Wednesday, January 5, 2011

40 Before 40

I read a lot of blogs. I read blogs about fashion, families, interior design, and even one about everything to do with the color turquoise. When it comes to blogs about writing, however, my two favorite ones are Jon Acuff's and Donald Miller's (I still think that we are destined to be together. Not in a "Fatal Attraction" way, but in an every Meg Ryan comedy from the 90's type way).

Unfortunately, both of these blogs have given me slightly different advice for the new year. Jon Acuff blogged about he and his wife creating a "40 Before 40" list of everything they wanted to do before they turned 40. They even helped their kids come up with "10 Before 10" lists. Ultra cute. I thought it was a great idea, so I came up with my own.

I was all set to share my list when I read Donald Miller's post this week about how sharing your resolutions with others might be a bad idea, since you could lose some of the motivation in achieving the goals yourself.

Conundrum. Do I share my 40 Before 40 list? Or do I keep it to myself for years, like the fact that I sort of still believed in Santa Claus until I was 12 and my dad had to literally tell me the truth?

So here's my compromise:

I'm going to share some of my list. Some goals and resolutions I think are good to share, because the encouragement you receive from friends and family can keep you on track. However, some of my goals are seriously personal - stuff that was hard to even put down on paper, because admitting that I need/want them is admitting that I might not get them. And I do not do well with failure.

When I wrote this list, I wrote everything down fast, not censoring myself as I listed things that popped into my head. This is how I like to write, anyway - I think if you're too careful, you end up sounding like a bad Martha Stewart impression. So, please note that this list is in no way indicative of the level of importance I give to these goals. It's just how they came out of my head.

So here goes:

1. Publish a book the successful way.

7. Pay off all debt.

9. Get a dog.

10. Find one sport that I'm good at. Just one. Even if it's only ping pong.

13. Spend more time studying Scripture, and read the Bible all the way through in a year. Also spend more time in prayer and stillness.

14. Learn French.

15. Have super long, Victoria's Secret-esque hair - just once.

16. Visit my friend Maiken in Denmark.

17. Live overseas for at least a few months.

18. Kiss someone who is not from America or who has sexy tattoos or a sexy beard. Or all three.

19. Wear skinny jeans and rock them.

20. Figure out how to successfully wear a scarf so as to not look like I think I live in NYC and not Alabama.

21. Meet Donald Miller as a fellow writer and not a crazed fan. (If we end up making out, even better.)

22. Have one really flattering picture taken of myself.

23. Spend two weeks in Ireland, Paris, and Italy.

24. Be less selfish with my time, and give some of it to others without conditions or expectations.

25. Spend more quality time with my sister.

26. Spend Christmas/New Year's in London with Kam and Ashleigh.

27. Become a bicycle riding person, complete with a cute bike basket.

28. Go an entire month without eating out.

29. Wear shorts. In public.

30. Have in-depth conversations with my parents and get to know them not just as my parents, but as friends.

31. Perfect the smoky eye look.

32. Make a non store-bought cake, a la Julia Childs.

34. Buy furniture I love.

35. Own a Dyson vacuum.

36. Buy a house.

39. Give family and friends amazing, expensive gifts, because I can.

40. Finally accomplish my goal of reading 52+ books in a year.

So there it is. Well, most of it. The few things I left out are goals that, maybe once I've accomplished them, I can share. But for now...I'm keeping them close to the vest.

Do you have a 40 Before 40? Or a 30 before 30? I'd love to hear some of your list, too!