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50 Things To Do In My 50th Year

EDIT: Added #46 to the list. Thanks for the reminder, Linda Ellen! 😎

I’m turning 50 in about two weeks. No, I’m not ashamed to admit it and I’m not dreading it, although I am noticing the passage of time a bit more now than I did when I was turning 40.

Since making it to the half-century mark seems like a fairly significant achievement, I decided to celebrate the occasion by making a list of 50 things I’d like to do in my 50th year. The plan is to start working on the list on my birthday (June 15th) and to check off an item every week or so until June 14, 2016. Yes, that’s 52 weeks to finish a 50-item to-do list. What could possibly go wrong?

I’ll document my adventures here on the blog, but I’d like to start by posting the entire list. The items are listed in the order they occurred to me, not in the order I hope to accomplish them. Also, some of the items will be easier to accomplish than others, so while I hope to do one per week, I may need to be flexible with my scheduling.

50 THINGS TO DO IN MY 50TH YEAR

1. Visit Scorpion Ranch campground on Santa Rosa Island

2. Visit the Getty Villa

3. Get a power band tattoo

4. Build a really big Lego model

5. Make 50 items to donate to charity (probably baby hats)

6. Sew an article of clothing I can wear out of the house

7. Have an indulgent spa day

8. Get a massage

9. Pet a giraffe

10. Buy a bicycle and start riding regularly

11. Go to a tango milonga

12. Spend a weekend on Catalina Island

13. Eat dinner at Napa Rose restaurant

14. Finish and publish my two in-progress novels

15. Walk a labyrinth

16. Learn to crochet granny squares and connect them to make something bigger

17. Set up a regular altar for year-round use

18. Eat at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant in T.O.

19. Find a fancy chocolate tasting place and go to a tasting

20. Get a facial

21. Do the wine trail in Ventura Co.

22. Visit the olive oil place in Ventura/Ojai

23. Go to The Painted Cabernet and complete a project

24. Stay at the Madonna Inn

25. Visit Palm Springs

26. Go to LaBrea Tar Pits

27. Go to the Griffith Observatory

28. Complete a “girlie” mud run

29. Go to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and eat something big

30. Donate $50 as random acts of kindness (pay it forward, leave money at vending machines, etc.

31. Walk/hike 50 miles all at once (okay, maybe over a long weekend)

32. Take a helicopter ride

33. Sail on Hawaiian Chieftain/Lady Washington

34. Finish will, advanced directive, body donation arrangements, etc.

35. Have tea at a fancy tea house

36. Do a 24-hour juice cleanse/fast

37. Visit Forest Lawn in Glendale

38. Purchase a piece of jewelry for me

39. Get a mani/pedi

40. Learn to make jelly/jam/marmalade with my canning rig

41. Visit the Time Travel Mart in Echo Park or Venice

42. Take a gondola ride in Seabridge Harbor

43. Visit Rabbit Run Meadery in Santa Clara for a tasting

44. Do the skyscraper stair run in Oxnard in June 2016

45. Visit Meditation Mount in Ojai

46. Visit Tienda Ho in Santa Barbara and buy something

Okay, let’s address some FAQs:

There are only 45 items on your list? Aren’t there supposed to be 50?

Why yes, you are correct. I’m short a few items, but I have plenty to get me started and I have no doubt I’ll think of a few more to fill out the list. If you have any suggestions, post them in the comments!

You’ve never done (insert item number here)?

Either I’ve never done it or I haven’t done it in a really long time and want to do it again. That’s why it’s on the list!

Why is (insert item number here) on your list?/You really want to do (insert item number here)?

This is my list. It may have things on it you don’t want to do. That’s okay. Your mileage may vary, as they say. What is on your list?

Is this your bucket list?

Some of the items are from my bucket list, but this is not my “official” bucket list.

one Thing You Should Know About Me

I saw a Twitter thread on Manual for Living today that intrigued me – what’s the ONE thing we want to know about YOU, for today at least. I replied that the thing I’d like everyone to know is that I have enough items on my “to do” or bucket list to fill many lifetimes.

I saw a funny cartoon once that said, “If it’s true we will live until we accomplish everything we’re here to do, I will never die, because I’m so far behind!” On the one hand, I feel excited that there are still so many things I want to do and learn and experience that I wonder if I’m going to be able to fit them all into this lifetime. On the other hand, I tend to get overwhelmed sometimes by how many things are on my to do list at any given moment – everything from “wash the dishes” to “write more curriculum for Stir the Embers” to “list those 15 hats I knit on Etsy.”

I like having plenty to do and I am more motivated when I have something to look forward to or work toward. Crossing items off my daily to do list is really rewarding for me. I think the disconnect and the overwhelm comes from having things on my list that I feel like I SHOULD do, rather than just things I WANT to do. When my day is full of tasks that don’t seem as important or enjoyable, I feel like I’m wasting my time and not accomplishing the important things.

I’ve read a lot about how to combat that feeling of overwhelm, but I really think it comes down to perception. To borrow a popular adage, “there’s nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”