Monday, November 23, 2009

Amazing Life!

I’ve been blessed to do some pretty amazing things in my life. Hiked the Great Wall of China (twice). Went on a safari in Uganda. Bought my dream car and have taken it on a few road trips. Danced through a green, green field in Ireland looking for the fairies I’m certain were there. Taught at a university (for the last 11 years). Walked the Freedom Trail in Boston. Hiked to the top of the Acropolis in Athens (also twice). Started my own business. Attended the temple faithfully, twice a week for two years.

The list goes on and on. It’s almost as long as the list of things I still want to do in my life. And some of those things I wouldn’t mind repeating.

I turned 37 at the beginning of the month. At the risk of sounding obvious – that means I turn 40 in three years. (That’s 36 months for the mathematically challenged among you.) I’m really not as freaked out by that as I thought I would be. It’s actually kind of exciting!

So, for my annual birthday “wilderness experience” this year (I do that. I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions.) I decided to make a 40 things to do before I’m 40 list. The difference between this and the Bucket List I’ve kept since I was 16 is that these aren’t dreams or lofty, long-term goals. These are just things I want to take the time to do. Things I’m going to start scheduling now.

The way I figure it, (ooh, more math) that means I have to accomplish one of these things every 3.9 weeks. I’ll keep you posted on how I do. And, if any of you want to join me for any of these things please let me know. Experiences like these are generally best when shared.

1. Write a novel during NaNoWriMo. (Started this at the first of the month and am already 35,000 words in – give or take.)
2. Read the book about my grandpa that my mom’s cousin wrote. (I never met him. He died before I was born.)
3. Hike Havasupai (although I may hire a helicopter to fly me out like my brother did).
4. Incorporate yoga into my daily meditation practice.
5. Reread my favorite book.
6. Get all of my grandparents’ slides scanned and published out to the family.
7. Attend the temple once every week for a year and take family names every time.
8. Go whale watching.
9. Take the train up to Victoria, BC.
10. Learn how to tango.
11. Learn to fire a hand gun.
12. Get my grandparents old home movies transferred to DVD.
13. Take a couple snowboarding lessons.
14. Fly in a hot air balloon.
15. Start a separate savings account to purchase the property in Wallsburg.
16. Take voice lessons again.
17. Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on Cherry Blossom Day.
18. Tour Israel.
19. Take my #2 nephew to Disneyland for his 5th birthday – just him and me! (It’s a tradition for the nieces and nephews that I started this year with his older brother.)
20. Visit my gg-grandmother’s grave in New Orleans.
21. Throw a big college years reunion with my friends and their families.
22. Work with the Wyatts to make sure the Utah Historical Monument gets placed at the Mulliner Mill Pond next summer and as many of Samuel’s descendants as possible are in attendance.
23. Exercise my stock options.
24. Hike up to the Diamond Fork hot pots in all four seasons and take pictures. (It’s been years since I’ve been up there.)
25. Send thank you letters to 40 people who have positively influenced me in my life. (1/month)
26. Find a new friend with whom I can have deep, philosophical discussions about important things. (Not that I don’t love my online and/or long-distance friends but I’d prefer this was an IRL friend.)

Check the final 13 states off my 50 state tour list
27. Alabama
28. Alaska
29. Hawaii
30. Kentucky
31. Maine
32. Michigan
33. Mississippi
34. Montana
35. New Hampshire
36. North Dakota
37. South Carolina
38. South Dakota
39. West Virginia

40. Throw a HUGE 40th birthday bash with all my family and friends. (I’m thinking a cruise.)


  1. one trip to visit me I can help you with number 11, and Montana and South Dakota. I can also take you to the site of Custers Last Stand, Devil's Tower, Mt. Rushmore, the Crystal Caves, (Yellowstone Natl Park of course!), and teach you everything that you need to know about Buffalo Bill Cody. There...that should fill up your list a bit...and besides-your nieces and nephew HERE need a visit from Aunt Crista!!! I love it!

  2. Sounds like a plan, Danel. How about 4th of July weekend next summer?

  3. I still think you need to come see me in texarse. and I love your list.