Life's Too Short, So Here Are 50 Things You Have to Do NOW

Life is a pickle on your plate.

Let me explain: I’m obsessed with really good pickles. That sour snap is something that I’ve loved since I was a wee sprite of a girl. As an adult, I’ll pay outrageous sums to get my paws on a killer jar of kosher dills.

That said, when I go to restaurants and order a burger or sandwich that comes with a pickle, I have a habit of leaving it for “dessert.” Best for last, and that kind of thing. But on many occasions that has really backfired. Either the server takes the plate away too soon, someone else grabs it and eats it before I can stop him/her, or worst of all, life interrupts and I have to leave before I finish that last bite.

Saving your proverbial pickle is not something that bodes well for the act of savoring life, which in the wake of some very profound losses of late — Natalie Cole, Lemmy Kilmister, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey and David Bowie — seems even sillier than, well, using a pickle on a plate as an analogy.

Saying goodbye to these talented people is even more difficult because each of them died at a relatively young age — late 60s/early 70s. If you’re like me, that’s spittin’ distance at this point, although none of us knows when the Grim Reaper is going to bear his shit eatin’ grin to us and signal time’s up. 

Then again, if you’re really like me, you can imagine that those superstars left no pickle on any plate, as it were. Their dill-io was to enjoy it all with their whole heart, soul and multiple orifices — and you’re welcome for that visual.

And while some of their exploits were legendary, bucket-list-worthy deals that you (and I) might also consider, I like to imagine that the smaller, simpler joys of everyday life were not neglected either.

Life is too damn short to not indulge in things that make it worth living in the first place. So while this isn’t a fuckit list, a bucket list or a to don’t list, it is a list of the things we too often put off until it’s too late. (Big thanks to my friends on Facebook — our lists are very on point, my bitches/bastards!)

Remember: Today is the first day of the rest of your life, so get cracking’!

1. Learn how to play an instrument, or if you already play one, dust it off and rock on with your excellent self. 2. Buy those fabulous shoes you’ve been coveting forever. 3. Have more sex. Or even some sex. Just have sex! 4. Stop saying you can’t do _____, because you really don’t know that for a fact that unless you’ve tried. 5. Take long walks. 6. Watch the sun rise and/or set. 7. Day drink, unless you’re sober, in which case you should imbibe more beverages that make you smile. 8. Go to the beach, regardless of what time of year it is. 9. Tell people you love that you love them… all the time. 10. Jettison toxic beings and situations from your life. 11. Be naked more often. 12. Travel far and wide. 13. Pick one thing that scares you daily and just freakin’ do it. 14. Light candles that smell divine. 15. Apologize to anyone you owe an apology to – whether they know it or not. 16. Forgive someone – especially yourself. 17. Make friends with the people you’ve always dug from afar. 18. Go to see more live music and theater. 19. Get away with your BBFs. 20. Let loose in whatever manner you feel most joy. 21. Embrace carbs – at least once a week, anyways.

22. Read more books. (And I suggest you start with Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, by Carrie Brownstein.)

23. Meditate. Just start with five minutes a day to clear your brain. 24. Go dancing – even if it’s in your own living room. 25. Play hooky. 26. Buy new underwear and throw away the old, saggy, stained pairs. (Ditto on bras if you wear ‘em!) 27. Let your creativity run amok – paint, write, play with clay, make art. 28. Call your mom. 29. Work less.

30. Let it go. Really this time.

31. Volunteer for something that has nothing to do with your life, as you know it. 32. Eat pizza. 33. Kiss your loved ones goodbye, goodnight, hello… just kiss ’em, always. 34. Sing loudly and often. Even better if you embarrass your kids! 35. Spend more time with the people you love – no matter what the circumstances, and geography, time, etc. aside. 36. Stop stressing. 37. Continue your education. 38. Make more “me” time. 39. Exercise by doing something you love (ballroom dance, roller skate, surf, etc.). 40. Do things in private that make you feel good =) 41. Eat more rice pudding. Or whatever you think is most delish. 42. Indulge in life. 43. Go to galleries and museums — and give yourself hours to meander and soak in the work. 44. Be kind to everyone, including (and especially) yourself. 45. See a doc for an annual checkup at least, and definitely if you’re not feeling well. 46. Call your dad. 47. Stretch your body. 48. Log off all devices for an hour in the middle of the day. Well… at least 15 minutes.

49. Laugh out loud, multiple times daily. (If you need help with this, I suggest you tune into Billy on the Street, stat!)

50. Always remember love is the answer — that way there’s no question.

So if you see me dive into a heaping platter of pickles, just remember that sure, life is short, but the list of awesome things to do while you’re on this crazy planet is long. After all, none of us are prophets or Stone age men (or women), just mere mortals with potential of a super[wo]man. So… live on!*

* That was a riff on a quote by Bowie.

Photo credits:
Pickle on the plate: U.S. Dept of Agriculture (who knew they love pickles, too?) 
Sunset: Babyhands
Put on Your Red Shoes and Dance The Blues: Melissa Nelson-Yu