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having a hard time writing a f*ck it list

August 26, 2010

In response to the trend to compose a Life List or Bucket List, there is another trend:

the f*ck it list

The idea is to think of the things you will not do, or will no longer do, or will not tolerate. Anymore.

Ever again.  At all.

And then let them go.

Gone.  Done.

Which would be fine if folks left it at that.  But many f*ck it lists have to do with ranting about the state of things in general – things beyond a person’s influence or control – rather than choosing what an individual can do without, or can do something about.

Which can leave folks feeling angry and sad rather than powerful and free.

The ranting, in turn, seems to spew more negative backwash into our collective dish.  That, we can do without.

At first I laughed at the idea.  A f*ck it list?  It is kind of bad-ass and funny.  But then I tried to think of what would be on mine.

In general, I have a hard time with expressing things in negative terms, such as won’t, or can’t, or will never.  That feels uncomfortable and itchy to me, as binding and restrictive as the notion of “things I must do” or rules and expectations I “should” adhere to.

Says who?

I wonder if the original idea of a f*ck it list was to give us a chance to stop being so hard on ourselves:

  • to let go of unrealistic goals – while keeping and feeding our dreams
  • to let go of notions of perfection – in exchange for living full, colourful, messy lives
  • to let go of outside expectations – and still hold priorities that help us gauge how meaningful our lives feel

With that in mind, my first-draft list:

  • listening to fashion rules, e.g. what colour shoes to wear at particular times of year – f*ck it
  • ironing – f*ck it
  • breathing second-hand cigarette smoke – f*ck it
  • jumping out of an airplane – in a non-emergency sense (curiously, this item migrated here from my Life List) – f*ck it
  • counting calories – or, more to the point for me, counting pounds – f*ck it

That is about as much of that as I can stand in one go.

I am far more likely to enjoy – and make progress on – a Life List of things to do, to learn, to accomplish, to make, to create, to BE.  Something pro-active.  Things that will make my life better if I cross them off.  I suppose the things on my f*ck it list will make my life better for not doing them.

But for me, that’s just an ass-backwards way of getting there.

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