I think it’s time we get to the crux of the issue here. The problem is not that we only live once. It’s that we are only young once. Yes you can still live life to the full at an older age, but let’s face it, no one wants to watch their mum streaking down a starlit beach naked, on a family holiday in the Mediterranean, fulfilling her lifelong skinny dipping dream. These things need to be done while we are young, on a quiet beach in East Asia that stays warm throughout the night, with the friends you just met and feel like you’ve known forever.
YOYO is an idea my best girls and I came up with on New Years Eve in St. Ives, Cornwall, in the final hours of 2015. We were discussing which mementos from the year we would throw into the bonfire to forget and move on from: sorry letters from exes and unfortunate STI test results feautured. After deciding half of us had hit rock bottom that year, and the other half had been so sensible that they didn’t even have anything to regret, we vowed to live 2016 according to YOYO. We each came up with five Bucket List items to be completed in 2016:
- Some were small: write into an agony aunt, brew my own alcohol, make pottery on a wheel
- Some were brave, maybe promiscuous: model for a life-drawing class, have sex in a club toilet
- Some where ambitious: move out, cycle coast to coast, complete fifty Park Runs
- Some were unrealistic: travel first class on an aeroplane.
But whatever they were, they were going to make 2016 a year to remember.
How to live your life according to YOYO:
Think about things you’ve always wanted to do, but won’t be able to do once you’ve taken on the responsibilities of a grown up. Travelling is a major example. Although i’ve seen people do it, you can’t easily backpack with children in tow. Not to mention while you’re paying a mortgage for a house you won’t even be using. In fact, the best time to travel is while you’re living at home, no need to pay rent or leave a secure tenancy and have to frantically find a new one as soon as you return home, bank balance run dry. If travelling is a dream of yours, don’t wait around for it, make it happen now!
The next types of activity you need to consider are those which require the recklessness and responsibility-free nature of being young. I’m personally not planning on getting too drunk and partying all that much when I have children to look after, my hangovers won’t allow for this. I’m also not intending to be promiscuous when I have a significant other. So if you want to have sex in a particularly risky location, seize the moment. If you want to dance until sunrise every weekend, you should. You need to get these things out of your system while you’re young, so that you don’t feel any regret later on.
YOYO is not exclusively about ticking off bucket lists however. It’s a lifestyle, essentially the same thing as being a ‘yes-person’ and seeking fun at every opportunity. The first YOYO inspired moments of our 2016 were getting “extra” salt and vinegar on our fish and chips, getting caught in a fisherman’s net (it was a fancy dress street party) and climbing through a tent tunnel which turned out to be a cul-de-sac – don’t ask.
Enjoy the YOYO girls.