(Takes a breath.)
When I was a kid, 40 seemed sooooooo far away, a number designated for “old people.” I imagined 40 being the age you are outfitted for your mommy jeans, given keys to your fully loaded mini-van and where they remove your dreamer’s card for good.
The closer I get, though, I realize (and hope) that’s not quite true. God willing, mommy jeans are nowhere in my future and when I do hit that milestone I plan to check off a big list of accomplished goals.
I’ve penned 25 things (see below) I want to do before I reach that birthday. As I accomplish them, I will update the list.
Now, honestly, this isn’t my first time making a list like this. I remember in my early 20s I told myself that by 25 I would be a famous writer, travel the world and hobnob with my best gal pal Oprah Winfrey (and you, too, Gayle). I was going to enroll in graduate school, become an English professor and get regular requests from Essence magazine, and the like, to write award-winning cover stories.
Well, 25 came and went and Oprah still hadn’t called. (Neither has Gayle.)
Although things didn’t turn out quite the way I planned, as long as there is breath in my body, I can always try again.
Through the years, though, life has served me a big ‘ol plate of reality, but it has always been topped with a dash of hope. So, I took some things off the list from my 20s and tweaked others.
I think what I came up with is realistic and still keeps with what I have always dreamed.
Forty, here I come. When you see me, I am going to be clicking my heels and dancing a jig.
1. Publish a book
2. Become a runner. Not necessarily the marathon-running kind; more like the 10K kind.
3. Read Eats, Shoots & Leaves
4. Get off blood pressure medicine
5. Get into an MFA program
6. Learn to swim
7. Visit New York
8. Meet President Obama (a girl can dream, can’t she)
9. Try Hot and Hot Fish Club’s famous Hot & Hot Tomato Salad
10. Try pizza from Tortugas
11. Move to a nicer neighborhood
12. Get an iPad
13. Share my personal story with a group of young women
14. Write a collection of short stories
15. Read the Bible all the way through in a year
16. Visit my maternal grandfather’s grave
17. Teach my children how to read
18. Wear a bathing suit and not get light-headed from the sight
19. Get 10,000 blog followers
20. Try some sushi (other than the safe California roll)
21. Take a yoga class (even if it’s just a one-time deal)
22. Organize my personal library
23. Get 3-5 articles published in a national magazine
24. Reread all of Shakespeare’s plays
25. Reread A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
That’s it. Now, let’s roll!