Every birthday ends with thoughts on how I can make the next year of my life even better. Then I realized it’s not about my life becoming better or even more enjoyable. My life is already enjoyable; I just need to enjoy it. And because I am such a huge fan of checklists (if anything, they keep me focused and help me to feel accomplished as I check things off as COMPLETE!), I decided to put together a list of things I would like to do before my next birthday (which is on October 9th, 2012).
Some of these are things I can do so easily but don’t make the time. Other things on this list are meant to stare me in the face, to get me motivated to push myself past my comfort zone and hopefully land me in another state of mind, hopefully one of mental bliss, because I did it. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? It probably is.
36 Before 36
- Get a job that makes me happy (even if it takes a few tries)
- Focus on school work instead of the fact that I’m still in school
- Organize my entire postcard collection
- Watch the sunrise at the beach
- Sell my entire Strawberry Shortcake collection of dolls and collectibles on Ebay
- Be debt-free (even if only for a short time)
- Participate in the Gate River Run: this one will be replaced! I might still participate, but I am not promising anything unless my brother wants my company along the way!
- Close the 1,100 mile gap between myself and this wonderful man I know
- Meet Sarah Vowell
- Learn to accept myself as everyone else already has (for better or for worse)
- Chaperone at least one field trip with my daughter’s class
- Take her on a vacation, just the two of us
- Take some lessons from my daughter in free spiritedness
- Visit Oklahoma: Thanksgiving 2011. Best idea EVER!
- Visit Nashville
- Visit Asheville
- Visit Key West
- Learn how to change a flat tire: 11/08/2011, checked off as DONE!
- Stop being so afraid of my computer as it will not burst into flames. Or will it…?:
- Write something really, really good and submit it for publication. If I’m rejected, submit it somewhere else.
- Read one new book every month
November: Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Dungeons & Dragons by Shelly Mazzanoble, Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
December: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
January: The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
February: I overextended myself this month. On top of schoolwork, I started on three books that I never finished (one of which I’m furiously trying to complete – stay tuned!) – Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver, The Animal Manifesto by Marc Bekoff, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle also by Barbara Kingsolver. AVM is the only one I’m really working on, hopefully to finish in the coming weeks.
- Run a non-stop stretch of five miles: there will be no more of this kind of talk! I will soon replace with a new attainable goal.
- Volunteer to read at Elle’s school
- Try one new food every month
November: Indian food
December: oysters (pathetic, I know!), mojitos, panna cotta (that I made!)
January: a cucumber sparkling water (delicious!), reintroduced to strawberries after 25 years, and an Equinox Fall Seasonal beer at Intuition Ale Works (that’s the biggest shocker of all)
February: Portabella mushrooms (even more pathetic than never having tried an oyster before December, right?), and a lemon drop martini
- Learn to cook a meal that doesn’t involve a single noodle: I successfully prepared tacos! It involved cooking meat so I gave myself bonus points.
- Get back on the road again. Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, I’ve missed you so!: Jacksonville, Florida to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by way of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas – return trip by way of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Northwest Florida. Approximately 40 hours total driving and 2,400 miles crossed. I’d call that getting back on the road again…
- Instruct less, participate more
- Learn to walk in heels
- Go kayaking
- Go camping
- Be a better friend: A twenty-plus year friendship ended in February 2011 and because of that, I feel like I have become more honest with who I am. I didn’t know that “Be a better friend” could simply mean that I should be a better friend to myself.
- Spend more time outside
- Get rid of the chip on my shoulder
- Go swimming in a lake
- Learn to breathe and just enjoy