Today is my birthday (yay me!), and I’m 49 years old!
I have a pretty good life, and so I don’t have any major sources of angst about roads not taken, even if I was a believer in regrets, which I’m not. But next year, I will turn 50, and I was wondering what to do to mark the occasion. Not a single event so much as smaller events over the next year. Think of it as a short-term mini-bucket list. My very own “50 things to do before I’m 50” list, which some people create when they’re in their 30s or early 40s, not usually when it is a single year away.
And with great tasks come great doubts, so I asked my friends and family for suggestions.
I put a couple of caveats on the list though…I was leaning towards things that can be done in and around Ottawa. And since I wasn’t looking to break the bank, probably things that individually wouldn’t go above $500. I also am not looking to risk my life doing stuff, since as I said, I kind of like my life. And, you know, living and stuff. I also know too that there are lots of natural caveats in there that are other personal limits. Like for example that my knees wouldn’t let me run a marathon anytime soon, if at all, even if I was in shape to do it. I’m also probably not going to perform brain surgery either. And flying a plane in a simulator made me sick, so that might be out. Yep, I’m a wuss. Mostly I’m looking for fun and interesting things to consider, not death-defying feats of derring-do.
I know, when you clicked on the link for the post, you probably thought this would be my ACTUAL list. It isn’t. Instead, I will tell you things people suggested, and some types of things that I found or thought of on my own, but I’m not going to share the official list in advance. I am however going to use it as a theme for a lot of blogging throughout the year. So you can see the journey as I go, not the planned destination all at once.
Here are the suggestions I got from asking on Facebook:
- Liz: Edge walk at CN Tower;
- Stephan: Golf, Keg for dinner (re-enactment of my bachelor party);
- Lisa: explore the caves, rock climb outside, cupcake bar, eat snails, casino and blackjack, sing in public, go to a nude beach, get something pierced, get a tat, have a 3some, learn to paint, buy a pet, go to a retirement seminar, go to a time share, make your own ice cream, sail a boat, all day trail ride, hot air balloon, have a prof makeup artist make you up like one of your idols and get pics done, redecorate a room just the way YOU like it, eat something spicy, drink a wine from your birth year with your parents, do a couples swap, shave a pattern in your legs or head, (NOTE this is NOT my bucket list, I’m just sharing IDEAS!) eat frog’s legs, travel to Vegas or Nashville, re-enact a scene from your fav movie, but yourself a treat like jewellry/car/art, have your home prof cleaned and appraised then go to open houses, enter a contest, make a new friend, fire a poor friend, have a party with good friends, body paint, donation to a charity, park bench dedication, name a star, fly a drone, helicopter ride, white water rafting, hold a snake, east exotic meat, costume party
- Martin: Fenway Park, write your congressman, discover new galaxy,
- Andrea: Make a list, axe throwing, escape room, dye your hair (+hot shave?), boat cruis
- Leanne: National park, national historic site
- Aliza: Tourist in Ottawa; weekend getaway to Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Vermont; giant lego or Ikea ball room; travel; explore new hobby; health something or other; new job
- Pete: Bungee jump, sky dive, scuba dive
- Julie: Fan expo/comicon, $$ to charity, 50 different meals/drinks/dishes, reconnect with 50 people
- Mike: Indoor go karts
- Vivian: Canoe trip in Algonquin park
- Diane: Fishing
- Cori: 50 gifts to random people (compliment, help, something)
- Zoe: Yoga classes
- Linda: Walk for charity, volunteer at soup kitchen, donate blood
It’s a pretty good list, said Gerald McGrist, to misquote Dr. Seuss. There are definitely some items on that list that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own and some will definitely make the final single list.
Some of them could be all encompassing on their own, like Julie’s idea of 50 meals to try…at one a week, that would be significant all on its own, but I’m not looking for 50 things to do 50 times. In those cases, I might combine them with something else like say 10 restaurants, 10 baking recipes, 10 wing sauces, etc. – i.e. combining a few things that might “add” up to 50, but not 50 all by themselves.
On my own list (I had 42 ideas before I started, mostly from internet searches and things), a few of them are quite, umm, boring. Administrative perhaps. Definitely blue activities like updating my will, or getting a physical. Not very “exciting” but things that should be done to make sure (insert solemn voice here) “my affairs are in order” (end solemn voice). Or to creepily quote Jeff Lindsay from his Dexter novels, to get myself “squared away”.
When I combine the two lists, there some items I will do alone, some with Jacob and Andrea, some with friends and family. A nice mix, even balanced perhaps.
And in the end, I’ll cheat a bit…probably more like 50 items with some sub-commitments that might mean almost 150 “things”, some of them quite small but as I said towards a larger commitment. And if I don’t get them done by 50, I might have to carry a few over, I’m going to be a slave to the list.
But at least I have a starting point…I made a list. Let the journey begin.