Tuesday, August 5, 2014

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 - Things I've Wanted To Do For Years

This post is the second in a series of six daily posts where I'm sharing my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list. I put this list together as I neared my 45th birthday last month, choosing goals and things to do in the next five years before my 50th birthday. Many of the items on the list are things I've never done and places I've never been, however the list also includes some items that I want to do again. Some are small, simple inexpensive things to do, while others require a much larger amount of time and/or financial investment. The actual list is in a rather random fashion, listed as items came to me, but for this blog series I'll be grouping similar items together.

I've never really had a "bucket list", however, as I sat down to create this list, four items immediately came to mind because they are things that I've talked about wanting to do for many many years. I knew that these four items would be the start of my list!

First, I can't count the number of times I've said, "Someday I'm going to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon." I probably set this goal after seeing a rerun of The Brady Bunch episode Grand Canyon Or Bust. (I'm sure it was a rerun because the original show aired when I was only two-years-old!) I'm not even sure if it's possible to hike to the bottom anymore or if that might be more than I bargained for, but I'll be doing some research on this and planning a trip soon. (And, of course, after hiking to the top of a mountain, I'm feeling pretty good about  our hiking abilities!)

My second goal is to learn to speak (basic, conversational) Spanish. There's a large Hispanic population in Texas, and I've always wished I had remembered the Spanish I (must have!) learned when I took a class in 8th grade. The only things I truly remember are how to count to ten and the phrase como ce dice, which means How do you say? Speaking Spanish is a skill that would have come in extremely handy back in 2005 when I was teaching at an East Texas middle school and had a student in my class who only spoke Spanish! (Luckily I had translation software on my computer, however I felt terrible not being able to help her during the weeks she was in my class before they changed her schedule to one that included more ESL classes/teachers.)Classes in conversational Spanish are offered at our local community college, local libraries, and online. There's also software programs designed to help anyone learn a foreign language, so I shouldn't have any trouble accomplishing this goal if I simply take the time and put in the effort to do it. Si?

I also want to take piano lessons. This goal is complicated by the fact that I've never learned to play ANY instrument, nor have I ever really learned to read music. I can't remember even being in a music class of any kind since elementary school. Well, actually, about 12 years ago, I signed up for piano lessons, however our schedule changed after the first two lessons and I wasn't able to continue. I'm hoping to find a local class for adult beginners and give this goal another try soon.

The final item that's been on my list for years is to learn to ride a horse. I've only ridden a horse a few times in my life, each of those times it was a short ride at some type of tourist attraction where everything is designed for those of us who know nothing about riding. I don't really aspire to owning a horse or anything like that; I simply want to take riding lessons so that I'm somewhat comfortable around horses and might choose longer more adventurous rides at those tourist attractions.

There you have it - the first four items listed on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list. Have you hiked in the Grand Canyon, learned to speak Spanish, taken piano lessons or learned to ride a horse? If so, please share your experience and any suggestions about these goals in the comments.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing about all the places I want to go and the travel I want to do in the next five years. (Click here to see all my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 posts.)


  1. So, I've been to Grand Canyon WEST (not the gorge everyone pictures when you say the Grand Canyon) and we took a helicopter ride to the bottom ... which is as close as I'll ever come to that much hiking. I took piano lessons in high school. I remember nothing. I also never learned to read music. I learned the few pieces I ever played by simply memorizing where my hands went. I can't speak Spanish, but I do know numbers, days, and some really basic stuff. Which I also know in French and German. The most horse-back riding I've ever done was a two hour trail ride in Maui - it was awesome, but didn't require any knowledge - the horses are well trained and know where to go! My sister rides and loves it. She loves horses more than most people.

  2. I did have riding lessons years and years ago, and loved it. So I fully recommend it. As for speaking another language, I'd love to learn Italian.

  3. No I can't do any of those things. But I have always regretted not learning to play the piano when I was younger. I've heard of a couple of people who have asked for pianos as 50th birthday presents, though, so it sounds like we aren't alone in thinking about this one

  4. I've been to the Grand Canyon, but never attempted to hike to the bottom. Tracy did it the summer before we were married, and he's a very experienced hiker. His story would be enough to keep this item OFF my bucket list. I played the piano for about six years. My father was a pianist and we had to take lessons. I gave it up when we moved from Ohio to NY when I was sixteen. I wasn't willing to give up the time it took to practice. I was desperate to make new friends. I've always regretted that decision, although I can still read music, and play a bit. I thought I might take it up again when I retired, but I haven't. Took a horse riding course my senior year in college. It was fun, but not for me, and it's an expensive hobby! Sadly, I have NO facility for learning languages, and it's another regret I have. Good luck with all of them!

  5. Although I have been to the Grand Canyon we did not hike down tot he canyon floor, was not at all on my list of things to do. I took 2 years of piano and in the end still could not read music lol I was a dancer. I enjoy horseback riding but seldom have the opportunity. I had 7 years of French but remember very little, I think you learning Spanish is an awesome idea :)

  6. I believe you are never too old to learn to play the piano. I'm a church organist, so I can't imagine not playing! Whatever is on your list, I hope you accomplish them and have lots of FUN along the way.


  7. Oh I'd share in a couple of those - except I'd learn to speak French. And I don't have a musical ear at all, so I wouldn't be good at the piano, but I would love to be.


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