One idyllic afternoon on the Lake House deck, my sister Patti and I were entertaining our mother, St. Patsy, with bad language (mostly me) and philosophy (largely Patti). It was the kind of discussion that started innocently enough and soon became wide-ranging and free-flowing and all sorts of other participial hyphenated predicate adjectives. You know?
Anyway, there was alcohol involved, so....
We were three older chicks sitting around bitching when I made the boozy pronouncement that "Life is too short. It's time to cut a lot of stress loose. More than half of my life is over. It's time to live." (Hey. I didn't say it was profound.) This is when my sister introduced her List.
Oh, not That List. Although, Patti is plenty self-actualized and I'm sure she has one. And not one of those groan-inducing Life Lists that have taken over the Interwebs wherein bloggers all join virtual hands and help each other realize dreams big and small, like "Be a clown for a day!" and "Knit my own hammock" or "Fly a hovercraft." Life Lists are inspired by Bucket Lists but are so much more POSITIVE!! Well, Patti's List is inspired symphonically by the Bucket List and is called...ahem...The Fuck It List.
A true Fuck It List is a lineup of stuff that we are legitimately still concerned about. Now, however, we have laid it out and asked ourselves the sterling question: WHY?
And the answer is--you guessed it--Fuck It.
For example: I have, in our thirty years of marriage, beseeched, pleaded, exhorted, and admonished Rick to let me know when he was using a ladder to go on the roof or to clean the gutters. I would stand at the bottom and hold said ladder, I explained early on, for safety's sake. About fifteen years ago, I gave up that crusade and settled for "At least let me know when you are going up there so that I will look out now and then to make sure you're not lying on the ground for too long if you fall." Now, Fuck It. He still rarely, if ever, tells me he's going to use a ladder. If it's not important to him, why should I get so calisthenic over it and lose valuable Serenity Time?
The idea of the Fuck It List is life-changing for me. It's all about acceptance as well as rejection. It works for people, it works for relationships, it works for everything: Why are you sweating that? Why are you so invested in it? Why are you the only one who cares? If you cannot provide cogent, grounded, valuable reasons for these questions (known as the Why Filter of the Fuck It List), then something needs to go on the FIL.
I cannot begin to tell you how many things I have run through the Why Filter of the Fuck It List since I have been retired from teaching. It's as if that part of my brain had been dormant or atrophied. Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner? Have you all been keeping this from me on purpose?
Better yet, what's on your Fuck It List?