Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Halfway Point - 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50

It's been exactly 2 1/2 years since I began my quest to complete the items I chose for my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list, and I have exactly 2 1/2 years to go before my 50th birthday. It certainly seems like this halfway point arrived quickly!


Logically and mathematically at this point, I should have marked 25 items off my list . . . however, I've actually only checked off 12 items!


While it might seem that I'm behind schedule, there are several items that I've been working on right along. Here's a review of my progress on those items. 

1. Lose down to a healthy weight (140-145 lbs) & maintain
While I have been working to exercise more and make healthier choices, I have unfortunately not made as much progress on this goal as I'd hoped. However, I will continue to strive to make permanent lifestyle changes that will result in a healthier me.

2. Read all the Pulitzer prize winners in Fiction (1948 – 2018) 

I've read 26 of the 62 winners (with the possible addition of two more in the next couple of years). I've been able to borrow quite a few of the books from our library, however there are many that are not available there. I recently picked up seven books at a used book store, so I'll definitely be making more progress on this goal in the coming months.  

3. Re-read all my children’s/young adult books   
In mid-2015, I created a spreadsheet of the books I wanted to read to complete this goal. At that time I'd read 67 of the 409 books on the list. As of today, I've read 115 and have 294 to go. That sounds like a lot of books, but keep in mind many of these are children's picture story books. I'm currently reading my way through this shelf by grabbing five books to read while I'm on the stationary bike several times a week.

4. Play all the games in our collection
Now that we have the front room rearranged and new shelves to hold our game collection, I'm looking forward to continuing progress on this goal.

5. Complete 10 scrapbook projects
I've completed five projects and plan to complete (at least) five more this year, including several chronological albums and a mini-album.
6. Review all paid for scrapbook classes
In December, I cleaned up my scrapbooking classes digital files, scrolled through materials in a few classes, and have 23 classes I'd like to review before checking off this item. I anticipate making lots of progress on this goal in the next few months as I'm enjoying scrapbooking our memories in my new craft room!

7. Watch all the movies in our collection
As with several other items, I'm tracking my progress on a spreadsheet. This year I'm being much more intentional about watching some of these movies.


Obviously, if I'm going to complete all (or at least most) of the items on my list, I need to be ACTIVE in planning and pursuing these goals. So, I've chosen a few items to work on in the next couple of months.

1. Learn to speak(basic conversational) Spanish - There are Continuing Education classes available through a local college; I just need to check the schedule & get enrolled.

2. Take a cooking class - We have several stores in our area that offer classes, and I'll be checking those schedules to find one that looks appealing appetizing!

We're also in the process of researching and planning our next couple of vacations, which should help mark off another item or two.


Here's a list of the remaining items. Please let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions that might help me as I continue working through the list.

1. Take piano lessons
2. Learn to ride a horse
3. Lead someone to Christ 
4. Travel to Paris
5. Tour the Anne Frank house & the ten Boom home
6. Make a quilt
7. Earn a doctorate
8. Buy a camper & use it often 
9. Alaskan cruise   
10.Go snow skiing one more time (at least)
11. Swimming lessons
12. Ride in a hot air balloon
13. Have something published
14. Revise my will
15. Learn to make Mama’s biscuits so they taste as good as the ones she & Robbie make
16. One minute plank
17. Travel on a train
18. Mission trip
19. Learn to use my DSLR camera on manual (& auto!) mode
20. Dance lessons (with Robbie, of course)
21. Take private singing lessons
22. Visit Washington DC & tour the White House
23. Learn to French braid my own hair
24. Improve photo editing skills
25. Buy and use a flower field/identification guide
26. Go fishing again
27. Grow my own vegetables
28. Boot Camp class
29. Carve a pumpkin


  1. Gotta say, you have a good start, but you have some amazingly difficult items to cross off your list! Ambitious is putting it mildly. However, since I know how much energy and commitment you have, I'll bet most of these get crossed off before you're 50!

  2. Well, going fishing and carving a pumpkin take very little time or preparation... I remember fishing at the pond when I was a kid with a handmade pole (sturdy but thin tree branch, fishing line tied on, hook at the end, worms dug up in our yard...) but some of these are tough! I've been trying for YEARS to learn to use my camera on manual and still feel clueless... I think the only way I would actually learn is with a hands-on, in-person class at a camera shop... do you have any shops near you that offer classes?

  3. #17 on the remainder list is intriguing ... my first thought was, "What? has Melissa never been on a train?" ... or do you just mean that it's years since you travelled by train and that you should do it again?

  4. Karen - I agree it is a little more ambitious than it seemed at the time, but I’m hoping to at least cross off a good bit more in the next 2 ½ years.

    Cheri - Yes, the pumpkin carving was going to happen this year – we even bought a pumpkin! Then Robbie had to travel unexpectedly Halloween weekend & we never got around to it. I was going to go ahead and carve it anyway, but time got away from me and when the Christmas decorations went up, the pumpkin had to go. LOL

    Fishing would be easy, except it requires a license . . . unless we travel or visit somewhere with a private pond that we can fish in. I’ll be watching for places to fish in our travels this year.

    I hadn’t thought of the camera shops for photography classes, but I did check those Continuing Education classes and realized that there are several photography classes available there. I’ll definitely check out camera shops, too.

    Ruth - Yes, I have ridden on a train a few times. We took the train into London from the airport, for example. My intention with this goal is for it to be a part of our trip, traveling from one city/town/state to another rather than driving or flying.

  5. You certainly haven't made things easy for yourself lol It's an ambitious list and if you even complete half of it you'll be one well polished, well educated, skilled-up fifty year old. Buying a flower guide sounds quick and could tick that one off quickly.

  6. Melissa you do not need a fishing license if you fish in a Texas state park off the shore or pier.
    "Where to go fishing
    Neighborhood Fishin' Texas State Parks: Over 70 parks offer fresh or saltwater fishing from shore, pier or boat. You don't need a fishing license to fish from pier or shore in a state park! Many parks offer tackle-loaner programs and special fishing classes and events. For help catching a fish, check out our state park Fishing Tip Sheets."


Thanks so much for your comment - it's like a ray of sunshine in my day!