50 Things Before 50

Inspired by my approaching birthday and Mighty Girl’s latest lists, I’ve been thinking about life experiences I want to make sure come to pass. (These are, of course, separate from the professional goals — even the scholarly book, which I would want to write regardless of whether or not I’m a professor. Still, if I can combine goals from the two lists — say, a sabbatical semester of research on Chambers in London or the Britannica in Scotland, then all the better.)
1. Finish the PhD (done)
2. Hold a mortgage on our own house (done)
3. Continue to have an awesome marriage
4. Really soak up the family time when it happens
5. Spend more time in the UK (done)
6. Set foot in all 50 states (progress. More progress.)
7. Live in a place that truly suits both of us
8. Establish a scholarship (done)
9. Grow tomatoes as good as the ones grown by my grandparents & father in law (done.)
10. Learn basic French and actually use it (alternately, re-learn basic Spanish)
11. Publish a scholarly book done
12. Publish a work of nonscholarly nonfiction
13. Publish poetry
14. Have a dog or cat again (done)
15. Keep a classic potager kitchen garden (progress) (more progress)
16. Take up swimming again and make it part of my routine
17. Be an effective mentor and colleague (progress)
18. Get my health issues in hand
19. Visit the Warhol Museum (done)
20. Read all of Shakespeare’s plays (progress)
21. Live in a house with a window seat
22. Visit Iceland
23. Visit Norway
24. Preserve food (Root Cellaring) done
25. Bake multi-day bread. Successfully.
26. Achieve a consistent no-debt state of affairs
27. Cross the entire US in one trip, sideways
28. Travel Hwy 61 from top to bottom
29. See the Northern Lights
30. Related: visit Abisko
31. See the salmon run
32. Visit Niagara Falls and take the Maid of the Mist Tour done
33. Host an annual party
34. Plant a tree
35. Create a home workspace that comfortably fosters good work
36. Take a hot air balloon ride
37. Make homemade sausage done
38. Take a retreat at a monastery or convent
39. See a bear in the wild (done)
40. Master authentic Mexican cuisine (if that’s even possible for a white girl) (progress) (More progress: paletas, adobo and lomo de puerco en adobo, puerco pibil, asado de puerco a la veracruzana)
41. Tour the American West (done)
42. Re-learn the piano and make it a part of daily life
43. Keep a spare room that people love to visit
44. Take care of legalities regarding end-of-life and property for both of us (Organ Donor forms, Living Will, Last Will & Testament)
45. See a moose in the wild
46. Learn to make cheese
47. Make peace with my body
48. Run a very small press
49. Finish that damn cross stitch piece done
50. Take book arts classes

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5 Responses to 50 Things Before 50

  1. Sally says:

    This is awesome! I adore lists, and I so admire folks who become contemplative around birthday time. I mostly just think about shopping …
    For number 38, I recommend:
    http://www.saintjohnsabbey.org/guesthouse/
    I try to do 2 retreats there each year. Truly peaceful, gorgeous setting, great food, nice monks. Ideal for writing/songwriting or just long walks in the woods!
    Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PISCES!

  2. susansinclair says:

    Oh, man…I don’t think I can do one of these…or if I do, it will have to be small very do-able things. Like, “Finish listening to that book on CD in my car,” or, “Go to the library at least once.” Yeah, I can manage that. (I only have five more years, after all!)

  3. Fresca says:

    Oooh—fun! I love lists, and since it’s my birthday week, it’s not too late for me to make one of these for my own. I only have three years until fifty, however, so maybe my list will be shorter. Or maybe not. Hmm… or retrospective: fifty wishes I fulfilled.
    Have a tip-top day on your birthday!!!

  4. jspad says:

    I love this list, both the idea of it, and many things on it.
    I loved it enough to tell you I’d be ripping it off on my blog this weekend (which I will still do!) but when I realized I’d have to complete on average four things a year to complete 50 by 50… ouch.
    I’ve done #2 (if you count “have a mortgage” which I sort of think it does), also hope for #3, am doing #7 now, and have done #39 but not at the same time. Moose won’t come out to the tiny northern Maine town dump to pick through your trash on Saturday night, but bears will.

  5. tami says:

    I too am in to this list of things you want to do before…. before what? is what you decide.
    I have a book that my friends are signing with their lists~ we originally started with put 5 things down…
    I am the keeper and I hold it close~ because some of it is personal dreams~
    How are you doing with your list?
    Tami

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