Confession time: I hate bucket lists.
And 30 before 30 lists, and vision boards, and any other kind of seemingly trite goal-setting vehicle.
It’s not that they aren’t worthy aspirations for one’s life. And hey, if I didn’t set deadlines, I’d never get anything done. But there’s just something about hearing someone list off a bunch of clichés like “visit six continents” and “learn two new languages” that makes me involuntarily roll my eyes and dry heave a bit.
You know what my goal is? What my vision board looks like?
Would all the ridiculous, generic things on those lists really make you happy? Would running a marathon, just to be able to say you did, really bring you joy? A bit of pride, perhaps – (and I know there are those of you who actually do get off on running long distances, though I’ll never claim to understand you) – but setting goals like that seem more about making you feel good about trying to be a better person, than about actually enjoying life.
I hereby propose that instead of trying to climb a mountain, or read 50 books a year, or teach yourself Swahili – why not make a list for the things that actually make your life more fun? The things that actually make you happy?
I’ll go first. Here are some of my most pressing goals for the foreseeable future:
1. Attend the Puppy Bowl. With backstage passes.
2. Be the Bea Arthur of my own Golden Girls house one day. (Preferably with a side of Blanche.)
3. Discover, devour and anoint the Official Most Wonderful-est Cheeseburger in all the land.
4. Visit Cat Island in Japan.
5. Accidentally (or by way of stalking) meet and strike up a conversation with Adam Scott, who then lets me ruffle his hair.
6. Make a ridiculously funny person genuinely laugh, like Louis CK or Tina Fey.
7. Have a nickname (a real one, not the fake one I tried to give myself in college. And NO, I will not tell you that story.)
8. Continue to karaoke my heart out til the day I die.
9. Inspire a missed connection on Craigslist.
10. Own a mini pig named Tobias. (This is my #1 goal for 2012, and yes, I’m already on a waiting list.)
Is this shallow of me? Perhaps.
I may never go skydiving, or do a triathlon, or write my memoirs.
But I will spend every minute of every day I possibly can striving to be happy, no matter what shape or form that takes. And I don’t feel bad about that. Not for one second.