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Things I Realized I Will Never Do

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Loni Anderson, the one that got away (image by J. Zee).

I hit 43 this week. Not really sure how that happened because it seemed like just yesterday I was 12. What a great age 12 was — young enough to still be a kid, but old enough to start understanding the world around you. All I cared about were sports, my friends and my bike. I ruled the world. Although I did start noticing Loni Anderson on WKRP.

Sliding past middle age had me thinking about what’s ahead … and what isn’t. I haven’t really thought about what I won’t be doing in life. I’ve always dreamt big and usually gotten what I set out for, but age has a way of narrowing your options. Don’t get me wrong, I plan on accomplishing a lot more in the next 20 years than I did the previous 20 (outside of my kids), but reality is a hell of a teacher.

Here are 43 things that actually entered my mind at one time or another that I will never realistically accomplish in my life:

1. I’ll never sleep with Loni Anderson.

2. Play point guard for the Sonics.

3. Sing for Van Halen. You have to admit, my odds were looking up after the release of Van Halen 3.

4. I’ll never have a 50th wedding anniversary.

5. Never be a spy for the CIA and save the world with nail-clippers and a stick of gum.

6. Or work for the FBI. I actually looked into it after 9/11. You can’t be over 37.

7. Be a stay-at-home dad for a year..

8. Get called up on stage to drum at a Rush concert because Neil caught a broken stick in the eye. This is probably for the best.

9. Never afford to take all my buds on a once in a lifetime Guys Weekend.

10. Look better than I do right now.

11. Write a sitcom.

12. Hire a live-in maid like Alice from the Brady Bunch (although I prefer she look like Gloria from Modern Family).

13. Date all the women I had a crush on the first 15 years of my life.

14. Vote for an honest politician.

15. Be able to move my kids to a foreign country to study for a year (along with me, not as a punishment).

16. Hire the Black Crowes to play my birthday party.

17. Surf with Spicoli.

18. Avoid massive life failures.

19. Write a sequel to Stripes: Stripes 2 — The Fall of John Winger.

20. Be neighbors and buds with Gus Williams.

gus Things I Realized I Will Never Do

The one and only Gus Williams

21. Grow a bitchin’ handlebar moustache.

22. Beat Stallone in arm wrestling (just like in Over the Top).

23. See my kids attend a quality public school.

24. Kickbox with John Cusack.

25. Dunk.

26. See Queen live in concert

27. Or The Clash.

28.  Be hired for my potential again.

29. See the elimination of the designated hitter.

30. Spell Cincinnati, receipt and daiquiri without spell check.

31. Be General Manager of the Seahawks.

32. See another great John Hughes movie.

33. Collaborate with Cameron Crowe.

34. Be the Assistant to the Assistant Manager of a movie theater.

35. Own a winery (with vineyard).

36. Go on a date with Elizabeth Shue.

37. Quarterback anything other than a video game football team.

38. See our country push through a real third party candidate.

39. I’ll never understand the metric system.

40. Or Dewey Decimal.

41. Or geometry for that matter.

42. See a quality remake of Porky’s.

43. Be able to fool myself (Believe me, I’ve tried).

Have you ever thought about yours?

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Things I Realized I Will Never Do by
Rob Unck May 11, 2012 at 8:12 am

You have three in a row that I think are absolutely still doable at (and beyond) 43: 9, 10, and 11.

We’ll start with #10: You may never look *younger* than you do now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look better. With the right diet and training you can look fantastic at 50 – look at Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise: both 50. (Well, Brad next year.) You got 7 years to work toward a bitchin (bitchen? bitchin’?) 50-year-old bod. ;)

#9: Are you kidding me? You still have 30, 40 years to write that best-selling book, invent that million-selling idea, win the lottery, invest in the next Facebook that will be invented by some friend of your kid’s in 15 years… etc. It could happen.

#11: Another “Are you kidding me?” proposition in my opinion: 43 isn’t at all too old to write a sitcom. I’m still daily writing a screenplay for a feature I plan to shoot next summer. I figure I have at least until 50 (I’ll be 42 this year) to make a film or pilot that gets me started on a career in show business as a writer or director. Sure, I’ll most likely be making content for people my age, and it might not be the biggest hit ever, but I believe completely I could spend the next 8-10 years working toward that kind of goal and then spend the next 25 years writing/directing/filmmaking. And once you write your sitcom and it becomes a hit, you’ll be able to afford #9. ;)

Don’t ever believe the “you’re too old when you reach X age” bullshit when it comes to creative endeavors. There are plenty of stories of people in their older years breaking in to showbiz. I had an English teacher in Phoenix that thought I was a pretty decent writer. He’s 67 years old now. His name is James Sallis. Last year he has what you might call a little success: He wrote the book that became last year’s Academy-Award-nominated film “Drive” and is now writing the sequel, Driven. 67, dude. It’s never too late!

Kimkce May 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

One thing I’ve learned in my life, is… Never say Never!

Playstead May 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Good points Rob, but this was less giving up and more about knowing my responsibilities, priorities and what I’m good at. Then there’s finances and after the past two years — well, it’s reshaped expectations.

By the way, I look fantastic right now so I assumed keeping that up would be tough (heavy sarcasm).

As for the sitcom, I’ve worked down in Hollywood before and the only way I could do that would be to write that book first — so you’re right. That’s probably doable. I have ideas too — oh do I ever.

Thanks for the comment to both of you.

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