Sunday, February 1, 2015

I am six weeks away from turning 42. As of right now, I am not enjoying my forties. My thirties were much better. I finally felt good at my job, my kids were both school-age. My sex-drive finally caught up to my husband's. Life was good. The forties? Not so much. It's like some evil dark magic has descended upon me and forced me to look at my own mortality.  Every day there is something new, something different that quietly screams, "Pay attention!  There isn't as much time as you think!"

So I have decided to do just that, pay attention, and use the time that remains fully.

And with that said, here is my list of "50 before I am 50." Fifty things that might make me fall in love with my forties, if I can actually manage to do them before I am fifty.

1. Eat fugu.  I might have to go to Japan to accomplish this one.  I don't know how easy it is to find in the U.S. (Hm, should a list like this be filled with things that are actually doable, or is it okay to think impossibly big? How dissappointed with myself will I be if I don't make it to Japan?)
2. Get my reader's card for the Library of Congress.
3. I suppose go to Washingtin D.C. should be here so that I can accomplish the above idea.
4. And then once I get my reader's card, actually read in the Library of Congress.  (See? This is how you reach fifty items.  You really stretch them out.)
5. And with the idea in mind of stretching this list out, go to Japan in order to accomplish #1.
6. Ride one of these:

From Elliptigo
Seriously, if  I had one of these I wouldn't miss running quite so much.  I miss running, but in my forties my knees have decided to protest the act.  
7. Go white water rafting. Is it okay to have things on your list that you have already done?  I say yes!
8. Finish knitting a sweater for myself. The key is "for myself." Not for one of my kids, not for some child yet to be born, not for the neighbor's dog.  Never for the neighbor's dog.
10. See the Atlantc Ocean.  Notice I said "see," not "swim."  This Pacific Ocean girl has heard all about the warm water of the Atlantic and I want none of it.  Also, see commentary of number 7.
11. See New York City.
12. Finish Lolita, by Nabakhov. I get about 2/3 of the way through the book and I set it aside over and over again.
13. Eat an entire pound of Trader Joe's chocolate by myself.
14. Attend a yoga class with live music.
15. Keep all my teeth.  It sounds strange, but it is amazing to me that I have managed to do this so far.  I am a nighttime teeth grinder.
16. Go hiking by myself.
17. Learn to make eclairs.
18. Attend a show on Broadway.
19. Tour a cheese factory. Random, I know.  I like cheese.
20. Age whiskey at home.
21. Get my eyes fixed so that I am glasses-free, at least for a decade before they change shape again.
22. Tell my sisters what I really think of them.  Wait, that would mean that they could then tell me what they really think of me.  Scractch this one.
22 - revised.  Go on a trip with just my sisters.
23. Get drunk with my sisters, play "Just Dance" on the Wii, and wear A's prom queen/winter formal crowns while doing it.
24. Present at a national conference related to my work. (I am intent on accomplishing these things. I already have a presentation proposal submitted. Wish me luck!)
25. Take a vacation by myself.
26. Take a bath during the above-mentioned vacation by myself.  My bathtub is in the kids' bathroom, and I REFUSE to use it.  They are responsible for the cleaning of it, which makes it rather suspect.
27. Be loud enough during playtime with my husband that the neighbors can actually hear me.
28. Write a five-minute stand-up comedy act.
29. Perform said comedy act.
30. Use my vibrator with an audience (of one - not much of an exhibitionist here) This would totally be out of my comfort zone, and therefore totally worth doing.
31. Go 30 days without sugar just to see what food really tastes like. (Month of January - check! Food is AMAZING)
33. Eat clam chowder in a sourdough bowl while watching the seals off of Pier 39.
34. Write and sing my own blues song.
Half Dome at sunset35. Climb to the top of Half Dome.  Okay, there is a story here. I have trained twice to be able to do this. Twice that goal was thwarted by morning sickness and it didn't happen. Since I am clearly done having kids, I might actually get to the top this time. Deadline goal should be achieved: Summer, 2016.
Hikes ascending the Half Dome cables 

36. Assist on a paleontology dig. There is one nearby of a woolly mammoth that if I would just remember to sign up I could have this one accomplished any weekend in the year 2015.
37. Sleep in one morning and only leave the bed to pee. This has to happen because I want it to, not because I am sick or recovering from surgery, just because I am lazy.
38. Earn my black belt in Taekwondo. I have my red belt. I am only 8 months away from having that sucker. The problem is, I have been 8 months away for about 3 years. I just can't coordinate a schedule to get there and train sufficiently to test. But it will happen before I am fifty.
39. Read at least 20 of the books that I have bought for myself over the years and then never gotten around to reading. Seriously, I have a problem. I have an entire bookcase of books that I have intended to read and haven't done so.
40. Find a place that sells Charleston Chews. Split the box with a friend, just like when I was a kid.
41. Grow my hair out past my shoulders. It's never been longer than my collar bone. Working on this one now.
42. Go roller skating on my 42nd birthday. Have my friends go roller skating on my 42nd birthday. Okay, the ones over 50 can pass if they are worried about falling and breaking something, but they should still show up and eat pizza with me.

Hm, I seem to have run out of steam here. 42nd birthday, 42 things. So I didn't quite make it to 50. I think I have enough here to keep my going for a while. Besides, there should always be some room for spontaneity. So that will be my last 8 items - spontaneous things that totally ROCK!


  1. #12 - Never waste time on a book that holds no interest, no matter if it's a "classic" or not.

    #30 - Yes, at once, and often.


    Sorry for the long link,but they are tasty.

    Loved th list, could comment on every one, but they are terrific. You are going to make the next few years fantastic. And I'm 50 and would love to go roller-blading with you.

  2. Roll with the changes.
    Good to hear from you again.