Monday, May 6, 2013

Live Life Like You're Going to Die, because that is How it Works.

I came across this list of "50 Ways to Live Life to the Full" on the Daily Mail site. It was "commissioned to mark the DVD release of Life Of Pi" which gives me pause. Especially considering the banality of the list:

1. Stop worrying about money
Just once I would like money to worry about ME!! Is that too much to ask?!

2. Stop worrying about what other people think
Except if we are speaking of sartorial matters. In that case, it's a good idea to remember that first impressions are important. I'm not recommending you dress like a young Republican, just don't dress like a slut.

3. Take two holidays a year
If we play fast and loose with the definition of "holidays," to incorporate camping holidays, weekend getaways for children's sporting events, and visits with family members -- I'm golden.

4. Enjoy little comforts in life
**gets up from computer, goes to kitchen to retrieve bag of Chipits, shoves a handful into my gaping maw.** 


5. Experience different cultures
On Friday for the first time since we moved here 11 years ago, I went out to the Chinese restaurant in town. For their Western-Chinese buffet. It was quite the experience, let me tell you!

I'm giving this point a √.

6. Work to live rather than live to work
I really can't support the idea that it's better to starve than work at a job that pays the bills but doesn't completely fulfill you. Hello?! That's why we have television!

7. Pay off all debts
Getting there. Stupid mortgage.

8. Be true to yourself
Unless "yourself" is an asshole. In that case, be better than yourself.

9. Concentrate on what you have instead of what you don't have
Helpful hint: quit Facebook.

10. Use money on experiences rather than saving for a rainy day
NO! A THOUSAND TIMES NO! Save your money and strike from your lexicon the justification that "I really deserve this" extravagant what-have-you. If you insist on doing this, I will send Suze Orman over to your house to kick your ass. And if you are truly unlucky she will bring along Oprah.

11. Make time for family and friends
Sometimes I take a break from my busy schedule of staying at home with my children and I ferry them to the rec centre for various activities. That's when I marvel that if I sit for any length of time at the tables outside the play gym: EVERYONE IN TOWN EVENTUALLY WALKS BY FOR A CHAT! Small town living has made me very lazy about "making time."

12. Try all types of food
I bought kefir on the weekend. It's temporarily dampened my zest for trying new foods. Especially new foods that make my lips tingly and smell faintly of dairy and vinegar.

13. Find true love

14. Travel to at least 25 different foreign countries
United States, Mexico, Cuba, Britain, Ireland, France, Holland, Germany, Greece and Italy.

Damn. Not even close.

15. Go outside more
More than what? I already walk the dog twice a day, and run errands and in the summer we canoe and camp. That's enough, let's not making going outside more a competition.

16. Learn a new language
Aprender un nuevo idioma es torpe cuando hay Google Translate.

17. Be well thought of by family and friends
They all love and adore me and know better than to think ill of me.

18. Help a member of your family out when they really need it
My boys were in a dance recital last week and I helped put makeup on them, because they are not very good with lipstick application.

19. Lose a stone in weight
Thanks, Daily Mail and Life of Pi, for making me wonder if I'm fat and this is the universe's unsubtle way of telling me.

20. Treat each day like it's your last
This is a fine notion if you are a high school student looking for a quip to include below your photo in the grade 12 yearbook. That's because a certain level of self-absorption, impulsiveness, and short-sightedness are expected at that age. But if you are an adult, this is a ridiculous sentiment. How about this: Treat each day like you're going to have to live with the consequences of your actions.

In case anyone is wondering, this is the quote I included in my Grade 12 yearbook:
                                Soon our fortunes will be made, my darling
                                And we will leave this loathsome little town
                                                                       -Paul Simon, Proof.

I am was a pretentious little douche.

21. Visit all of Britain's historical landmarks
I googled this. There are thousands and thousands landmarks in Britain. I doubt anyone is going to achieve this one. I did look at the List of World Heritage Sites in the United Kingdom (current and proposed) and I've done: City of Bath, Hadrian's Wall, Giant's Causeway, Old Edinburgh, Stonehenge, Avebury, Tower of London, Westminister Abbey, Lake District, Stratford-on-Avon, the Cotswalds, and City of York.

22. Book an impulsive last minute holiday
We did this in 2010 when we booked a trip to Disneyland. It happened so quickly that we didn't even take time to properly explain Disneyland to the boys. Still, it was a great time.

23. Volunteer for a good cause
I'm a stay-at-home mom, I volunteer for everything. You know what would happen if stay-at-home moms stopped volunteering? Not a damn thing. No soccer. No hockey. No dance recitals. No bake sales. No fundraising. NOTHING.

24. Take up a challenge

25. Go on safari
Here's the thing: I don't really like looking at wild animals. It's nice to go to a zoo for an afternoon, but I have no interest in going somewhere even more remote than my current location to look at animals.

26. Blow a load of money in one shopping trip, just because you can
This reminds me of the first few times we went to Costco and everything was so novel and so big, we just went mad. This might just be the year we finish the 2.4 kg container of lemonade powder that my husband bought three years ago.

27. Learn a new instrument
This is not going to happen. I have zero interest in learning to play music. Music is something that should be left to professionals. Like pole dancing.

28. Be married for longer than 20 years

29. Have enough money left for the grandchildren to enjoy
Fuck that shit. I've been saving for my retirement since I was 20. I haven't been doing it so that some future generation can enjoy my money.

30. Start a family

31. Earn more than your age
I'm 40 and there is actually a very good chance that I -- a stay-at-home mom -- will not earn $40 this year. Maybe I'll start collecting empties when I walk the dog. If I start now, I might have $40 worth of bottles and tins collected by next April.

32. Have a pet
I have got three.

33. Drive a really fast car
I am game! Seventy-five percent of the humans in this house are male so I have watched a great many of Top Gear episodes. I have it on good authority that a Bugatti Veyron would be a good choice. Not that it matters because I choose to interpret this point as "Drive a really fast car…but don't feel like you have to top out the speedometer. Just go the speed limit."

34. Travel alone
Done. Three months back-packing in Europe in the mid-nineties.

35. Be able to keep the kids on the straight and narrow
So far, so good. **knock on wood**

36. Meet strangers
I do this all the time. I am very forward and -- this will come as a surprise to many -- very charming...when the mood strikes.

37. Move away from home to an unfamiliar place

38. Have a one night stand
No. Do I get partial points for having one nightstand beside my marital bed?

39. Pass your driving test

40. Get a degree
DONE! Finally my liberal arts degree (my major was Archaeological Anthropology and my minor was English Lit) has come in handy. So glad my dad is getting his monies worth.

41. Rescue someone so that you're a hero for a little while
On the Easter weekend I found a wallet on the street. I spent a few minutes collecting the money, credit cards, cheques, photos, ID cards, and receipts spread across the road and the gutter, went home and called the lady. She was pretty grateful and I bet if you asked her: I am a hero.

42. Date someone exciting but completely wrong for you
My husband frowns upon this idea. Actually he stipulated that I could "neither date someone completely wrong for me OR completely right." That is an actual quote from the man himself.

If I'm going to have to pick and choose between this and point 28, I'll pick the latter.

43. Get a promotion
The only way I can conceive of this happening would involve my husband and I becoming polygamists. THIS IS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN!

44. Reach the desired career peak by age 40
Holy. Fuck. I'm screwed.

45. Have an all-night drinking session
This didn't happen in my youth (as my money usually ran out long before dawn arrived) and it won't be happening now (as my energy usually runs out long before dawn arrives).

46. Perform something on stage in front of others
Done. I got on stage with Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie at the Edmonton Folk Festival and sang "Burning Ring of Fire."

47. Snog a stranger
My husband isn't keen on my doing this one either.

48. Plan a surprise party
I would love to plan a surprise party! So long as I can stick to the planning and not bother with that tricky implementing bit.

49. Embark on adrenaline packed activities such as sky diving or bungee jumping
Done! Over the winter I did a disco-fit class. It was adrenaline packed. And fun.

50. Spend time with children even if they aren't yours
But first ask their parents' permission. Because "The Daily Mail and the Life of Pi told me to do it" is a crap defense for a charge of kidnapping a child.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

All snark aside, I scored a 32. According to the original article, most people checked off 8. So what's your score?


  1. I feel like numbers 10, 26 and 29 are contradictory. Unless you consider "buying lots of stuff" to be a worthwhile experience, but even then. No grandchild will say "gee grandma, I'm so glad you bought eighteen gallons of lemonade mix and saved them in the garage for me!". Stupid list.


  3. So. Many. Comments. Will attempt to limit my thoughts to general areas: (1) I won't stop worrying about money because we have a mortgage and bills and being an adult means not spending tons of money on random shit and paying one's bills so one's family doesn't end up living in a van down by the river; therefore, (2) several of these things are never going to happen and I'm fine with that because they are wildly expensive and/or irresponsible; (3) all of the snogging/drinking/wilder crap I got out of the way in my college years and have no desire to ever do again; and finally (4) I hate #20. If today was really my last day on earth, I'd quit my job, pull my kids out of school to be with me, make my husband stay home from work, eat every food I've ever loved until I was sick, and get nothing done. It is not reasonable or even a good idea for people to actually live every day like it's their last. BAH!

  4. I hate it when Anonymous out-comments me before I even get here.

    Firstly, I can't stop worrying about money, because bad things happen when I do. Like we have no money.

    I turned 42 last week, have I reached my pinnacle already? Does that mean it's time to go lie on the couch and eat chips from now on?

    I scored a 13 1/2. It was a little dicey until I got to give myself points for driving and going to college.

  5. Yeah, some of these are really stupid. The whole 'live every day as if it's your last' thing always spikes my blood pressure. Besides which, how do you decide how someone else "lives their life to the full"? Even that title makes me cranky. Wait, I'm probably supposed to stop being so cranky if I'm going to live life to the fullest. Wait -- *surveys list* -- are you sure you aren't doing the list meant for Gwyneth Paltrow?

  6. I feel like a lot (most?) of these are very much based on a privileged lifestyle. For example, not everyone can afford to visit multiple countries. Does that mean they fail at living life to the fullest. I think I might have to copy you do and my own list. So much wank!

  7. It is probably easier to visit 25 countries if you live in the UK - I have visited thirteen (if you count the constituent parts of Great Britain as three separate countries) already, and other than the USA they were all in Europe (and therefore closer to me than the distance from one side of Canada or the US to the other).