I'm taking this question to ask not what I already regret, but rather what I will regret if I don't ever get around to it.
- Visit New Zealand. Shoulder shrug. If I ever get there, I'm sure I'll have a great time. If I never get there, I'm content to live vicariously through Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
- Swim with sharks. Absolutely NO THANKS.
- Sleep in a tree house. Whatever. I can take it or leave it.
- Stand in a red phone box in England. Already did it. Definitely not regret-worthy for those of you who never have the opportunity.
- Solve a Rubix Cube. That's why they put stickers on it right? I'm pretty sure I did this the first time I picked one up.
- The list goes on...
When I was a kid, my parents and I often vacationed in Hilton Head, SC. It was the only place that I knew of with a Banana Republic store. This was before Banana Republic became Gap, Inc.'s version of J. Crew. It was when Banana Republic's signature item was safari-inspired logo t-shirts. (If you don't recall this amazing time in retail history, check out the Abandoned Republic website).
So, once upon a time circa 1989, I was in Banana Republic. I spotted a pack of postcards featuring black and white photographs and simple, black typography.
One of the postcards read, "If there's an experience in front of you, have it."
I used that pack of postcards to decorate my bedroom all through high school. I took them to college with me and taped them on my closet door. They got taped up again in my office in grad school, found my way into my first cubicle, and are currently sitting on the desk of my home office. Some 25 years later, the words on those postcards still resonate with me.
It seems natural for us to come up with lists of things that we want to do someday, whether formal bucket lists or mere lamentations of things we'll do things when we get "around to it." The funny short poem that usually accompanies a round Tuit (you can actually buy those things online and in random gift stores) says that round Tuits are rare. That's why everyone says we'll do things when we "get a round Tuit." We all wish we were rich in round Tuits. But I personally don't like operating as if I'm waiting for a round Tuit to appear. I feel like I'm setting myself up for failure - that at the end of the road, I won't have had enough time, money, health, resources, opportunities, whatever, to get what I wanted to do done.
I don't want to feel bad about what I didn't do, and lose sight of what I actually accomplished. I want to live my life by the Banana Republic mantra: "If there's an experience in front of you, have it."
So... regrets.What would I regret not doing in my life? I would regret not paying attention. I would regret wearing blinders. I would regret getting caught up in the quotidian, day-to-day crap and letting the opportunity to have an experience, whether big or mundane, slip by. I would regret being so caught up in my routines that I miss out. I would regret being so tied to the ordinary that there's no place for anything extraordinary.
In the Meg Robbins TED talk that I referenced a few days ago, Robbins said that if we don't respond to an impulse in 5 seconds, then we won't ever respond. I guarantee that it takes longer than 5 seconds to get around it. Dump your bucket list, and as cliche as quoting Nike sounds, just do it at the very moment the opportunity arises.
If there's an experience in front of you, have it, friends.
YOLO, after all.
Here's your own personal round Tuit. Use it wisely.