36 before 36

I turned 35 last week and pretty much had the greatest birthday ever. I spent time with my family, shared drinks with good friends, and hit the road with Elle and Matt to Savannah, my birthday destination. Through a poorly timed blustery and rainy Nor’easter, my celebration lasted for five days, landed me in three cities, left me sleeping in two hotels, and taught me one very valuable lesson:  LIFE IS GOOD.

Of course, every birthday ends with thoughts on how I can make the next year of my life even better.  Then I realized it’s not about my life becoming better or even more enjoyable. My life is already enjoyable; I just need to enjoy it.  And because I am such a huge fan of checklists (if anything, they keep me focused and help me to feel accomplished as I check things off as COMPLETE!), I decided to put together a list of things I would like to do before my next birthday. 

Some of these are things I can do so easily but don’t make the time.  Other things on this list are meant to stare me in the face, to get me motivated to push myself past my comfort zone and hopefully land me in another state of mind, hopefully one of mental bliss, because I did it. Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  It probably is.

36 Before 36

  1. Get a job that makes me happy (even if it takes a few tries)
  2. Focus on school work instead of the fact that I’m still in school
  3. Organize my entire postcard collection
  4. Watch the sunrise at the beach (not alone…you know who you are!)
  5. Sell my entire Strawberry Shortcake collection of dolls and collectibles on Ebay
  6. Be debt-free (even if only for a short time)
  7. Participate in the Gate River Run
  8. Close the 1,100 mile gap between myself and this wonderful man I know
  9. Meet  Sarah Vowell
  10. Learn to accept myself as everyone else already has (for better or for worse)
  11. Chaperone at least one field trip with my daughter’s class
  12. Take Elle on a vacation, just the two of us
  13. Take some lessons from my daughter in free spiritedness
  14. Zipline!
  15. Visit Oklahoma
  16. Visit Nashville
  17. Visit Asheville
  18. Visit Key West
  19. Learn how to change a flat tire
  20. Stop being so afraid of my computer as it will not burst into flames. Or will it…?
  21. Write something really, really good and submit it for publication. If I’m rejected, submit it somewhere else.
  22. Read one new book every month
  23. Run a non-stop stretch of five miles
  24. Volunteer to read at Elle’s school
  25. Try one new food every month
  26. Learn to cook a meal that doesn’t involve a single noodle
  27. Get back on the road again.  Eisenhower Interstate Highway System, I’ve missed you so!
  28. Instruct less, participate more
  29. Learn to walk in heels
  30. Go kayaking
  31. Go camping
  32. Be a better friend
  33. Spend more time outside
  34. Get rid of the chip on my shoulder
  35. Go swimming in a lake
  36. Learn to breathe and just enjoy
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About Dena

I'm a suburban Clevelander by way of Oklahoma City, by way of North Florida, by way of Southern Maryland, by way of Upper Michigan, by way of Northern Italy, by way of Lower Michigan, by way of Texas. Because of living in so many places, I have something in common with almost everyone I meet. I love reading, writing, and American history (especially reading or writing about American history). I'm interested in culture of place, historical trauma, and writing about the kinds of histories most people don't know about.
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2 Responses to 36 before 36

  1. ~Matt says:

    I will help where I can or you’ll let me! 😉

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