3 min read

Bucket List, Eh. I'm Starting a F—It List

Letting go is so much more rewarding
Plastic tray with hot dog, salad, chicken sandwich, and grilled cheese with fries
Image by Author

Greetings friends!

Nothing makes me appreciate the challenge of being original more than reading for a few hours on the Internet. I admit it’s nice knowing that other people have the same thoughts I do. Comforting. But darn, how hard it is to stake out new ground.

Ours is not the first generation to suffer this malady. Bible readers among us will recognize the following from Ecclesiastes I:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Bucket Lists and their Antithesis

All of this is to say that I’ve noticed a bunch of people write about their Bucket Lists. Surely you are familiar with the concept. They are a list of things the writer wishes to do before they die.

Not only that, but the drive for originality seems to have led a fair number of others to write about their Anti-Bucket Lists. These are things that the author commits to never doing. These lists are pretty funny, actually, and they reveal sometimes touching things about their authors.

The thought in my head that drove me to the keyboard to write this was the title you see above. It’s close (say horseshoes and hand grenade distance), but distinguishable from the Anti-Bucket Lists.

I wanted to write a F– It List.

What is a F — It List?

The F — It List contains not things I will never do, but things I commit to letting go of.

1. Jealousy

About others’ accomplishments, beauty, fame, etc. I celebrate success, knowing that another’s success does not diminish mine or anyone else’s.

2. Dressing Well

I’ll have underpants on and socks that match each other. But no fashion statements will I make. And I’m OK with that.

3. The Need to be Right

It is so liberating to be able to think, and to say out loud, “But I could be wrong.” I still have opinions, but I hold them less strongly.

4. Looking Good Running Shirtless

If ever this window of opportunity was open to me, I failed to notice it. Now when I notice runners who grabbed it, I smile and remind myself of item #1.

5. The Need to Win

I am competitive like crazy, and I credit it with carrying me far in my career. But I don’t need to win every match. In fact, it’s so much less stressful to acknowledge that coming in second (or third, or fourth) is totally fine.

6. Feeling Guilty About My Sweet Tooth

I know my enjoyment of chocolate (and cookies and ice cream) is just a collection of learned behaviors that I could unlearn. But I commit to the mighty task of letting go of the feeling I should.

7. Everything Going According to Plan

The unexpected is a gift if we only look at it that way. When a plan goes awry, I now say, “Oh, what interesting opportunity has this change offered up?”

8. Regret

Our lives are the cumulated result of countless choices. I was active and thoughtful in all of them, certainly the big ones. Not everything went to plan (see item #7), but I will never make it worse by beating myself up.

9. Worry About Things Outside My Control

The Stoic key to happiness is understanding the distinction between what is within our control (or partly in our control) and what is outside our control. When you focus your thoughts on what you can control, great things happen.

10. The TV Remote

Just kidding, I’m never letting my spouse get ahold of that!

If you’ve ever daydreamed about your own bucket list, how about complementing it with a F — It List?

I invite you to follow the prompt and create your own. Let’s see what wonderful things grow.

Be well.

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I posted a version of this article on Medium originally.