We like to think that when we will be older, we will have ample time to get all the things in order that we neglected when we were young. Maybe you really don’t need to have your photos organized. Maybe the boxes will do. You can use the time you would have spent organizing (or trying to talk yourself into organizing) creating new memories instead.
3. Acknowledge that if something brings more frustration than joy, it may not be worth your time.There are many things that we can’t control in our lives. What we do in our free time, however, we can control. After my second knitting class, I realized that I wasn’t getting the benefits that knitting devotees swore by. I was spending most of the time silently cursing. It wasn’t my passion. I recently tossed those knitting needles. Maybe another version of me will want to pick it up, but the one I know right now certainly doesn’t. And there's no reason to waste time trying to like something I don't.
There's no better time to explore this concept than during the “coulda woulda shoulda”–laden holiday season. We tend to add on to already full plates rather than using this time to sort out what isn't actually a good use of our time.
Maybe you don’t want to travel this year. Maybe you don’t want to be in a relationship and you are enjoying the sweet freedom of being single. Toss some of those bucket list items to the side. We can start living today, with honest expressions of who we are.
Why not just say, "Fuck it"?
April Yvette Thompson