Thursday, August 8, 2019

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 | Reflections

I began working on my list of 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 on my 45th birthday in 2014. Can y'all believe it's been five years already!?! I turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, and I'm thrilled to report that I completed 31 of the items on my list!!!

I've learned several lessons by having this list of goals over the past five years.

A list of goals provides inspiration and motivation.
Several of the items on my list are ones that I've thought about doing for years. When I put them on the list, I moved past the thinking stage and began researching and planning and actually doing them. 

Without the inspiration and motivation of working toward checking items off my list, I might still be just talking about hiking in the Grand Canyon, taking piano lessons, learning to ride a horse, dyeing Easter eggs again, or finally carving a pumpkin.

It's ok if some things don't get completed. 
It would have been amazing to report today that I had completed every item on my list; however, in reality, there are 19 items that I did not check off. There was nothing on the list that was mandatory; it was simply something FUN I came up with to enjoy on my way to 50.

While I did read all the Pulitzer prize winners in fiction, I did not re-read all my children's/young adult books ... and that's perfectly ok. I didn't make a quilt; however, I completed 10+ scrapbook projects and reviewed all my paid for scrapbook classes. I didn't grow my own vegetables, but I did make Mama's biscuits and take a macaron cooking class.

Our desires/circumstances/goals can change in five years.
While I truly desired to lose down to a healthy weight and take a boot camp class and hold a one-minute plank, the past couple of years have held a good bit of trauma and emotional upheaval which I allowed to derail my goal of getting fit! Of course, we have made some adjustments to our eating and exercise plans, which have also ebbed and flowed throughout this time. I'm not as healthy or fit as I'd like to be (but I did complete a 10k walk in less than three hours at the beginning of summer). I was, however, more successful with my emotional and spiritual health goals as I kept a daily gratitude journal for one yearread through the Bible again, and completed a 3-day fast

I also chose not to earn a doctorate after considering and researching this option as I didn't feel it was the right direction for me at this point in our lives. And Robbie and I decided it was not quite time (yet) for us to buy a camper.

Sometimes I'm overly optimistic with what can be accomplished in a certain time period!
If you look closely at the list, you'll notice that there were quite a few travel items. Considering the fact that we typically take two vacations a years, we could have gone to all those places. But then we would have missed out on the family vacations and last minute trips and other things that caught our attention over the years. 

I feel so grateful and blessed that we were able to tour the Anne Frank House and visit Corrie ten Boom's home, travel to Paris, visit Harry Potter World in Florida, see New York from the top of the Empire State Building, have an Alaskan Adventure, travel on a train, see Niagara Falls, catch some holiday fireworks, and go glamping.  We even hiked to the top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies and I rode in a helium balloon. So, it's hard to be disappointed that I didn't go snow skiing again or take a mission trip or visit Washington DC and tour the White House.

Some things are out of my control.
I knew when I put lead someone to Christ on my list that it was a stretch goal because it's not actually up to me whether or not it happens. While I strive to be a witness for the Lord in my daily life and I started my own ministry/business teaching classes that merge faith and art, I've never actually been the person who prayed with someone as they gave their life to the Lord. My giftings are in teaching and administration, not evangelism.  The Bible says that some plant, others water, but it's God that gives the increase. However, I put this item on the list to remind me to be aware of opportunities to witness to others and share about Christ. In fact, I did have several opportunities to talk with others (individually and in classes I've taught) about the way to eternal life. I feel great about the seeds I've planted and watered and weeded over the years and glad I included this reminder to myself to always be open to share the plan of salvation.

Sometimes I'm not willing (or able) to devote time to something new.
For example, I'd really like to learn to speak basic conversational Spanishtake swimming lessons and dance lessons and private singing lessons, and even learn to French braid my own hair. While I chose to focus on other things these past few years (like having something publishedrevising our wills, improving my photography and photo editing skillswatching many of the movies in our collection, and using a flower guide), I may find/make time in the coming years for these non-completed well as playing all the games in our collection and going fishing again.

All in all, I've thoroughly enjoyed working on my list of 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 over the past five years. And now I'm setting new goals and looking forward to all the things I'll do While I'm 50

What will you be doing over the next 12 months?


  1. Firstly, a very happy 50th birthday and welcome to Club 50s!
    To have completed so many items from your bucket list is fabulous!

  2. A belated Happy Birthday! I've always thought your list was an inspiration, and you are right to be pleased with all you've accomplished. I agree that simply writing down the goals helps you to achieve them.

  3. I'm so impressed with what you have completed on your list. What a marvelous gift to yourself. Happy birthday & everyday wishes. I agree having an actual list encourages "us" to actualize more than to just talk about. Although I'm without a bucket list (have been for years) I do create a Summer Manifesto for Mr Man & myself ever year for that very reason. The list gets us off the patio & into the world. Right now there's a lot of talk & sermons about planting seeds. Remember the day you plant the seed is not the day you harvest. Cheers to the next 50 years!

  4. Congratulations on all your accomplishments


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