Friday, July 12, 2013

The List

People do funny things as they approach their 40th birthday.  At the end of 2012, as I pondered the new year ahead, the big 4-0 stood out like a sore thumb.  The main identifying factor of 2013 is my 40th birthday. 

Different people have different reactions to the 40th year.  To some it means a big, big party, an excuse to get a new tattoo or the perfect time to buy a "Midlife Crisis" car.  To others it means feeling over the hill and spent.  I wasn't quite sure what it would mean to me, but it seemed like an occasion that needed to be acknowledged in some sort of unique way. 

I'm not a big partier, I'm not a huge fan of endless needle sticks, and I was pretty sure we couldn't afford my Midlife Crisis car of choice (maybe a Jaguar, in case anyone wants to indulge my fantasy).  And so I made a list. 

Yes, a list. 

This is how I'm marking the year in which I turn 40.  I have created a list of "40 Fabulous Things" that I will complete during 2013.  It's sort of a bucket list for the year....things I'm going to get done "because it's on the list." 

Ho hum.  I know.  Boring.  But I'm a list maker.  And let's face it folks, I'm turning 40, not 21.  I have grocery lists, to-do-lists, and packing lists for every trip.  I write things down or make a note on my iPhone because my ability to remember small details is pretty pathetic. Plus, I work better with a goal in mind.  A list of 40 things gives me something to focus on other than getting old(er).  My Fabulous Things list makes me feel important, gives me something to talk about in social situations when there is an awkward pause in conversation, and it gives me an excuse to do things that might not otherwise happen. 

For example, #7 is "Make homemade cheese."  #21 is "See a movie in the theater with popcorn."  Ok wait.  Maybe those are bad examples.  Really, this could be a list of "Things I like to do but never have the time."  Or, "Things I haven't done since I was pregnant with my first child."  The point is, there are simple things in life that I like to do or want to do, but just never quite get around to actually doing.  I'm busy working, shuttling my kids to and fro, cleaning house, making dinner, and paying bills.  Hence the list. 

My most fun so far was #2, "Run Like a Diva 5k race."

I suckered a few of my high school girlfriends into running it with me.  None of us are serious runners.  Some of them *might* have been calling me bad names at 7am as we walked together to the start line.  But by the end, we were all smiles.  And then they wanted to do it again.  Every year.  In every city.  Who's cursing the boring list maker now, ladies?

We are now officially half way through 2013 and I have completed 14 items on my list.  I'm no math whiz, but I think I may be behind schedule.  Good news is that some items are seasonal (#17, Snowboard or #39, Send out Christmas Cards)  so I have an excuse to procrastinate.  Bad news is that some items are seasonal (#3, Hike to the top of Mt. Lassen) and the park service has decided that the trail is only open to the public a few days each week.  And snow will likely close the trail entirely by October.  Anyone up for a hike?  Pretty soon?

I'm really hoping that #16 (Paint the bathroom) gets done because it's been on my to-do list for a while.  Actually, it first appeared on my "Things to do before we move in" list when we bought this house over five years ago.  So, lists apparently aren't foolproof. 

Overall, I think it has been a worthwhile project.  I got to visit a local winery that I've been meaning to try since it opened two years ago (#35). I tried my hand at welding (#38) and actually managed to fuse metal together and not burn the house down in the process.  I played my first round of golf (#30) in over four years.  And I can't wait to knock off #6 in September: Girls trip to Mexico! 

The joy is not in winning or losing, it's in playing the game.  So if everything falls apart and I somehow miss the December 31 deadline for my 40 Fabulous Things, all is not lost.  I can spend my New Years Eve revisiting #13, Drink a bottle of champagne.


  1. For a second, I thought that Trip to GULF of Mexico.
    If that one's not on list, let me suggest it now.

    1. Perhaps I could pencil that in my 41 Fab Things list!