My Midlife Bucket List

25 Things to Do Before I’m 50

Hitting 40 didn’t phase me. Not one bit. It’s the big 45 that hit me a harder and has me thinking more about life – and what I’m doing with it. The closer I get to 50, the more I feel I have so many things I want to do.

I literally woke up in midlife and fully realized that I have been on autopilot. I won’t live on autopilot. Life’s too short. So I just wrote sat down and wrote a midlife bucket list of 25 things I want to do before I’m 50.

And by the way, I can’t talk about being 50 without laughing-til-I-cry thinking about Sally O’Malley “I Kick! And I Stretch! I’m 50!” skit on SNL. I may still kick and stretch, but I’ll never be able to pull off red stretch pants as well as Sally.

Anyway, as with most things in my life, I started out over-ambitiously with “40 Things I Want to Do Before I’m 50.” I was fired up about it. But while getting my second cup of coffee, it occurred to me that I am 45. Technically, 45 and-a-half.

So that means I would have 4.5 years to get 40 things done…relatively big things…..which means I would need to average 8.888 bucket list items each year. That’s a lot to take on, and the point of this of this is to have fun. So I backed off to 25.

Ready? Here goes:

25 Bucket List Items to Do in My 40’s

Play the drums. No. Seriously. I’m not kidding. I have always wanted to play. No desire to rock out in a band or anything like that. I just think it would be so much fun and probably a great tension-reliever, too. And I know it’s a true soul-calling because of how awesomely I play the air-drums in my car.

Run a 5k. I’ve been a runner slow jogger off and on for years, but I’ve never run a 5k. At this point, given my ankle issues, I don’t think I could run the whole thing even if I was conditioned enough for it. So maybe I’ll look at walking/running. Either way, I want to get one done.

Take Dance Lessons. I love dancing, but one thing I have never done well is any kind of dancing with a partner. In my 20’s, my friends and I frequented a well-known country bar for the penny beer and the cowboys that could two-step.

Even though I had good rhythm and coordination, it was a challenge to follow a lead and spin correctly. I would love to be able to spin around a dance floor with ease and grace with my Mister.

Learn Martial Arts.While I have taken many kickboxing types of classes, my most favorites was the one where we did bag work for a solid 45 minutes. So. Freaking. Awesome. And lately when I’ve been at my TurboKick class, I find myself really energized and thinking about how much I would enjoy really learning more about self-defense technique. My daughter just started martial arts here locally and I’ve been really impressed with the owner, so I may look into adult classes there.

Get back to my dating weight and size. My husband and I may joke about my “dating weight,” but it’s no joke. Basically, it’s the weight I was when we started dating. Look, I’m all about body positivity and self-love. And you can see by my various posts that I’m up and down with both my weight and my feelings about weight. But the simple truth is that I feel better in a certain weight range. And it’s healthier for me. This is not about vanity. This is simply about feeling good.

Dye my hair pink. Or purple. Or blue. Heck, maybe all of the above. No not full-on, all over color. Although I love the idea. For me, I’m thinking some well-placed colorful streaks. I did it once late 2016. It was liberating. It’s also the same month I got my first tattoo. It’s not a mom-life crisis...(although that’s real)….it’s expressing myself. And I’m all about it.

Get another tattoo. I only have one – getting it was a big deal.. The desire came on suddenly, Prior to that, I never wanted a tattoo. Not because I didn’t like them, but because it was too committal….too permanent. But once I decided to do it, I went for it. It was a few weeks after my crazy wild hair coloring. I love it. I love it so much that I want a second. Except, I’m still trying to decide what to get and where to get it….because….commitment.

Plant a raised garden in my back yard. So this one seems weird. But I want a garden. I suck at yard stuff. And planting. And manual labor. Yet here I am, wanting to create a raised garden in my backyard because the thought of my own vegetable just seems like a hoot. IDK why.

Step up my fashion game. I’m not sure how to say this other than this: over the past few years, I’ve been shrinking back. Hiding. Fading into the background. I used to love to plan my outfits and accessories for work events. Then over the years, I put my wants on a back burner. I stopped focusing on feeling good.

I’m still not sure if age, weight, confidence, money or a combination of those is holding me back. During my grandmother’s funeral last week, my mom mentioned how sharply my my Granny used to dress. Even as a widow in the 50’s, working her tail off to support three small children, she dressed stylishly. I can only imagine how tight funds must have been, yet she made a a priority to dress in a way that made her feel good.

I think it’s important to embrace your own style. I’ve lost that art but I’m bringing it back this year.

Take a trip by myself. To where? Good question. To a spa? The beach? To another city? I don’t know. Honestly, I’m intrigued and intimated. I’ve traveled alone hundreds of times for work. But I’ve never just gone somewhere by myself for an extended period of time.

See Billy Joel live in Madison Square Garden with Hubs. Uptown Girl. We Didn’t Start the Fire. Allentown. Good Night Saigon. Enough said.

Visit NYC. This is a separate trip from Billy Joel. This would be with my daughter and two of my closest friends and amazing role model/aunts for the Little Sass.

Wine Country with the Hubs. Again, another trip with Big B, because he’s my favorite travel partner. I’ve been to wine country twice now but he hasn’t. It’s so beautiful and so much fun and I know he’ll love it.

Visit Sedona. My inner hippie has been longing for this trip. Listed as one of the most Beautiful Places in America by U.S. Weekend, Sedona has been on my bucket list for awhile. Not only is it breathtaking, but a place of spiritual enlightenment. Although the entire place is considered to be a vortex, there are four particularly well-known vortexes I would love to visit: Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock.

Buy a car with cash. Because it would feel awesome. And I hate car payments. And because Dave Ramsey says so.

Write a book. I know. Eeeeevvvveeerrryyyybody wants to write a book. Me too. I have a million book ideas listed in my Evernote app. It’s a huge dream, but it’s going on the list.

Midlife Bucket list item writing a book

Get a Swimming Pool. This isn’t just a bucket list item. It’s a life goal. Not just any pool, but a beautiful, reminds-you-of-a-resort kind of pool with an adjacent hot tub, in my backyard, with beautiful landscaping. I can totally see it. Go big or go home.

Have an 80’s movie marathon day. We have been talking about this for YEARS and yet we still haven’t done it. Think about it: A day revisiting the angst-ridden years of your teens with movies like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Risky Business, Can’t Buy Me Love. I could go on and on.

Write my memoir. This is different than the goal of writing a book mentioned above. This isn’t necessarily for publishing purposes, but so that my daughter has my story. My grandma just passed and although we had countless talks about her past, there is still so much I would love to know.

Long ago, I gave her a little journal called “My Life Story.” It contained prompts in which she could write about life. She never wrote in it. Now those stories are gone. I want my Little B to know about my childhood, my successes and failures and how much I love her and her Dad.

Take my parents on a beach vacation. Another one we have been talking about for years, but never get around to doing. I know this is something they wouldn’t do on their own….but the would be more inclined to go with their kids and grandkids. I know they would love the beauty and serenity of the ocean. This one is a must.

Swim with Dolphins. Just because dolphins are amazing.

Spend a day playing in a waterfall. Okay this one may seem weird, but hang with me for a second. Last summer we traveled to Jamaica with a group of friends and went on an excursion to Dunne’s River Falls.

It was one of the most amazing and exhilarating experiences of my life. I absolutely loved it. Something about being immersed in that beautiful, powerful water was invigorating. We were on a time limit to get to the top and didn’t have enough time to hang out and enjoy it just a bit longer. So someday, somewhere, I will spend a day splashing around in a waterfall!

Learn Spanish – again. After three semester of Spanish in college, I had a pretty decent grasp on the language. I love the language. It’s beautiful and I actually seemed to have a knack for picking it up quickly. I have often thought about immersing myself in it again and seeing how quickly I can recall what I learned so long ago.

Visit Rt. 66 Attractions. Having grown up in Oklahoma, I am familiar with many of the sites and attractions along the historic route. Yet I’ve never actually explored any of it. That’s pretty lame and a good example of how I’ve been living on autopilot. I have amazing things to see and do right here and I’ve seen so few.

So that’s 25 things to check off in less than five years. Can I do it? Hope so! What bucket list items are you working on?

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