Tuesday, April 1, 2008

40 Things To Do Before I'm 40

I'm turning 35 in a few months. Turning 30 didn't phase me, but somehow with 35, I sense that I'm not getting any younger. I know that 35 doesn't qualify as old age, but I'm pretty sure that I thought it was old when I was a newlywed 10 1/2 years ago! Anyhow, I was inspired recently at Notes From the Trenches' list of things to accomplish before she's 40. At first, it seemed funny to me, as if the premise was that life ends at 40. And then I thought, why not? It's basically just setting some goals to accomplish in the next 5 years. Since I'm a girl who operates best with a deadline, it's probably a good idea. I can always make a new list of things to do before I'm 50, right? (Wince) The suggestion that I might one day be 50 is now making me a bit squeamish. That's my mom's age (in my head, that is. She'll actually be 60 this year, but she's still 50ish to me.)
Well, the point is that there is no time like the present to compile my list. So here it goes, in no particular order. Forty things I'd like to do before I'm 40:

  1. Get under 150 pounds without having a limb amputated. Heck, I'd take under 160, but we'll say under 150.
  2. Scan all my photos that are pre-digital camera. (ugh. If someone else wants to do it for me, I won't mind taking this off the list!)
  3. Paint my kitchen cupboards. It's been on my to-do wish list since we bought the house four years ago. Sigh. Maybe I don't like the direction this list is taking. Let's try a different route.
  4. Use my passport again (which probably means I'm due for a new one.) My last passport-requiring trip was in spring of 1999.
  5. Brush up on my Russian so that I'm not too scared to speak Russian to the Russian-speakers that are everywhere around here, especially at Costco. Plus it may come in handy if #4 involves a Russian speaking country.
  6. Teach my kids Russian. It's ridiculous that we haven't done that, since Jared & I are both speakers (he more than I these days.)
  7. Read War and Peace.
  8. And The Brothers Karamazov. I'm ashamed of myself to say that even though some of my favorite books are by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, I've never read these two.
  9. Learn to sew well enough to make something that I'll actually use. Okay, something better than an apron. This could be a dress for Bronwen, drapes for my house, etc. The said item will not be mostly made by my sister and/or mother as have my previous sewing projects!
  10. Win a cooking recipe contest. Ideally, one that involves a cash prize.:)
  11. Participate in a 5k for a good cause. I've been meaning to do Race for the Cure for years. Or The Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving Day.
  12. Run a 5k for a good cause! Since I'm not what you'd call a runner, this will be a big accomplishment.
  13. Learn to love hiking and expose my kids to the great hikes available near our home.
  14. Establish a family hobby of hiking.
  15. Plant a garden.
  16. Actually tend it, harvest, and eat what I grow. I'm hoping to do this this year, but haven't quite gotten the beds prepared yet. I'd better hurry--it's time.
  17. Have no consumer debt and be well on our way to out of debt completely.
  18. Have two months' living expenses in our savings' account. This must happen sooner than five years from now, but I still want it to be there then!:)
  19. Learn to love Isaiah. I read Isaiah because I'm obedient, but not because I enjoy it or take the time to decipher it.
  20. Learn to make cream puffs. Because I need more cream puffs in my life!:)
  21. Maybe 40 is too many things! This list already feels long. I'd better make a few easier ones, like: Turn 39.
  22. Have another baby. Maybe two. I'm just getting it out there now, so that people can quit asking me if we're "done," and to avoid having them ask me, "was this planned?" when they find out that I'm pregnant again. (It really is crazy how many people feel comfortable asking such questions, including perfect strangers. Aren't those kind of personal in nature?) Not that I'm pregnant again. But I plan to be before I'm 40, which is the point of this list.
  23. Write/keep another blog, entirely dedicated to food, recipes, and menu plans.
  24. Write/keep another blog, entirely dedicated to homeschooling.
  25. Get my master bedroom windows treated with something other than the metal blinds that were there when we moved in.
  26. Paint the master bedroom.
  27. Actually hang a wall of family pictures.
  28. Find something that I like AND can afford to hang on the dining room walls, which are blank.
  29. Memorize The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
  30. Start practicing the piano again with some regularity.
  31. Develop a healthier relationship with cake. (This has not been a good cake week for me.)
  32. Develop a habit of writing (and actually mailing) thank you cards. I am terrible at this, and yet I believe that it is so important. The paradox between ideals and reality is not fun!
  33. Help my children develop a habit of writing thank you cards.
  34. Mail the thank you cards that I teach my children to write!
  35. Re-read Shakespeare. Probably with my kids.
  36. Take an html class. (Are you reading this, Mindy?)
  37. Learn how to not accumulate things we don't need. This will not only save money, but will reduce the clutter around my house. This is a good blog to read for inspiration.
  38. This is harder than I thought, and most of you have probably stopped reading by now anyway, so I'll just leave it at 38. Maybe I'll come back and add something later. That's it--I'm just leaving room for a few more additions.
Whew! I'm exhausted. I'd better get off the computer and get to work! Do you think that five years will be enough time?


An Ordinary Mom said...

I think it is always a good thing to have goals to aspire to. I like your list. I should write one for myself, too, although I have 8 years left until the big 4-0 :) !!

Good luck and don't forget to keep us posted!

Allison said...

Maybe some of those things can carry over to the thing to do before 50 list. Especially the learn to like Isaiah one.

Angela said...

This is such a great post and I turn 40 this year! I am going to make a list and actually we have some of the same goals! What a great little idea- Thanks

Mrs. Morty said...

I've been thinking about compiling a 30 things to do in my thirties list and felt a little overwhelmed to come up with 30. Now I have some inspiration and it doesn't seem like so many. Thanks! AND I cried reading your story about Kimball's birth. He was so tiny!!

Sonja said...

Fabulous list. There is so much on your list that I would add on mine. Particularly #1!! Sheesh! :)

I really enjoyed reading this. I want to be able to sew things too, and garden and travel. What would it be like to have no consumer debt? I want to know!

What I think is incredible, as I read your posts, is how much you have accomplished in just 35 years.

Michal said...

ordinary mom,
if you have 8 years to go, it will give you an advantage in accomplishing 40 things. what's crazy to me is how recently i turned 30. time really does speed up as we get older, doesn't it? now i really sound old.

alli, no more talk about the number 50. i plan to turn 50 gracefully, but not for 15 years, so let's not discuss it further.

sonja, you are so sweet. you inspire me so much in what you are accomplishing in your homeschool and family. . . i should have put down that one of my goals is to homeschool like sonja!:)

Rebecca said...

"Get under 150 pounds without having a limb amputated. Heck, I'd take under 160, but we'll say under 150."

Hahaha. Love this!

I turn 30 this year. I love your list, I should make one for myself! Although I think the thought of such an extensive list is starting to make me hyperventilate!

Yvonne said...

Love your list, I only have a few months before the big 4-0...I have a LONG and extensive list of things that I want to accomplish before, um.. tomorrow.. so I guess I had better get at it! Good luck! Sounds do-able and enjoyable!

Lynell said...

What great ambitions!! You go girl! I turned 40 last year. It's weird to be this old and realize all the things I haven't done. But some good news! I still feel young. Nice to know that it's never too late. Ü

scrap chair potato said...

Great list! This is such a fun idea. I will have to use it some day.

Lorna said...

What wonderful goals and I love your book list for children. It is well thought out.

david mcmahon said...

Whew - when I turned 21 I thought the thirtysomethings I worked with were ancient!!

I really enjoy your writing style, Michal - and wish I had the time to visit every day.

I've enjoyed each year, relished what it has brought me and taught me.

Martin said...

The key for me coming to love Isaiah was to find a favorite chapter. Let's be frank - they are not all of equal significance, or prophetic brilliance.

Once I came to love chapter 11 Quoted to Joseph Smith by Moroni (the stem of Jesse etc.) then chapeter 29 (marvelous work and a wonder), and could read them over and over again, then I found that I was more eager to read other chapters, understand what was being taught, and write overly complex run-on-sentences about that newfound eagerness.

Heck, even Nephi only had some chapters that were his favorites, so it must be ok.

Momma said...

I love the list! Maybe it's time for me to do my "before I turn 50" list. I tip over the halfway point of my 40s next month, and I know what you mean about feeling squeamish. I never feel that I've accomplished enough. If only there were 3 of me. (I'd let one of me eat cake every day!)

Peace - D

(David sent me)

Akelamalu said...

I popped over from David's to read your post.

What a great list! Am I too old at almost 60 to do one? I think I will. :)

CrazyCath said...

Wow that is some list! I hope you get there in 5 years - I'm not sure I would! Were there only 38? I didn't count. I just take your word for it!

Great post. You sound very organised!
Over from David's btw.

Michal said...

let there be no confusion. i probably won't accomplish EVERYTHING on this list in the next 5 years and a couple months. but it will pull me in the right direction. i fully expect that a few of these will have to be accomplished in the next decade. but if i don't set these goals, i'll never accomplish them.

Anonymous said...

What a great list! I'm with you on turning 35. I just don't want to be 35, at least I have another year and a half. There are so many great things on your list. I need to think more long-term, sometimes I get so hung up on my daily and weekly goals, months go by and I never feel like I'm accomplishing anything big. I want another passport though, I haven't used one in almost 20 years.

Deborah Gamble said...

"Scan all my photos that are pre-digital camera."

I need to do that too! But it seems so overwhe,ling I haven't even started. But I'm gonna!

mindyluwho said...

Great list! I'm cracking up that you ended at 38! I'm past the 40 mark, but to think of writing down 50 things to do before I'm 50...I'm tired just thinking about it!

I'd love to do the next html class when it comes up!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This is a great list. The one that jumped out at me the most was mailing your kids' thank you cards. Oh my, I am so very good at making them write them, but then I never send them. I still have a stack of adorable, thoughtful, personalized thank you cards that we had ever child sign and either write a personal note about or draw a picture, left over from Christmas. I'm so bad.

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.