The Short List

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 The ShortList is not a substitute for any sort of ‘bucket list’.  This is a stand-alone list intended as a social guidepost for just about anybody. This is a short list for adulthood.

Admittedly this list has a masculine skew to it.  Change a pronoun or two and you might be surprised as to how it may pertain to the feminine. The list is the short list for adulthood regardless of gender.

As I am drawn through the day-to-day meanderings that make up my moving through the world, I am encountering more and more youngish people on the verge of being thrown into the rough-and-tumble adult world… and I can’t help but think that, for the most part, they just aren’t properly prepared for it.

Hell, I know I wasn’t prepared.. and I sure wish that someone had made a few suggestions at key moments when I might have listened.

I’ve reached a point in my life where a series of things have changed my world, the way I live it, and introduced new challenges.

These days I’m fighting with a number of different demons, not the least of which is self awareness.  I had always thought that I was ‘aware’, but the more time I spend on the business of living, I am discovering that I spent way too much of my time ‘being cool’ instead of being aware. And to be aware means to live, fully. Now I’m not suggesting that finding your cool, and being the you in the cool is a problem or a waste of time or energy, but what I am saying is that your cool can have a drive-by sort of relationship with the mainstream, not-quite-so-cool world that awaits you. And from those occasional oblique visitations with the mainstream world, you may find that your level of satisfaction increases, and, strangely enough, sustained happiness becomes a lot easier.

Its about doing yourself and those around you a favour.  Its the favour of Getting Involved in living your life:  Stop standing outside watching it live you...

I doubt that anyone of the target group is listening now, but on the off-chance that there is, here is a short list of some of the things I wish I had done in preparation to move into adulthood;

  • learn to dance and then get out and do it
  • learn to meditate
  • learn to manage your time
  • learn to manage your friends
  • learn to manage money
  • learn to negotiate and mediate
  • discover the wisdom and understanding of  when to wear the uniform of the rowdy thrill seeking ‘kid’, and when and how to wear the uniform of responsibility
  • learn how and when to shave
  • I wish I had learned earlier when it was time to think about personal hygiene; when to begin using deodorant, when to begin showering daily, when/how often to wash my hair, face and hands
  • learn how not to chew your fingernails
  • figure out where and how to buy good shoes and then discover how to maintain them so they last
  • learn when to spend on quality, and when to spend on throwaways
  • buy a good bed
  • learn to cook
  • learn to tell a good bottle of wine from overpriced plonk, when to spend the money on a good wine, when plonk is all you really need, and when beer is not an appropriate choice
  • develop a lifelong exercise regime
  • learn yoga/tai chi
  • learn to swim
  • learn to type
  • learn how to set a table properly, with all the plates, cutlery, glasses and napkins
  • learn how to use all of the cutlery and when which piece is the right choice
  • get a motorcycle license, and learn to drive one properly
  • learn the difference between intimacy and sex
  • find a dentist who you can keep seeing for years, who will help you keep your teeth for your lifetime
  • find a doctor who you can keep seeing for years, who has the potential for becoming a confidant who will proactively help keep you healthy

So that’s the short list, without explanations. There is, of course the back story for each item on the list and of course a longer list, and all of the stories and explanations that substantiate them. Those will come later as I grow bolder, and irrevocably older…

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