Last night my daughter and I sat and brainstormed “50 things to do to celebrate turning 50”. According to my daughter Ava, I have already achieved badass status as I approach the half-century mark, but completing this list will cement my place at the top of the heap. That, or it’s going to kill me. Also sidebar, I know today, I’m totally getting hit up for cash. Compliments from 14 year olds always come with a catch.
Much of the list pushes me way out of my comfort zone, and some of the things that seem fairly tame, actually give me much more anxiety than the more clearly adventurous choices. There is one thing I know for sure though, I have a lot more track behind me than in front of me, so this is not the time to overthink it. A natural born goal-digger, this list is really just an excuse to keep my eyes firmly focused in front of me. They are 50 little goals to help me reach a big goal I’ve set for myself.
While putting this list together we got stuck around the #45 mark. Honestly, coming up with 50 things is hard. So I turned to Facebook, as one does, and my friends did not disappoint. Worth noting, the following list is totally PG since it was brainstormed mostly with a 14 year old but I have some naughty, seriously naughty friends and I want you all to know, my world is a better place with you in it. They were sliding into my DMs with some bold suggestions, including one from a friend who suggested I “do him” for my 50th. Needless to say, if anyone is looking to build a more x-rated list, let me know.
Here’s my only rule surrounding this list; I have 52 weeks from today’s date (July 24, 2019) to accomplish the following. Obviously there’s no consequences if I don’t achieve them all, except having to live with the knowledge that I didn’t hit my goals but I’m damn sure going to have a lot of fun (mixed with moments of sheer terror) trying.
The best way to achieve any marker you set for yourself is to throw it out to the universe to attract good juju and of course keep you accountable. So in no particular order, here are my 50 things to do in my 50th year. I’ve put notes beside some to clarify why I’ve chosen them.
50 Things to Do When You Turn 50
- Knit a blanket (I don’t know how to knit, but if I learn y’all are getting scarves for Christmas.)
Jump out of a plane.
- Karate chop a piece of wood in half (this feels like a kick-assy thing to accomplish)
- Learn how to drive a stick shift.
- Conquer parallel parking (no really, I will drive miles out of my way to avoid this).
- Give a speech to a crowd
- Go scuba diving (I haven’t scuba dived in years, but I maintain that it’s the closest you’ll ever get to God, or whatever entity you believe in, on earth).
- See the Northern Lights.
- Write a book.
- Ski a black hill.
White Water Rafting on Class 5 Rapids.
- Get a tattoo (so much fear with this. What do I get? Where do I put it?)
- Take a cooking class at Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.
- Camp in the winter.
- Go 96 hours without internet (I may need to be tied down for this one)
- Participate in a polar bear dip.
- Start a f*ck jar. $1 for every f*ck that passes my lips. Good way to see how many f*cks I actually give.
- Do a puppy yoga class with my girls. Do NOT come home with a puppy.
- Read 10 fiction novels. (The Hating Game, Sarah’s Key)
- Read 10 non-fiction novels. (Daring Greatly, Talking to Strangers, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Girl Wash Your Face, Educated, Man’s Search for Meaning)
Go back to school.
- Volunteer at a seniors home (This is facing a major fear of mine. Not old people, but being old and alone).
- Camp in a tent (meaning I set it up, not watch as someone else does it).
- Take a vacation alone.
- Give up drinking for 30 days.
- Try surfing.
- Sing Karaoke. Sober. (OH MY GOD, MORE TERRIFYING THAN JUMPING OUT OF A PLANE)
- Do a back flip on a trampoline. (Ava picked this one, I don’t know why she thinks I can do this)
- Audition for a community play. (I was once the lead in a high school play and yet the thought of this makes me a little barfy.)
- Keep a plant alive for one year. (This might be the biggest challenge on this list. No plant is safe with me.)
- Learn to juggle (I’ve been metaphorically doing this for years, now to actually learn it)
Perform a random act of kindness.
- Go waterskiing.
- Build a model car/plane/house? Not sure what this will be yet.
- Sleep in an ice hotel.
- Play Dodgeball. Hitting people with balls seems fun, getting hit not so much.
- Leave grafitti on a bathroom wall. (I’ve NEVER done this, so two rules a) there must already be graffiti there, and b) it has to be nice)
- Go to a drag show.
- Rent a jeep for a weekend. (I’ve always wanted a jeep)
EDITED: PARTICIPATE IN A PARADE.I wanted to donate blood once a month but I do not qualify on three points (weight, I take prescription, medication, and I have been out of the US and Canada in the last 12 months.) Attend a protest.
- Play a proper game of tennis. (I’ve been learning but aside from getting small rallies in, I haven’t played a full game yet. I’m cool with getting slaughtered on the court)
- Get 50 pictures with 50 friends.
- Go rockclimbing.
Take a hot air balloon ride.
- Do the slingshot ride at Canada’s Wonderland with my daughter Morgan.
- Drive a race car (I have a naturally heavy foot, so I’d love to see how fast I can go).
- Take in a movie at a drive-in theatre. (do these even exist anymore? If not this may need to be replaced).
- Give myself something in a little blue box from Tiffany’s.