I'm addicted to TED Talks. I was listening to a series of TED talks today in my car, and it was about men and women who had near death experiences. After they survived their ordeal, friends and families encouraged them to create a "bucket list" of things they wanted to do, places they wanted to go, and things they wanted to accomplish before they really hit the proverbial bucket. And many of them did. After having gone through two major surgeries myself in 2015, I thought that maybe I, too, should create a bucket list of sorts. I mean, life is really short and it can change in an instant; I, of all people know this. But while I tried to create a bucket list, it never felt "right". It almost felt overwhelming. I compare it to New Years resolutions. I rarely if ever actually succeed at whatever resolution I make, and then find myself stuck in a self loathing cycle of feeling like a failure.
Then I heard another TED talk called the F*ck It List. Instead of creating a bucket list of things you want to do before you die, you create a F*ck It List of things you want to let go of and stop doing in order to live a more fulfilled and mindful life. I love this idea better! You make a list of things that you don't want to do anymore; things that don't really serve you~ things you just.don't.like. It can be anything: social media, blogging (ha! just kidding), friends (are we "friendly" or are we friends?), control ( I am not God), envy, fear (remember, f*ck off fear?), worry, doubt, insecurity, coloring your hair (how much of my life have I wasted doing this so society finds me acceptable?), squats (do squats really serve anyone??), checking your phone (I would love to throw my phone out the window), shopping (will another pair of shoes really make me a better version of myself?), makeup, eating kale (I'd rather eat cardboard), the scale (weighing myself has never served me~ and I doubt it serves you), a career that no longer makes you happy, People Magazine (mindlessly looking at pictures of celebrities I'll never look like), diets and fitness routines (I'd rather walk and do yoga). Seriously, the list can go on and on. Anything you don't like or want anymore. Anything~ little (like squats) or big (like resentment you need to let go)~ that's blocking you from living a more fulfilled life.
So I ask you to close your eyes, and think of one thing you really don't like to do and want to let go of. The first thing that pops into your head is what you should start letting go of today. Let it go, and then let it be. If you found out you were going to die one year from today, what would you let go of? What would you want more of?
Life is fleeting and you only get one chance to do it right. Life doesn’t come with a do-over. It doesn’t come with an endless string of opportunities or a giant eraser that cleans the page. There is no second chance.
Life is not a just series of meaningless daily occurrences. There is more to living than purely existing. It’s a wonderful, terrifying, incredible, impeccably imperfect journey, and you only get a one-way ticket. Life isn’t a round-trip affair.
So when the time comes, whether you are 35 and diagnosed with incurable cancer, or a hundred and two, celebrating your birthday with three generations of family and friends, and someone asks you, “What would you have done differently?" I bet your answer would involve a lot of "letting things go that didn't serve you or make you a better version of yourself". I doubt your answer would involve eating more kale or coloring your hair more. And after you ask yourself this question, will it be too late?
You don't have a lot of time, so make your time count. Humble yourself and mend your fences, let things go that you don't like, do things that matter, take more road trips and eat more ice cream, and spend your remaining days with the people you love the most.