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Dumping the Bucket

How much of a list do we really need?

New Year’s resolutions come and go and come back around again. I can’t even count how many times I’ve vowed to improve my eating, exercise and money management habits. Oh, I’ve made progress — I’m gluten free, walking daily and out of debt — for now, anyway. There’s always room for backsliding. So I guess those same old resolutions will be with me (and most other New Year’s resolution makers) again for 2016. Boring, right?

I don’t say this to brag, but I’ve made pretty much all the major life changes I ever wanted to make. I quit smoking and drinking years ago. I memorized the Greek alphabet, wrote a word-for-word parody of Poe’s The Raven, and rode Coney Island’s famous Cyclone (never more!). I’m content with myself, my accomplishments, my home and my relationship with Wifey — and with our Pussy (not her real name.) Oh, I could be less judgmental, in less of a hurry and worry less. But I’m always working on that stuff. Isn’t there anything new and exhilarating to aspire to? 

Maybe I’m getting more realistic. How much of a list does a person need, anyway? I mean really, how likely is it I’ll want to train for a marathon? Or organize my photos? Or do any of the other stuff that I once thought I should accomplish, but don’t even remotely want to do anymore? Besides, who has the time? I’m plenty busy just keeping up with all the fun and/or necessary pursuits and commitments in my life now. 

Rather than trying to make spicier, more exciting, more adventurous New Year’s resolutions, I could just simplify. My old bucket list is overflowing. It’s a bunch of shoulds that I’m never going to do, anyway. Who needs that hanging over them? I’d rather dump it. That’s it! I’m turning my bucket list into a fuck-it list:

Lose weight? Fuck it. I’m fine at my current heft. I get plenty of exercise, take my vitamins and eat well. Years of learning to have a more positive, self-loving body image at my current, or any, size have served me better than the gamut of diets I’ve ever tried — and failed — to stick to.

Travel the world? Fuck it. I traveled plenty in my 20s and 30s and it turns out I don’t like traveling. Besides, most of the world is even more homophobic and sexist — and less comfortable — than right where I am, so I’ll stick to the home front, thank you. Wifey and I still plan to take a cross-country train trip to visit our lesbian cousins in Florida someday, so that remains on the list, but other than that and a weekend jaunt to the coast here and there, I’d rather stay put. 

Get organized? Fuck it. I already know where to find my important stuff. So what if I have too many old emails in my inbox? They’re not hurting anyone. So what if my desk (and OK, most surfaces in the house) are cluttered? I’m happy to leave sorting my years of unorganized papers to anyone who cares to write my biography — or, more likely, to the shredder. 

Make more money? Fuck it. What can money buy me that I really need? I have more than enough of all the essentials of life. Clean water, warm clothes, plenty to eat, a secure home, Netflix. Luxury is relative. 

So, like 16 percent of Americans this year, I won’t be making any new New Year’s resolutions. Without a bucket list all I have to do is keep up my habit of appreciating who I am and what I have.