I turned 49 recently. You know what that means – the next one’s the big 5-0. Technically, I’m already in my 50th year, closing out my 5th decade. So not only is 50, well, 50, it also marks my foray into my 6th decade, which means I’m also sort of almost 60. How crazy is that???
Anyway…since I’m already in my 50th year, I thought I should do something to really mark it or celebrate it throughout the year. So I got to thinking – inspired, actually, by somebody’s blog (sorry…can’t remember whose) where she talked about doing the same thing for a big birthday she had just achieved. Because I am sometimes wont to bite of more than I can chew, I decided not to do just someTHING (singular) during this hopefully auspicious year, I decided to do 50 THINGS (plural).
50. F-I-F-T-Y. Five-Zero. In one year.
I didn’t, in fact, stop there. I started to get REALLY crazy and create goals of fifty of each type of thing. I reined myself in somewhat on that one. For example, instead of reading 50 books this year, I’ve pared that down to 25. That’s perfectly achievable. But trying to come up with a list of 50 things, each of which would require 50 things was the very opposite of achievable – I would have to quit my job in order to have the time, even assuming some sort of fairy godmother swooped in to provide the necessary means to meet my financial obligations.
All that said, it’s really hard to come up with 50 things! So, I decided that coming up with the list itself needs to count as one of the things. Seriously – don’t laugh! It REALLY is challenging!
Here’s kind of where I am so far:
- health goals (walking, exercise bike, taking stairs at work, crunches, push-ups),
- food goals (trying new recipes; eating vegetarian once a week at least)
- arts/crafts goals (voice lessons, drawing lessons, painting lessons, writing more blogs)
- entertainment goals (watching old Hollywood movies, watching more international movies)
- educational goals (relearning things I used to love – you’ll REALLY need to hold in the laughter here – basic geometry, algebra, and chemistry; learning something about 25 different countries; learning about 25 historical figures; finishing 2 Russian language CDs I’ve had for years; finishing a Spanish course I bought ages ago)
- spiritual goals (making meditation/prayer a more sincere part of my practice; working on mindfulness; reading scripture more regularly; learning about other people’s practices)
There’s some other stuff in there, too, but this will give you a good overview. None of them are earth-shattering. For me, the big thing is they have to be achievable. I want this current year to be one of success and, particularly, one where at the end of it I truly feel like I’ve become a better person. I’m hoping that I’ll pick up some better habits along the way and that some of the things I dip my toes into this year will become life-long interests. Some of them already are, but I’ve let them fall to the wayside, and this challenge is a way to bring them back into my life.
I have 26 things in my list already. I’ll obviously keep adding to it as I go along. And I’ve also given myself permission to change things as I go. For example, I might have to reduce the individual things under each item. I might change it to learn only about 12 countries and 12 historical figures as I come to really see how much time is involved if I try to force myself to do EVERYTHING. Right now it’s do-able. But by the time I have my full 50 things, I might realize that what I’ve come up with right now is not realistic. The thing I for sure DO want is that I will have done 50 different things. That’s the piece I’m not willing to sacrifice or bend on. So the other stuff is fairly fluid at this point.
Anyhooooooooooo… I’m documenting this so that in about a year I’ll write a follow-up post to see what I’ve accomplished and, even more importantly, how I feel at the end of it.