You know those life goal lists high school counselors, and moms, and bossy, well-meaning friends tell you to make?
Making one separates the top three percent of Harvard graduates — who are 10 times richer and more accomplished than the other 97 percent, according to a study done a long time ago, most likely by someone in the 3 percent group. (That other 97 percent must be a bunch of losers and human paraquats. And Harvard graduates. But so what, am I right?)
Apparently these written lists, clearly defining goals and plans for the future, map out a life filled with trophies and dressage horse competitions and swimming in pools filled with gold coins.
Anyhow, I made one of these lists several years ago, right after I’d finished paying off my 80th lifetime overdraft charge and cleared my bedding off the coffee table so I could write on a hard surface.
And actually, because I’m crazy ambitious, I made two lists.
One was the traditional list, housing the big lifetime goals I wanted to achieve before retirement: things such as “Get Published in Esquire,” “Have a Vacation Home in Italy,” “Buy a Huge Speedboat Yacht Thingy and Live On It…” You know, shit like that.
I stared at it for a little while and, within minutes, my pride at writing five things down on a note card (in PEN, no less) transformed into anxiety. That little 3×5 sunovabitch felt like a recipe card for Disappointment Soufflé.
Thankfully, when I decide to do something, I’m like a pit bull with a bad case of lockjaw. And so I busted out another note card and decided to set reasonable, yet still marginally lofty goals for myself.
I was going to make a list for myself, I was going to put doable shit on it, and I was going to do all of it, Dammit.
I bought a brand-new, queen-sized bed a few years back and no longer sleep on the floor, the couch, the coffee table, or a gross old futon. In your face, 97 percent!
In fact, I think it’s likely I could tick off quite a few of my goals, although I can’t say that for sure because I seem to have lost both lists. (Shoulda put “Not Losing This List” somewhere near the top.) One thing I know for sure that was on the Less Lofty. But Still Rad Accomplishment List was “Buy an Extremely Cheap Boat, Possibly One with Oars.”
So here I am, years later and barreling down on my first proper vacation in two years. I can’t afford to go to Italy, let alone purchase a vacation winery there, but I can probably swing the dough for a used Jon boat. They’re pretty small, so I’m thinking I could maybe wedge it into the bed of my pickup and avoid having to buy a trailer. That way, I can still afford oars, a six pack, and a life vest. It’s going to be incredible.
Naysayers have asked, “Where are you going to store this boat of yours?” and “Isn’t summer almost over?” and “Do you even know anything about boating safety?” To them I say, “You just got yourself crossed off the list of people allowed on my boat, friendo. Enjoy the view from the shore.”
Sometime in September, tip your ear towards water and hear me roar, “I’m on a boat, muthahsmuckah, don’t you evah ferget!” I hope it encourages you to make your own list.