After hibernating since November, freezing my butt off through December, and starting to defrost in January, this month (despite the 3 degree temperature last Thursday), the buds of spring are pushing through my winter miasma. It might only be buds showing, but I’m waking up my enthusiasm for living after a sad few months of hibernation and sloth. Growth and the desire for new experiences has arrived.
After wrestling with 6 months of injury, I’ve set down my weights and taken up spinning, something my shoulder is thanking me for, but my ass is mightily pissed off about.
With 4 years in my current professional position, I’m re-energized about my career for no discernible reason other than the nagging suspicion that I was never cut out for ‘cruise control’.
I cut out sugar and chocolate for an entire week and didn’t die.
And most importantly, I finally listed out some things I want to do. You know.. goals.
Now I’m not a goal setter. I don’t plan ahead and I’ve never really been sure where I’m going until 4 seconds before I make the decision. Signaling while driving is about as ‘forward thinking’ as I get and my life has been a series of random decisions, some informed, but mostly not. Its astonishing to me that I’m in a career which itself was a random selection based on my liking the font of the companies logo, but there you go. If you make enough random decisions, some are bound to be good ones (lets just ignore all the scars from the bad ones).
But since hitting 40 I’ve been trying to get more focused. After all, life is short and I don’t want to check out with a bunch of stuff I didn’t get around to (especially when I realize I’ve watched all 11 seasons of Top Chef). As a result I now ride a motorcycle and a scooter, I’ve watched the Tour De France a foot from the riders, and I can shoot my Beretta without my hands shaking. I’ve backpacked the Napali Coast trail, learned how to curl my eyelashes (both equally terrifying), and mastered the art of running in heels and snowshoes (though not at the same time). I’ve talked openly about my ‘feelings’ with a man (the most terrifying of all), and survived a ‘therapy session’ without expiring from shame.
So this weekend, as my mind was spinning for things to do which didn’t cost much and which would keep me on my toes, I finally started listing some goals. Stuff which.. if I could.. I’d want to experience. budget or not. Reality or fantasy (hey, it was a slow Sunday). Some I wrote out and immediately deleted..’jump out of a plane’ (who am I kidding?), ‘run a marathon’ (fuck off..) and ‘live in NYC’ (London was plenty thankyou). After all, at 42, I know what I actually want vs.what sounds good. But as I wrote, the list went from typical to completely random; ‘catch a fish’, ‘surf a wave’, ‘apologize to my college boyfriend’ and ‘use a sword’. I’m not sure where ‘get a lap dance’ fits in… but its in there.
After looking at my list I think its not so much ‘goals’ but experiences I want to have.. just once.. at somepoint in life. These aren’t one time things I can plan, but hell, if I get even a few of these in my life I’d be one happy chicken.. So here goes…’living goals’ for this 42 year old chica..
- See Ryan Gosling in the flesh (I’ll also take Edward Norton)
- Take a year off (I’ve had a job for 29 years… I need a holiday)
- Not worry about money for year (sort of goes with the one above)
- Babysit (yes, I’m 42 and I’ve never been in charge of a live baby.. I just want to prove to myself that I can keep it alive)
- Dance without stepping on my partners feet
- Be proposed to (the marriage kind, not the sex kind)
- Sword fight
- Meet a bear and not want to pee my pants
- Outwit a ‘tail’ while I’m being followed
- Kill a zombie
- Visit Nepal (yes, I know you can plan this.. but its about as likely as zombies right now)
- Get a lap dance (a good one)
- Catch a fish, gut, cook and eat it (without dying)
- Surf while standing up
- Apologize to college boyfriend (I was mean)
- Start another business
- Ride 100 miles (not just say that I’ve done it)
- Hold a conversation in French
- Cook a rabbit
- Go 21 days without complaining or saying anything negative (proving to be a longer term goal than I originally thought)
- Have something published under my own name
- Hold the controls of a plane (makes me sick to even think about)
- Race a sailboat again
- Live in the mountains
- Take care of my parents (not in the mafia way.. the loving way)
- Host my nieces for a summer
- Shout my head off at the top of a mountain
- Bake a cake at altitude that doesn’t resemble a pancake or biscotti
- Cycle Scotland
- Visit a family’s house in India (mutually agreed, no burglary or kidnapping involved)
- Figure out what my reoccurring dream about cruising to a country that doesn’t exist is all about
- Make ‘Director’ of anything (except a country or a play)
- Feel powerful and totally in control… (just the once)
- Eat a gluten filled, fresh cream stuffed, chocolate eclair (and not get sick)
- Ride a galloping horse without losing all sensation in my nether regions
- Stroke a penguin (I just want to know how it feels.. nothing strange in that)
Even now I can think of stuff I need to add, and I’m excited that I even started. They’re not huge things, or even that particularly difficult (though the zombie one might be tricky as would be curing my celiac disease). But I’ve done a fair amount of living in my 42 years, and actually have a idea of stuff I want to experience in the next 42…? well is a big step forward.
And who knows? Ryan Gosling could be just around the corner.