It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s, you know, worth doing. At all. Ever. In life. So, I did what I do, and I wrote about it. Prepare for my totally unedited, shockingly comprehensive 8-point list of Things Worth Doing!
Along with the text below, I’m sharing a quick blurry snapshot of the actual handwritten page, so you can get the full-on “11-year-old-emo-kid-under-the-bedclothes-with-a-flashlight” vibe, which is perhaps the main appeal of a document like this. Do you have any documents like this? You probably have some.
Things Worth Doing
1.writing a book
2. having a family (of any kind)
3. going to the ocean
4. reading something reallllly old
5. helping someone’s life suck less, especially someone whose life realllllly sucks
6. deciding that what matters to someone else as “important” doesn’t have to be what matters to you.
7. not being a dickhead
8. dealing with living in a saggy & finite body… which is what makes any-and-all of this possible… & being glad somehow for its limitations & its exhaustions, its shocks & frustrations, because it is not just what houses you, it IS you. And if it were other, you would be other, and would not be able to understand what things you understand, or make what things you make, or see what has passed before you & guess at what comes after… in the way that only you, now, seeing what only you see individually, can do.
So, that’s what’s up in my house right now. I’m not even stoned, I promise!
Now of course, I am not running around doing all these things constantly like some kind of uber-life-coached creature of pure light. I am sometimes a dickhead, and despite #5 I don’t go helping people every day, hugging orphans and generally behaving like some kind of filthy starry-eyed hippie who never takes the last piece of pizza… this is a list of the things I think are worth doing, not the things I necessarily do.
But, it’s fairly comprehensive– most things I legit find worth doing fall under one of these 8 headings. (None of them say “theater,” even though I’m a playwright… but of course, playwrighting is there, in #2, in #5, in #8… actually, most of my life probably falls under #8– but, please note that it says “dealing with” and not “successfully having figured out how to deal with.”)
What’s here is all shorthand– that’s what lists are for– obviously “a family” could mean a hundred different things, as could “a book.” A book? Hmm. Let’s talk about that #1 thing right there.
A book?! I was genuinely surprised that was the first thing I thought of, but on reflection, you know, duh. I write in/for a lot of mediums, but I’ve read more books than anything else, and I honestly think writing a book might be the single coolest creative thing a person can do– there’s almost no barrier to entry, you need only the most basic technologies of language, which nearly anyone who’s really dedicated could obtain in some fashion– and just the act of being part of “all the books ever written by humanity” is awesome, regardless of whether anyone actually reads the thing… or, even less likely, enjoys reading it… in other words, I think everyone should go write a book, but please don’t make me read them all.
Anyway, if this list is an accurate assessment of what I think is Worth Doing, it mostly it turns out I’m into trying to do a weird blend of “things that suggest I’m totally unimportant” (i.e., staring into the endless sea) and “things that suggest I’m incredibly important” (i.e., telling everyone how I feel about it.) So, that’s pretty human I guess, right? And so MODERN.