Guest Post – The Anti-List
I discovered Molly over at A Foreign Land about a year ago. I forget how, but I did. She writes about living in a place that doesn’t necessarily feel like home (sound familiar?) and does so with humor, guts, and honesty. She wrote a post about her Anti-List. Do you have one?
Making lists is one of my
coping mechanisms hobbies. Lists get me dreaming. Lists help me to set achievable goals. Lists keep me from looking back with longing or getting bogged down by today’s stress. Lists allow me to systematically cross their items off one by one and fool myself into thinking I have some semblance of control. Lists make me smile.
I have an Ultimate To DO List.
I have a 50 Books That I MUST Read List.
I have a Day Zero List (101 tasks in 1001 days).
I. Love. Lists.
But today I have a list of different kind to share. See it all started several months ago when I read this fantastic collection of essays by Shauna Niequist called Bittersweet. In one of the essays, Niequist unapologetically lists several activities, foods and other sundry things of which she is not a fan. It seemed like an exercise in letting herself off the hook. By putting these things on paper it was as though she was embracing who she was and who she wasn’t. As I read it, I was intrigued by her list of things “To Not Do.” A month or so later, while reading The Happiness Project I discovered that its author, Gretchen Rubin had discovered a similar truth. (I suggest you read about HERE as she explains it far better than I ever will.) In her quest to find happiness she learned the importance of being Gretchen. This simply meant she had to accept and acknowledge her limitations and embrace her natural likes and dislikes.
The idea was incredibly appealing to me. See, while there is still a whole host of things I want to try while I’m on this Earth, there are a few things I’m cool with not ever trying again. And for me, there is something liberating about admitting that I’m not into something. No apologies necessary, just acceptance. It makes me feel empowered to embrace that while a food or activity or belief or place might be very popular or healthy or insert positive adjective here, I am not REQUIRED to love it. By freeing myself from the need to develop a forced appreciation for things, I’m giving myself time and energy to devote to the things I really LOVE or haven’t yet tried. And that, my friends, brings us to the most recent list in my life. It’s my list of things that I’m okay to not do. Perhaps an Anti-List, if you will.
1. I do NOT ski. While I love the idea of hanging out in a ski lodge, skiing is not for me. Barreling down the icy cold side of a mountain on two planks is not enjoyable to me. Mountains are indeed breathtaking and I’d prefer to enjoy them on the other side of a huge picture window while I’m drinking my hot cocoa by a roaring fire.
2. I do NOT like sour cream. It gives me a weird taste behind my nose. I hate it when it contaminates my food. That creamy white ickyness gives me the creeps. However, you put a packet of onion soup into it and give me a bag of ruffles and that’s a whole different story.
3. Paris did NOTHING for me. Perhaps it was a case of expectations being set too high, but the city did not win my heart. Having spent zero time in the remainder of France I’m totally open to falling in love with it (especially after finishing Julia Child’s My Life in Paris recently). But, if I never return to Paris I will not shed a tear.
4. I’m NOT a beach person. Pasty white skin makes me the worst EVER layer-outer and I have an itty bitty tolerance for heat and sand. (I do love the ocean though. A rocky shoreline full of cliffs and crashing waves has been known to make me swoon.) There are too many places around the globe that I’m dying to explore to spend every vacationing moment on a beach.
5. I do NOT have a green thumb. I’ve written about this before. I kill just about everything I plant. It doesn’t matter if the plants live inside or outside, in sunshine or shade, with water or without. I kill them all. Indiscriminately and completely.
May I introduce you to my latest victim?
I reserve the right to add much, much more to this list as I continue to try new things and learn more and more about myself.
What about you? Do you have anything you’re willing to admit is on your anti-list?
Thank you Molly! I just love your perspective. Don’t forget to visit Molly over at A Foreign Land!