Today I am 39. I had a wonderful day today. The weather was GOR-GEOUS! A perfect Indian Summer kind of day! Pat took the day off from work and while the kids were in school, we spent the day shopping, having lunch at Ruby Tuesday (I love their salad bar) and relaxing. It was a perfect way to celebrate the day, especially after a hectic weekend.
But today I am.....Thirty. Nine. Wow! It started hitting me a few months ago, that this would be my last year of my 30's. I know. Duh. But, somehow, it was earth-shattering for me. All these questions came rushing into my head:
Am I where I want to be at when I am 40?
Do I look like I am 40?
Do I act like I am 40?
What does someone who is 40 act like?
Will people see me differently when I am 40?
Where do I see myself in 40 more years?
What do I still want to accomplish?
I know some of these questions may sound silly to you, but these are the things I have been thinking about. I want to spend my last year of my 30's preparing for my 40's and beyond. I really want to shape my life and my family's life into what we want for the future. After a lot of thought, I made up a list of 40 things I want to accomplish in my 39th year. So, starting today, I have 365 days to get these 40 items checked off my list. You know how I LOVE lists. So, I have been compiling this list for a few months, changed it, added to it, and finally, I think it is what I want it to be. I have created my own page for my 40 Before 40 List. I will update the list on the page and let you know here as well. But, if you want to keep up with my list, click on the label at the top. Some of the things are the list are self-explanatory, but others might not be. So, here is my list:
40 before 40
1-Go out to eat with Pat to a restaurant we have never been to. We tend to always go to the same places so I'd like to change it up once and try something new.
2-Cook something with an ingredient I have never used. Like quinoa or something like that.
3-Try Sushi – preferably with my cousin, Melanie. Melanie is my cousin and if I am going to choke down Sushi, she will find the best stuff and will hold my hand through it.
4-Lose 20 lbs. Yeah, gotta do it.
5-Pay for a stranger’s drive through food.
6-Write letters to each of our kids.
7-Write a letter to Pat.
8-Write a letter to my parents.
9-Have all the white walls in the house painted a different color– either by someone else or myself.
10-Spend an entire day reading off of my to-read bookshelf. It seems like I am always reading from someone else's list....Publisher's, Book Clubs, etc, so I want to set aside time to read the books I want to read.
11-Spend an entire day antiquing. I LOVE antiquing. Even if I don't buy anything, I love looking at all the neat finds and remembering or finding something that reminds me of a grandparent, my childhood, or something unique. My friend, Mary would be the perfect person to join me on this day!
12-Visit Tammy in Tennessee. My BFF moved to Nashville at the beginning of the summer. It has been tough not being able to meet up on our usual dates of dinner, beverages, shopping, and LOTS of chatting. I need to visit and soon! Plus, she's in Nashville! Who needs an excuse to go to Nashville?!?! FYI: She is not in the country music business or any music business for that matter and neither is her husband. But, she can be found searching for Keith Urban on the streets of Nashville! :)
13-Spend an entire day baking treats and delivering to friends and neighbors. I LOVE to bake! I need to do this more often!
14-Spend a day with Julie at The Mission of Hope. My Sister-In-Law works at a place that opens their hearts to "the least, the last, and the lost." They serve a noon meal and offer all kinds of encouragement, hope and prayer. I want to spend the day helping her out.
15-Have a weekend getaway with Pat.
16-Send an encouraging/happy card to someone every week. I'm a card person and have been meaning to do this for a LONG time. I even have the cards sitting in my closet. Who doesn't love to get "good" mail???
17-Give a waitress/waiter a 100% tip. If my bill is $40, he or she will get a $40 tip. I grew up waitressing and know first hand how tough it is. I think it may even be more challenging today. So, I want to search out that one person that I think deserves to be acknowledged and rewarded for a Job Well Done. I can't wait!
18-Buy Christmas gifts for a needy family at Christmas. We have done this through our church in the past, and I want to be sure we do it again this year, getting the kids involved and making it a family effort.
19-Get caught up and organized with all our photos. They are on the computer, I just need to get them ordered and organized for each kid.
20-Share Jesus with someone who didn’t know Him. This is our 1 purpose as Christians, to share the Good News. I have someone in mind. Pray that the opportunity presents itself and the words flow freely from my mouth to their ears.
21-Label all the family DVDs. Pat is good about making the DVD's from our home videos, I just need to label the cases so we know what is in there!
22-Take the kids for a limo ride. What a fun surprise for the kids to take them in a Limo!
23- Read 40 books.
24-Finish Reading The Bible. I have started and am over half way through reading the Bible from front to back.
25-Photograph something from our life at least once a week. This may sound simple, but life gets hectic and you forget your camera and don't take the time to record those images. I hope to make a solid effort to do that.
26-Make a loaf of bread from scratch. I don't mean banana bread here....I mean an actual loaf of bread, using yeast, kneading it, letting it rise, etc. Yeast scares me. I've never been able to do it. I am determined to complete this and conquer the yeast monster before I am 40.
27-Send flowers to someone. Who doesn't love to receive flowers?????
28-Go without sugar for 1 whole week. This one I am scared to death about. I don't have my parameters all figured out yet. Are we talking just the white sugar in the pantry or are we talking sugars in the foods we eat like fructose, sucrose, etc. Or am I just going to cut out sweets like ice cream, brownies, chocolate, etc? I haven't decided, but I will do something in this area.
29-Take my family to LeMars, Iowa for some Blue Bunny Ice Cream. I wanted to take this trip this summer, but just ran out of time. Plus kind of hard to drive 5 hours one way JUST for ice cream. But, I think some weekend we should do it! Hey kids, let's go get some ice cream.......
30-Have the “Birds and Bees” talk with our kids. Yeah, I know. We've been putting this off. Ignoring the questions, "What's a condomn?" What's sexual?" Those came while watching a FRIENDS episode. So, it needs to be done and soon!
31-Scan all my childhood photos into the computer. Who knows? Maybe I will even post a couple!
32-Try wine from 40 different wineries. Who wants to complete this challenge with me???? There are lots of great wines and wineries out there, especially in Iowa. I think it is my duty to check them out and tell you all about them! :)
33- Send 3 boxes to Operation Christmas Child. This is coming up very soon. I have always felt this mission was close to my heart. After watching different documentaries with children from Africa in them, it just made even stronger of a mission to do this one thing for them. How easy is it to make up a shoe box of goodies for a child? The excitement from opening up one of these is amazing to me. Of all the things our kids have, children in Africa are so thrilled to get a ball, or a t-shirt, or a doll. It is a no brainer. I've started to assemble some items (Great things in the Target One-Spot if you are interested). The kids will each do a box for a child their age/gender and we will send them with my mom who is helping to pack the boxes into boxes for shipping!
34-Get all my recipes and cookbooks organized. I have LOTS and LOTS of cookbooks. Some I use and some just for looks or as mementos from family. I want them to be easily accessible and seen. So, I am hoping Pat will build something for me and then I can get organized with the cookbooks and then all those recipes I've torn out of magazines and newspapers.
35-Buy a nativity set to add to my collection. I have started collecting nativities and look for unique ones. Maybe I could find one during my day of antiquing!
36-Start reading the Little House Series to Reagan
37- Have monthly Family Game Nights with the kids and Pat.
38- Splurge on a rockin’ new outfit to wear to my party!
39-Have a party to celebrate turning 40 and completing my list!
40- Let Go and Let God! This has been a saying our family and Pat's sister's family have shared. We will say to each other LGsquared for Let Go Let God. This, to us, means, let it go. Let God handle it. Lately, I have felt myself getting drawn in to the "drama" of life, of friends, of work, and of my community. I hate that it is so easy to get drawn into that and let it mess with your thoughts and emotions. I want to make a conscious effort to let things go. God will take care of it all for me.
So, that's my list. I appreciate your encouragement, your prayers, and your support of my blog. Thanks for being my friend and I hope to bring you along into my next 40 years.