Saturday, November 23, 2013

Livin' in the Bucket

My quest to race for less than 10 bucks all year continued today with a 5K turkey trot. Of course, finding a 5K to fit my race fee restriction was difficult, but I finally found one at UW La Crosse. I immediately signed up because, well, La Crosse is only an hour away, right?

Enter the wisdom of Big E, who patiently explained after I signed up that La Crosse is 3 hours away. Thankfully, I have not imposed any gas restrictions on myself. (In more ways than one...) After all, this is supposed to be about new experiences and adventure, right?

Of course, the day after I learned of the 6 hour-round-trip drive, I checked the predicted weather for today. 14 degrees. Windchill below zero. Big E then dubbed the race the "6 Hour-Round-Trip-Icebox 5K." Oh well, weather will just add to the adventure, right?

So, that is how I ended up in the car, headed south, at 5:15 this morning. At first I watched in horror as the temperature dropped. Isn't it supposed to be warmer down south? Then I got over myself and got inspired by the sunrise. At some point I noticed a billboard, which is really quite a shock, because, as Pop can attest to, I absolutely suck at reading signs while I drive. I can tell you all about the sunrise, every animal I saw along the road (alive or not) and even what people in other cars were doing, but it is a minor miracle if I can tell you the speed limit or what exit I'm near at any given time while driving.

Anyway, my bad driving habits aside, I saw this billboard for State Farm. It said, "Is Life Insurance on your Bucket List?" This led me to think about my bucket list. My nonexistent bucket list. What? How could I not have a bucket list? How do I not have a list that includes, "Do 6-Hour-Round-Trip-Icebox-5K?"

Since I needed something to do other than read speed limit and exit signs, I thought about this. I really like lists. I've found them quite useful in life because my brain runs a mile a minute but contains a short-term memory of about 3 seconds. I can come up with 25 things I need to do each day before I even eat breakfast, but actually remembering to do them proves to be a challenge without a list. (In fact, I'm quite sure Big E would say that there are days I should probably add, "take a shower" to the list.) If I like lists so much, why don't I have a bucket list?

I found a pretty simple answer, actually. I use lists to help me remember to do things I don't necessarily want to do. Mop the floor.  Call the doctor. Pay the bills. I don't need a list to remember the things I want to do in life because 1) I enjoy them so I remember to do them and 2) I strive to already be doing those things as much as possible (which probably explains why I need a list to remember to take a shower). Not that I'm knocking anyone for having one, but personally, if I really want to travel to all 50 states, I'm probably not going to forget to do this and having it on a list isn't going to make me any more likely to do it. Getting my ass in gear and living is what's going to make me do it.

So, all that rambling brings me to this. I'm just gonna live in the bucket as much as possible and skip the dang list. After all, if I'm living in the bucket, it will be full and much harder to kick.

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