Sunday, November 02, 2014

40 B4 40

I’ve always craved adventure. One of my earliest memories is of a bedtime prayer to God, asking Him to burn down my house, so that our family would move. I prayed that my family would escape unscathed and that I’d have time to grab my precious china cats, but that our house would be ruined and we’d have to find a new place to live. Since my wish was never granted, I settled for travels of the mind. I sought adventures in time, place, and dimension through books. I devoured both the Little House and the Narnia series. A Wrinkle in Time and The Plug at the Bottom of the Sea were favorites. When I wasn’t able to read, I’d daydream. Stuck in church, I’d imagine I could step through the wallpaper and into the redwood forest it depicted. Maybe I’d find Ewoks just around that bend. Or I’d make a home in a hollowed stump like in My Side of the Mountain. My fantasies continued when sent outside to play or walking to and from school. We lived in a valley, surrounded by hills, and I always wondered, “What’s on the other side of that hill? And past the next? And the next?” I couldn’t wait to be grown up and free to explore.

Once I was grown up, I didn’t waste a moment in experiencing as much of life as possible. I cooked Indian cuisine, sailed a dinghy, climbed Andean peaks, fished for piranhas in the Amazon, swam laps, danced ballet, indulged in Amsterdam, backpacked through the wilderness solo, kayaked in Belize, completed a triathalon, joined the Marines, and lived in Japan. As I’ve aged, has the adventuring slowed down? Perhaps. I have responsibilities now. I haven’t left the country in ten years and haven’t backpacked in longer. But adventures can be found close to home. In the last ten years I started three blogs (and continued one), performed on stage, ran a few marathons, learned to sing, raced up Pike’s Peak, became a saleswoman, moved across the country, married a second time, and trained a dog. I’ve sought adventures of the mind and spirit, continuing to challenge myself. Still, there is more excitement to be had! If I’m not too old for it.

I’ve been warily watching my 40th birthday approach for a few years. All you post-40 somethings will laugh at this, but that seems to be the year marker at which I become “old.” My body will be broken down. I’ll be too tired to pursue my interests. My face will transform from youthful to haggard. I’ll be expected to focus on serious pursuits like my career, community, and charities. Instead of exploring new horizons, I’ll be mentoring younger women through their own adventures. If that’s the case, then I plan to have a really great 39th year.

What follows is a list of 40 activities I’d like to complete before I’m 40. They range from simple to daring, but all appeal to my sense of adventure:

1. Get old timey photos of our family
2. Skydive or hanglide
3. Take a Napa wine tour
4. Hike Half Dome
5. Stand-up paddleboard
6. Snowshoe
7. Camp with the dogs
8. Skateboard at a skate park
9. Compete in an agility competition
10. Renew my passport
11. Pose for a photo with Mickey Mouse
12. Attend a Comicon
13. Dye my hair pink
14. Teach Jasper to walk nicely on a leash
15. Do a 365 Photo project
16. Sew a garment
17. Take a sewing class
18. Meditate
19. See a live concert
20. Go to a hot air balloon festival
21. Learn to 2-finger whistle
22. Do the splits
23. Show Dan my old Bridgeport haunts
24. Finish making all the burgers in Veggie Burgers Every Which Way
25. Write one special content blog post per month
26. Sail
27. Wallpaper a wall
28. Participate in Toastmasters
29. Ride a horse
30. Have a birthday party
31. See local theater
32. Practice ambidexterity
33. Learn a new piano song
34. Raft down a river
35. See a drive-in movie
36. Take a historical home tour
37. Practice lucid dreaming
38. Gaze at the stars
39. Send out holiday cards
40. Guest appear on a podcast

I’m a little worried that having all this fun will make it more difficult to settle down on my 40th birthday, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Meanwhile: “Adventure time! Excellent!”


Londyn said...

Aww, I love your list and know that you will do them all!! #22 had me cracking up.

That said, I hope you don't let the upcoming 40 make you feel any differently about yourself or all that you can accomplish. You are such an inspiration and always have been for me. You can do whatever you set your mind to and you are never afraid to put yourself out there. Never stop being you!! I know you won't :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing plans!

Stephanie Ganger said...

Great list and I wish you luck in completing it! I will be 42 next year and since I have teenagers it will be a bit more before I get my list done but I have made progress. Some of these look like you could work on together or just flat out plan some adventures and schedule them now. Looking at riding a horse and a rafting trip in particular!

Anonymous said...

Great list! I think you could do all of that.

I used to think the same thing about 40, and now, well into my 40s, I find I haven't really become "old" yet. My body is a little less cooperative, and I do need a little more sleep, but I'm still finding fun adventures (mine were never as exotic as yours to begin with), and enjoying myself in the process. If anything, I think I'm bolder and having more fun because I really don't care what anyone thinks about me anymore at all! :)


LostRoses said...

Aw, don't worry, your face won't get haggard until age 65 (I speak from experience.) the two-finger whistle was always my dream too, didn't happen!

Beefy Muchacho said...

Obviously, I love this list, and I love you.

I have several thoughts on the completion of individual items.

Kari said...

I love your list! You are one if my most favorite bloggers!

DressUpNotDown said...

I look forward to seeing you cross off everything on that list. :o)


DressUpNotDown said...

Also, I'm totally laughing that you prayed for your house to burn down (without harm to your family of course)...Whatever it takes God, whatever it takes! :o)


Unknown said...

Wow! Daring I must say, reminds me how I worried about turning 30. Am liking how everything has turned out.
Always inspirational outfits.

Rue Fedou said...

I love your attitude! This is why you're my favorite blogger.
And don't worry, life is even better after 40!

Becky Haltermon Robinson said...

Great list! My 30 in 30 was a fantastic way to mark the milestone. I felt like I was growing, not just growing older. I hope your list sets the stage (theater pun!) for a future filled with adventure!