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Things to Do Before You Live

"...for he who does not postpone his life, but lives already."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

And if you wait until your older
A sad resentment will smolder one day
And Then that summer feeling is gonna haunt you
And that summer feeling's gonna taunt you
And then that summer feeling is gonna hurt you
One day in your life.

-Jonathan Richman, "That Summer Feeling"

I'm tired of people talking about things they want to do before they die.

It's almost become de rigeuer for any one with a website or blog or Tumblr or Facebook page--so, like everyone you know--to one day post their master bucket list (typically written when they're bored at the office and have a spare 5 minutes).

Google "things to do before you die" and you'll find millions of random people's bucket lists.  They're pathetic.  (Do a fucking somersault?!)

Such trite selections, always the same as everyone else's, quickly jotted off in haphazard fashion.

Does everyone in America really want to climb a mountain in every continent, or do they just think they should want to?!

Does everyone really have that aching of need to dip a toe in every ocean on planet earth or does that just sound like...way vagabond-y, man?

Do you really have any reason for visiting Antarctica or does that just sound cool to you?

Why would you possibly dream of sharing a tea with Kate Middleton or a coffee with Michelle Obama or a beer with George Clooney?  Who gives a shit?

If everyone actually accomplished their bucket lists then it would seem by 2050 we'd have a world where everyone had:  run a marathon, learned to speak Italian, swam with the dolphins, and fucked Brooklyn Decker.

I really don't want to do any of that shit.

How about, instead of rotely going about life checking off an arbitrary bucket list...

How about figuring out the shit you need to get out of the way before you're finally able to live?

Do you need to quit that shitty job?

Do you need to move to a more productive city?

Do you need to dump that bitch girlfriend?

Do you need to simply start writing that novel???

Time is the only commodity you can't create more of.

Why are you so concerned with trying to accomplish these insignificant things? Just to say you did?

Why are you more concerned with figuring out what you'd like to check off in the next 40, 50, or 60 years, when you "get around to it," before you die?

Why not figure out what you need to do in the next minute, hour, week, or month before you can start living the life you want to live?

Even if that is swimming with stupid dolphins...

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  1. You don’t want to fuck Brooklyn Decker? I will take your turn, in addition to my own.

  2. Oh, one other thing: , Orson Scott Card's Enderverse is damned good reading with some sincafigint exceptions. Ender's Game and the entire Shadow series are very good. The immediate sequels to Ender's Game – Xenocide and the rest, not so much.

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