October 5th begins my 50th year. Not my 50th birthday, my 49th was on the 4th – but my 50th year. Just as when you are born you have no years, just days and months, when you have your 1st birthday you are celebrating the completion of your first year. Since 50 is a milestone, I’m starting today. It’s probably because I’m impatient, but I just can’t wait another year.
I’ve set some goals that I want to attain in this 50th year. My life is already far more than I ever expected, so to find goals that fit was a bit of a challenge. I asked friends, family and acquaintances what I should do. You could tell who didn’t know me that well, because they suggested stuff I’d already done. I’ve already skydived, scuba dived, road tripped. I’ve parasailed and taken cooking classes and gone to the Olympics. I needed things that were uncommon, but do-able – things that would matter in my life.
You will read these goals and think, really, that’s it – but put them in context to the life I lead now and you may understand why they have meaning. I’ve done the “normal” life, I’ve been married and raised kids, I’ve had a satisfying, challenging career, I’ve reached the height of my education and career, I’ve made money, I’ve spent money, I’ve done the vacations to Disneyland, I’ve volunteered at a ton of organizations and I’ve learned a lot. All of these things apply to normal, middle-class Americans. You can find people living this life in every suburb in America. A year ago, I left all this behind.
My life now still includes an incredible man as my partner, my loving and talented kids, a challenging career – but it all takes place in a mobile environment. My kids are as independent as any you will find, partially because they never know if they can find their mom. My bed and my office move almost daily, cell phone service that most take for granted is sketchy at best in my world.
I haven’t done something fantastic, like move to a foreign country and build a school, no, I’ve not joined a commune and given up materialism, I just stepped off the grid a little. I’m still in the US, I’m still struggling to make ends meet, I’m still connected to the world, I just decided that I could be good at something else besides the career I chose in my 20’s, and if I was ever going to find out if that were true, I had to take a major step to do it.
So in my mobile world, in my career as an event promoter (or, at least the partner of an event promoter) all over the US, these are my goals – some you will think silly, that’s ok, some I think are silly too, but in an environment without constant power and internet, and with lots of dirt and limited resources, some of these are more challenging than you may realize.
- Call 50 friends
- Make and Write 50 cards
- Fold 50*20 origami cranes
- Watch 50 classic movies
- Read 50 books
- Take 50*7 pictures – one daily of my environment
- Write 50*7 blogs – one daily of my life
- Visit 50 new places
- Try 50 new things
- Write 50 chapters in a book
My blog will chronicle my 50th year, working towards that all important milestone, Oct 4, 2013 – my actual 50th birthday – not for the world to read, although it’s available, but because for me to meet goals, I have to have someone watching. If you get bored, move on, but my hope is to gain some insight in to who I want to be at the end of this journey and perhaps show others that the world as described on our childhood tv shows can be adjusted to the world as we see it through our rose colored glasses.
Update 10/4/13 – What’s Next?
I am 50 now, no more fifty in 365, I’m on the downhill side (as my sister so eloquently put it.) So how do I continue 50 in 365?? About a month ago I wrote down a dozen plus ideas, now it is time to narrow them.
One of the best parts of the past year was learning new things, I didn’t master any of them, but I got to try a bunch. Being introduced to new skills, new ideas has always been one of my favorite things. So Goal #1 – Try 50 new things – the difference this year is that I’m going to try to master at least five of them. No more just testing the waters, let’s find some new things to try that we can actually get good at.
Second best part of last year was going to new places. Our world is so big and bold; Goal #2, Go to and Explore 50 new places. I’ve already started making a list of places I’d like to go, just have to make the time for that.
New goal for the year is to do 50 new projects; I would expect these will turn mostly in to craft projects, but I’m ok with that. I love to craft, I would love to be an artist, but I am not inventive enough to start from scratch. So crafting it will have to be. I have no idea what I will do with these items when I’m done, as I don’t have room for anything in my small space, but I’m doing it anyway.
Goal #4 is also similar to something I’ve done for the last six years, to read 50 books, only this year, it’s going to be 50 new authors. New to me at least, I have a habit of reading the same authors over again, and while I am not going to turn my back on my favorites, my goal is to read 50 new authors in addition to the ones I follow.
A couple of other things on my list include writing 50 chapters in a book; sending 50 cards; and continuing to write in my blog. I’m hoping to introduce you to a life well-lived, a family well-loved and a writer well-humbled by the folks who read her. Here’s to LIVING 50 in 365!