Bucket List

I just turned 34.

This is not a bad thing. Mid-thirties is not old. Mid-sixties is not old. But 35 has felt so far away for so long that It’s a little unsettling to see myself approaching it so soon.

At the same time, I want to celebrate getting older. I want to do things I’ve always wanted to do but never had the time or nerve to try. I want to stop making excuses. So I decided to make a bucket list: everything I really want to make happen this year, before I hit 35 next spring.

My first stop was to seek inspiration online. Surely someone else had had this idea before! What does the rest of the world think people should do before they turn 35?

That was a mistake. Or maybe it was good, because laughter is good medicine. Some of the lists were way out of my league. Sure, I’d like to climb Everest, but It’s not like you can just go over there on a whim and start climbing. Then there were the ideas that seemed a bit ill-advised. Set up a blind date with a stranger online and have sex with him at his place afterward? Really?

And while not all the ideas centered around flings or exotic adventures (though quite a few did), I began to realize that the problem was that these lists were someone else’s. My list needed to be my own.

And so I started writing. It didn’t need to be cool stuff or even Facebook-able stuff. Little things like ?figure out how to use the camera I’ve owned for two years??thoughts that have been bugging me but that I’ve never actually acted upon. Take a CPR class. Try out downhill skiing. Go see an opera. Learn to crochet. Go to a haunted house. Take a weekend away with my mom. All things that fall under the ?I’ve always wanted to do this? category, and that are fairly reasonable to make happen in a year.

Reasonable was the key, because I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. Although Antarctica and Iceland are both dreams of mine, I won’t be heading in either direction this year or even within the next decade. And I didn’t want to pressure myself to do something I’d hate. I don’t want to run a marathon; I don’t even want to try. I do want to run a 5K without passing out, though (long story), so That’s on the list. And I have the crazy idea of learning how to do the splits, even if it kills me. (And well it may.)

What’s on your subconscious bucket list? What thoughts and ideas have been sitting at the back of your mind for a while? don’t wait for a milestone to get started in pursuing your dreams, no matter how small or silly. Which reminds me: It’s time to start some serious stretching if I’m going to figure out the splits by 2014.