This is my birthday week. Many people think of January as the beginning of a new year. I always think of September as the beginning of a new year myself, unable to get out of school year mentality. But the real beginning of a new year in each of our lives is our birthday. This year I turn 55, and it feels like it should be a momentous year. Last year I realized how close we were to being empty nesters, and began to think about what my life would look like when I wasn’t following kids and their activities. What could I do if I was just me? I vowed to try new things, go on new adventures.
What would you do if you wanted to have a memorable year? Time goes so quickly any more that I decided to plan out this next year so that it doesn’t pass by before I have time to experience it. So, for my birthday, I’m making a list of 55 adventures I want to accomplish during the year that I am 55. My hope is that there might be some things on my list that will inspire you to plan out your next epic year. Some are big and some are small, some are new and some are old, but all are adventures in my eyes. And maybe you can help me add to my list with your ideas. Here are my ideas so far, but I am open to your suggestions also:
1. Learn to rock climb. I specifically want to attend one of the Bold Betties climbing events, where all ages, sizes, and abilities are welcome to participate. This sounds like my kind of group.
2. Read a book of poetry.
3. Go to a restaurant and order something I’ve never tried before.
4. Sign up for a long-distance race somewhere totally new.
5. Set a date to quit worrying about my weight, and start worrying about being strong.
6. Forgive someone.
7. Hold a family game night, no electronics allowed. Like we used to when the kids were little.
8. Learn to double haul.
9. Go fishing in Alaska.
10. Try a new recipe each week.
11. Learn to tie a new fly each week during the cold months.
12. Set a date to finish the entomology course I bought last year.
13. Go snowshoeing in the winter.
14. Take a photo of a campfire at night.
15. Stop at a historical marker on every road trip.
16. Take a backpacking trip to Temple Peak in the Wind River Range.
17. Fish the Big Horn River.
18. Go to a haunted house.
19. Run through a sprinkler.
20. Wear an outfit that feels totally out of my comfort zone.
21. Go for a run on a totally new trail.
22. Go on a zipline.
23. Spend a full day reading a book.
24. Bike a trail I’ve never ridden before.
25. Hike the trail that runs along the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam.
26. Bake cookies and eat as many as I want.
27. Reread Walden.
28. Go to a beach.
29. Try yoga on my paddle board.
30. Go to the library and check out the first book I see on the featured display shelves.
31. Learn to dye alpaca fiber.
32. Go to a free concert in the park.
33. Meet a local author at a library event.
34. Take photos at Antelope Canyon.
35. Watch a foreign movie.
36. Go to IHOP in the middle of the night for pancakes.
37. Donate to a new charity.
38. Fish at Lee’s Ferry.
39. Go for a nighttime bike ride in the summer.
40. Buy tickets for a special event to give away.
41. Make a dinner completely from items found at a farmer’s market.
42. Anonymously buy dinner for a table of strangers at a restaurant.
43. Go to a coffee shop I’ve never been to.
44. Go bike riding in Moab.
45. Go down a water slide.
46. Put bindings on every unfinished quilt in my sewing room.
47. Take a whitewater trip on the Snake River.
48. Hike to Lake Agnes Tea House in Banff.
49. Do a volunteer project for Trout Unlimited.
50. Run outside in the winter.
51. Drop off a box of food items at someone’s home, ring the doorbell, and hide.
52. Visit Zion National Park.
53. Donate alpaca dubbing to Project Healing Waters.
54. Make a lemon meringue pie just because.
55. Build a birdhouse.
Since there are only 52 weeks in the year, I will have to do one or more adventures each week. And I’ll need to budget for those that cost money, because that’s how we stay debt free. I want to be brave, I want to be generous, I want to have fun. My motto for the year is “More doing, more giving”. I’m looking forward to a new year, and many, many more. What activities would you add to this list? Are there some of these you’ve done?