Everywhere you look, it seems people are posting or suggesting Bucket Lists, things they want to accomplish before they die. Maybe I’m cynical, and maybe I just lack motivation, but the last time I came across one of these, I thought, “You’d do better to make a list of things you’re going to stop stressing about doing before you die.” This idea caught in my imagination, and so I decided to do just that for myself.
NOT My Bucket List
Read a book by Mark Twain– Great works of literature are quite popular on bucket lists. People put heavy tomes like Dostoyesvky’s Crime and Punishment or James Joyce’s Ulysses on their lists, probably hoping to die before they have to tackle them. I have no death wish, and I can say with confidence that I have no plan to ever finish a book by Mark Twain. Yes. I hear you all gasping. I’m an English teacher, after all. Oh, I understand why Twain is great. He is great, and his work is an important part of the Canon of American Literature, but I find reading Twain akin to watching paint dry in a room where people are scraping their nails down a board while someone keeps poking me with a sharp stick. I really hate reading Twain. I had a course in the American novel in which I was supposed to read Huckleberry Finn. I tried. I did! I couldn’t. But I did hone my BS skills. Carl loves Huckleberry Finn so much that he bought a beautiful leather-bound, gilt-edged copy. My educational mentor lived and breathed Twain. But I just hate every word he ever wrote.
Climb a Mountain– I’m not climbing any mountain, certainly not Everest, not even Mount LeConte here in the Smokies. I appreciate the grandeur of nature, but I hate physical exertion. I feel certain that climbing a mountain would hasten my demise, so no mountains on my list. I’m not even climbing one of those climbing walls. There’s no view there; hence, even less reason for the exertion. I would like to climb a tree someday, though. I’ve never climbed a tree.
Take up a sport– For my list, it could be any sport at all since I currently do not participate an any sport at all–unless Wii bowling counts. And I’m perfectly happy with my sportless life. I don’t get sports; I never did. I don’t watch them either. If I could care less about sports, I would, but I can’t, so that’s that. I like Yoga, though.
Bury the Hatchet with an Old Foe– Oh, no. Nononononono. I have only two people on My List (you know, That list), and they will both be there until they’re dead and gone. I say until they’re gone because if I die first, I’m haunting them. I’m almost 50 years old, so I don’t think it’s too bad that I only have two arch enemies. I know, I know: But, Tracey, you’re wasting all that energy loathing them. Eh, it’s OK; I don’t do sports, remember. It’s not like I need to save energy for a marathon. I don’t wake up every morning and remind myself, “Remember to set aside time to focus on you-know-who today.” It’s not really an active thing, but these two people went out of their way to do harm to me, so if I did ever bury a hatchet, there would likely be a real hatchet involved. Wait! Who typed that?
Eat Haggis– I’m pretty adventurous gastronomically speaking. I ate snails in elementary school. I’d like to try tongue; it’s supposed to be fantastic. I haven’t marked sweetbreads off my list. I might eat blood sausages, but I am not eating haggis. It sounds disgusting. It looks disgusting, and many people who have eaten it say it tastes just as disgusting as it looks. I’ll never know first hand.
Conquer My Fear of Spiders– Those freaky alien beasties and I are never going to get along. I am not going to one day let a tarantula crawl up my arm just to prove I can. Spiders are evil. Charlotte’s Web is spider propaganda and Wilbur was poisoned by their evil spider venom into being their shill. They jump on us when we aren’t expecting it, but that’s not the most evil thing they do. No. They spin those single invisible webs right at head height, and then they go and wait for us to run into them and laugh at us while we look insane to any on-lookers as we desperately ply our king-fu moves on an invisible foe.
Live a Day Without Sarcasm– “It’s just one day,” you say. “A single day of sincerity would feel so cleansing.” Sure. I’m going to get right on that. In case you’re sarcasm-impaired, that was sarcasm. I’m not giving up sarcasm; in fact, my sarcasm is just another service I provide to enrich the lives of those around me. According to Smithsonian magazine, “Sarcasm seems to exercise the brain more than sincere statements do. Scientists who have monitored the electrical activity of the brains of test subjects exposed to sarcastic statements have found that brains have to work harder to understand sarcasm.”
We’ve labeled our site Rated G, so to keep it this way, I’m not going to say exactly what I’ve called my list in private. But it rhymes with Bucket List.