It would not work for me, either, for many of the same reasons you give.
I agree for the same basic reasons you give. I don't want to check off experiences -- I want to live them.
I'm with you on this one. Though of course there are things I want to do Someday, but I refuse to write them down on a list.
I have enough trouble not beating myself up for the mundane to-do list. I do not need to beat myself up for not crossing off enough of a recreational one.
We've talked about this topic before, but I think that one side effect of having lists of this type, ordered or not, is that they tend to impose an artificial sense of scheduling on one's life. Which can lead to not only a sense of falling behind (if you have X things on the list to do and only Y expected years in which to do them), but also to set time-linked goals for yourself and then feel disappointment when life doesn't turn out that way.
For example, when I was in high school, I was sure that I needed to be a published author by 20. 25 at the latest! 30 was clearly *too old*, and would be a sign of abject failure And by some metrics, I've achieved that goal, and by others - notably the ones I was focused on at the time, being fiction and professional comics work - I completely didn't. And you know what? I'm okay with that. Life is too short to hold yourself hostage to what you imagined your life should be like over a decade ago.
I was going to have a novel published by the time I was forty....
"Life is too short to hold yourself hostage to what you imagined your life should be like over a decade ago."
I function best when I have something to look forward to, but I think actual plans, even vague ones, work better than a 'someday' list for me for that. There are a couple of ideas we've been batting around that I will be very sad if they don't work out. On the other hand, if I'd put "live in another country for a while" on a list (and I would have) I'd have considered that a blue-sky dream that would probably never have happened, and having it there might have made me feel worse rather than better. Until the chance did come up, five years ago, and we seized it.
I was reminded (by the radio of all things) that our compassion for others is incomplete if it does not include compassion for ourselves.
So good on you, and <3
This is so true.
Last week I asked someone on my friendslist if she would say the same thing to me she was saying to herself, because that is one of the best ways I know of cutting short lack of compassion for myself: I put one of my friends in the spot I'm in and see if I'm still rolling my eyes at them, haranguing them to do everything all at once, etc.
said the same thing to me once, that I'd never treat any of my friends the way I treat myself.
It's a very useful thing to hold on to.
When that one doesn't get through to me, the big guns for me are my godson. "If Rob was grown-up and all upset with himself over something like this, how would it make me feel?"
Because, y'know. I can imagine Rob being upset with himself over things his godmother thought were worth being upset with oneself over; I don't believe that the child is now or ever will be perfect. So I know this kind of self-check doesn't result in lack of standards. It just results in standards for kindness.
I tell a version of this to my clients sometimes: If you had someone following you around, saying to you all the mean/unloving things you say to yourself, how would you feel about that person? What would you want to tell them? Would you let them talk to you that way?
Ooo. Good point. Or even better, how would you feel about it if somebody did it to somebody you loved?
Because some of us have had that person following us around, and might have a somewhat conflicted reaction to it.
You're right, sometimes that works better. People can be so much more protective of their loved ones than of themselves.
I hear you. I don't really do these either, but I do have a "places to go" list. But it's not so much "before I die." It's "in the next ten years"-ish. If that's before I die or after, well, that's good. (I am badgering JD to get moving already on planning the South of France trip. I'm tired of not having been, but it's so I can go, not so I can check it off a list.)
And I am a list-making fool. They are where I keep my brain. But virtually all my lists are short-term, anyway.
I made a "bucket list" a year or so back, when an employee enrichment seminar on goal setting invaded the space where I was eating lunch at work, and I stuck around to see if I could learn anything.
The one nice thing about it was that there were a few things on the list that jumped out at me as things that I could do, or at least take concrete steps towards achieving, almost right away. I've done a few of them, and am actively planning or working towards a couple of others, and that's been good.
On the other hand, there's another twenty-odd things on the list that are just sitting there, being things I haven't done yet. In retrospect, it might have been better to make the list, pick off the five things that I could actually take concrete action on right away, and then throw the rest out.
That's probably how I'd do it, if I was going to do anything like that at all. And then do it again when I felt the need.
For similar reasons, for years I've made a practice of leaving at least one "must do" thing undone wherever I visit. Then I don't think, "Oh, I've done everything there, why go back?" Leaving the door open to possibility is much more important to me than ticking off a list.
I like that. I think I've been doing it more or less by chance, either because there's more stuff that would go on that list than I have time for, or because I forget things, or because they're added later. On my way home from Paris, I realized I'd missed a major museum I'd meant to go to. But I had a variety of good meals, a good conversation or two (despite my abysmal French), and visited a museum of "French prehistory." Stone points and Irish elk (and French paleontological terms aren't much different from English ones). That was also the day I discovered I like mayonnaise, actual fresh mayonnaise, the sort a random food shop in a French suburb puts on your sandwich without asking. [I will stop reminiscing here, but I am now thinking again about going back.]
I am also thinking about going back, after years of saying, "Ehhh, Paris isn't that interesting compared to the rest of France." But I have never been to the 18th Arrondissement and suddenly I really want to.