Yesterday, my family did an early celebration of my birthday. The girls brought lunch and gave me the cutest little purse-size camera. (I love it!) First pictures? Self portrait, of course. Caught that "deer in the headlights" look, which is what I think of aging sometimes. Fifty is the new 40. Maybe. Aging is so different in our society today. We don't have to work as hard as our ancestors did, so drudgery isn't aging and killing us so early. We take better care of ourselves. Sometimes. Age doesn't bother me too much. (OK, once in awhile I glance in the mirror and wonder where the young me went.) The fact is that I know "old" people who are 16 or 22. Age is a state of mind and heart. What ages us? Rigidness, inactivity, and focus on the past. What keeps us young? Curiosity, focus on now, adventure, and sheer delight in simple things.
As for my 52nd year, my wish is to find simple things that bring great pleasure every single day: To relax (even in hectic times), to try new things, and to focus on fun.
Another blogger, Maine Momma, inspired this list. I wouldn't have known about it, but a dear former student and fellow blogger suggested it.
52 things to do before I am 53.
1. Canoe or Kayak- just to say I tried it
2. Grow some vegetables along with some flowers
3. Ride my bike from here to my mother-in-law's house (30 miles)
4. Hold a major garage sale
5. Sell some things on Craigslist
6. Work at a bookstore or coffee shop this summer
7. Own a laptop
8. Rip up the carpet in my basement and put down some kind of flooring
9. Organize my mess of a linen closet
10. Read "The Pact"
11. Take my husband to lunch one day a month
12. Invest in the stock market
13. Have a summer party
14. Host a Christmas Open House
15. Go to a concert
16. See a Broadway Show on tour
17. Learn an art technique
18. Go camping several times
19. Have a girls weekend with HS friends
20. Have a girls weekend with my daughters
21. Read a book a week this summer
22. Visit the farm more often
23. Get the piano tuned
24. Memorize a couple of songs on the piano
25. Visit a new nature trail/hiking path
26. Write a letter to the editor
27. Break a bad habit (caffeine, too much TV, nail biting??)
28. Redecorate my home "office"
29. De-clutter my house
30. Teach a new novel to my classes
31. Hold sunset services every now and then
32. Use the fire ring
33. Plan a small group bike ride
34. Take a Christmas trip to somewhere I have never been
35. Learn to make a mean salsa
36. Pick and freeze cherries or peaches
37. Visit the antique stores for inspiration
38. Pay off a vehicle
39. Make a bundt cake
40. Have a morning tea with my next-door neighbor
41. Take in a movie once a month
42. Do random acts of kindness for some of my students who really need it
43. Re-learn how to play cribbage
44. Visit a B & B with the Mr.
45. Enter a photo in the local county fair
46. Find a consignment store somewhere in the area
47. Walk to work more than I drive
48. See a really great fireworks show
49. Learn how to make bread
50. Knit a hat that would actually fit a head!
51. Update my itunes
52. Take a yoga class
Oh yeah...and next year start this sooner than the evening of my birthday! Happy year to me!