Thursday, August 04, 2011

It's kind of like a bucket list...without the death thing.

A few years ago, just before my sister turned 25, she made a list of 25 things to do before her birthday. This list covered a whole range of items, from framing a picture to skydiving. I think the whole point, aside from finding a way to "seize the day" more often, was to turn her birthday from an, "I'm getting older and I can't stop it!" kind of thing, to a "If I'm going down, I'm going down in a blaze of glory!" type of thing.

At least that's what I got out of it.

So I've got a birthday coming up in a couple months, and to be honest, I'm not entirely thrilled about it. But instead of wallow in self-indulgent sorrow, I'm going to follow my sister's lead and turn the lemons of advancing age into the lemonade of a life well-lived.

A few thoughts on the nature of a good birthday list:

1. It should include items that fall into one of three categories: stuff I've never done before, stuff I haven't done in a long time, and stuff I should be doing more often. No point in listing crap I'm already doing.

2. Given the time frame, you can't include too many "large" items on the list (like skydiving). List items don't have to be huge and/or expensive to be meaningful, though there should be at least a couple of starred events to look forward to.

3. List items are not set in stone. You have to be careful not to use this as an excuse, but the reality is that sometimes life takes turns, and we all know about the best laid plans of mice and men. My sister had to change a few items on the fly, but it wasn't always because of a failed opportunity. Sometimes something better came along.

I actually put together my final list at the beginning of July (I've chosen not to post it here for a variety of reasons), and I already have a few items crossed off. My noble intention is to do a different post on each completed item between now and October's deadline.

Wish me luck.