The next bucket list I write will have one item: Stop making bucket lists.
It’s not that I don’t have goals. I have plenty to do, and plenty more to want to do. I may think I don’t have enough time to achieve every life wish, despite books and TED talks that admonish me for thinking that. I have a cookbook that reads something like this: “If you have time to call the pizza guy, drive to the restaurant, microwave that burrito, you have time to cook.” You obviously haven’t lived with me.
My goals aren’t exactly lofty, either, or expensive to achieve. I’d like to read every fiction Pulitzer winner. I’d like to watch every Doctor Who serial. I’d like to see every Best Picture winner. Some of these don’t even sound like work, but they are goals that require…well, energy and interest. They’re not without their obstacles.
For one, you may find that a prize-winning book isn’t exactly one you’d enjoy. If I get a day off and the opportunity to lounge by the pool with a pitcher of sangria, I’m more likely to pick up a Stephen King novel I can tear through in a day as opposed to All The King’s Men. They’re not all happy stories. Seriously, after I read The Road I couldn’t pick up another book for days. I didn’t want to do a damn thing at all, it depressed me so much. Which brings me to the Best Picture binge. Watch Crash, The Hurt Locker, and Gladiator in a triple feature and tell me how you’re feeling afterward.
Doctor Who? Lighter entertainment, right? Yeah, if you’re able to watch everything in order. Many First and Second serials remain in pieces or altogether missing, and Hulu Plus doesn’t have complete collections of the subsequent Doctors. You have to get creative – rent elsewhere, try your luck with the library for DVDs, or piece Tumblr GIF sets together until you get the story down.
I’m still chipping away at all the above. I may turn sixty when Sylvester McCoy regenerates, but I’ve accepted the possibility. With the change of seasons comes the desire to set some short-term goals, but instead of plotting them in advance I think I may add to the bucket as I discover what I really want to do.
Two years in a row I pledged to go camping. Didn’t happen. This year I might settle for falling asleep on the lounge chair in the backyard.
Last year I set the goal of writing my next book. Ha! I have an “in” with a group of authors putting out monthly box sets. I may go the serial romance route and see where it takes me.
So far, though, I’ve only set two goals for the late spring:
1) Be less of an asshole than I was this winter.
2) Drink more.
Let’s see which one I achieve first.