Upgrade Your Bucket List


“A doctor gave a man six months to live. The man couldn’t pay his bill, so he gave him another six months.” ~ Henny Youngman

Your bucket list is meaningless shit, full of wishful dreams that you’ll never achieve. They do however make a good post on Facebook. The hotel made of ice in Iceland? — Bucket List! You’ll never go there. You can turn your bucket list into an eye opening life changing tool with just one change. Put a deadline on it.

A few months ago, maybe a year ago, I thought of or heard of (I don’t remember which) an exercise. It was to write out two to-do list. One for if you only had six months to live and one for if you had five years to live. When done, your list consisted of your most important priorities in life. I took a picture of these lists and posted them. I came across them recently.

This is my six-month list:img_5096

  • Buy a van
  • Travel the U.S.
  • Take pictures
  • Love, love, love
  • Get a dog

I was surprised to see that I had done all these!! Maybe just one of the loves in the “love, love, love” task, but hey that’s still pretty good. I guess it’s time to make a new
six-month list.

 img_5139Here is my five-year list.

  • Start a family
  • Buy some land
  • Build a tiny home

Start a family I worked on this one vigorously at the beginning of this year. Luckily, it didn’t take. As far as I know. I’ve only been on two dates since. Anyway, I still have five years to work on this one. In the meantime, I’ll keep working on myself, so that I will be the best father and spouse I can be.

Buy some land I guess I forgot about this one. Let’s face it, though, this requires money, and I don’t have any. I have been working hard on trying to figure out a way to make some extra scratch, but I hadn’t raised my income since it went down by 25% when I retired from the military. This is frustrating. I’ve tried everything from publishing books to starting a Kickstarter campaign. But remember, I am the author of Take The Money Out, so I do, and therefore the things I do bring joy, love, and happiness but not money.

Build a Tiny Home I didn’t build one, but a recent phone call from a TV producer inspired a thought, moreover, reminded me that I want to build houses, unconventional houses to be specific. Before tiny homes were cool, I lived in one for a year in Iraq. It was a converted 20-foot storage container. It set in my mind the idea that I wanted to build these things. I know it’s a weird dream to have. My grandfather’s dream was to one day get a pickup truck and start a lawn mowing business. I don’t see that as weird anymore.

I already have a company that remodels apartments. Why can’t we remodel vans for the #VanLife movement or build tiny homes themselves? Neither require licenses or to follow code. The only requirement is the skill and that we have plenty. I’m excited for this task on my list. This one I have control over and can make happen.

So while I continue to work on my Five Years to Live to-do list, I’ll work on another short term one.

1) Have Sex! If I am going to die in six months, I am going to have as much sex is possible! Not sleeping around is good for quieting the noise in your head and allowing you to work on yourself. Well, I have been working on myself for a while now. If I’m going to die, I’m getting laid first.

2) Write two manuscripts. The one I’m writing now and the one I have been putting off for years, my memoir. The Second Time I Lost My Virginity, And Other Love Stories has been in the works for several years. The good news about my procrastination is I have more love stories to add to it. The reason for the putting it off for so long? No ending. But if I am going to die in six months, I have my ending.

3) Get an accurate diagnosis. It took me several months to get a diagnosis of “Unspecified Personality Disorder” from the VA. I knew this going in! And I’m not a doctor. All that time and effort was for nothing. I would like to die with understanding why I am the way I am. That it’s a neurological disorder, that I’m just not an asshole, that it’s not my fault.

4) See more of my country. Can you believe I have been on the road for almost a year and I haven’t been to a state I’ve never been to?

I like to write things in groups of five, but I found myself forcing to come up with a fifth for no good reason. These four are it now, to get to work.

My challenge to you: Write a six month to live to-do list.

I posted this on my Tumblr a back when I first created my list. Someone commented that she found it depressing to think about dying in six months and that she would just eat whatever she wanted. If that’s you, write it down. I bet having twinkles be one of your priorities in life would be eye opening itself. The same woman made her list and shared it with me. I don’t remember everything that was on it, but I do remember one of them was “Plan My Wedding.” All I could think to say to her was “What the fuck are you waiting for?” But I didn’t, I just mentioned that now that she put a date on one of her goals it became a priority. Even now, I can’t imagine anything from stopping me from marrying the person I love. What could be more important? I wonder if she’s married now.

Send me your to-do list when you have it. I’ll be more than happy to talk to you about it.

If you are a fan of magical realism, I highly recommend my book Los Chocolates De Esperanza Diamanté

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