Monday, January 6, 2014

Tick Lists

The Uintas, Sunrise

Another year has slipped into the night and the future is all horizon.  Of course I have big expectations for the things to come, but my tick list has grown inconceivably long.  It is now an unwieldy beast that will likely lead to disappointment due to the sheer magnitude of it, and it continues to grow.  As a point of interest, I use the phrase "tick list" from  my climbing days instead of "bucket list" because it connotes something completely different.  A bucket list sounds desperate to me, like I let life pass me by.  At first I thought it was merely a semantic distinction but, upon closer look, I realize there is a significant difference.  A "tick list" originates from the imagination and a world of possibilities.  It grows with you and is very forward looking.  In contrast, a "bucket list" is full of  should've-dones and the envy of others.  Mark Twain got it right when he said, "you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things you did."  Sure you can start at the end and work backwards...but why?  Why chisel away at a looming list of regrets when you can continually add to a growing one of proud pursuits?

So here I am, literally in the middle of it.  There is as much life behind me as there is in front of me.  I believe that I have made good on Mr. Twain's words, at least with the first half of my life. It explains why the list continues to grow - after all adventure begets more adventure.  The problem for me now is: how do I continue to meet the mounting expectations of the future?  The past was reckless to put it nicely.  Now new problems emerge.  My body doesn't work quite like it used to.  Time and money and a host of other trifling annoyances are more present than ever.  Do I need a better perspective?  Preparation perhaps?  Luck?  Who knows.  

Hopefully the new year bodes well for everyone with whatever it is you choose to do.