Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Today, I am 33 years, 9 months and 12 days old. Not exactly a milestone age, but I feel like I am at a key time in my life. I am happy and settled in my personal relationships, comfortable in my roles as wife and mother. I am intellectually challenged at my job, and yet remarkably at ease. And even my financial situation is looking up, at least from where we had been the last eight months, as Richard has a new job.

And so, I feel like it's a good time to start thinking about what I want for the next stage of my life. It's time to start thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, or at least when I grow older.

Today, I am starting a new project: 40x40. An ongoing list of the 40 top things I want to have done by the time I turn 40. Some of the things on the list will be big, some will be little. But it's time I started taking control of the course of my life.

Drumroll, please...

Top 40 Things I'd Like to Do by the Time I'm 40
  1. Have the 9-course tasting meal at the French Laundry. It’s $240 per person and takes a year or so to get a reservation, but I think well worth the money and the wait.
  2. Dye my hair bright pink. I had promised myself I would do it when on maternity leave with Vivian, but somehow I never got around to it.
  3. Learn to play a musical instrument.
I've already started making progress on #3. Richard has a plethora of musical instruments lying around the house, some of which he plays regularly, but many he doesn't. The acoustic guitar and bass are used often, but he also has an electric guitar, keyboard, mandolin and steel guitar. Rich has tried to teach me guitar and bass before, but I could never get comfortable with the instruments. They felt big and bulky and I couldn't wrap my hands easily around the necks.

This time, I've decided to learn to play the mandolin. I've only been working on this for a few days, but I'm really enjoying it so far. The scale of the instrument feels more natural. Right now, I'm just trying to get comfortable with plucking and strumming, working on scales and one song. Richard found the mandolin tabs for "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," which is a very simple song. It also helps that it's a song I know and actually like (I'm more eager to practice it than say, Three Blind Mice).

By the way, it's amazing how many free resources there are online to learn how to play a musical instrument! YouTube has lots of tutorials on how to play the mandolin. Rich is getting me started with the basics, and then I can go to the internet for more specific steps. If I really decide to stick with it, I'll then see about getting actual lessons.

I've only listed my first three, but will update with more of the 40 goals in the future. I'm going to try to document my progress on these 40 goals here on the blog. It's time to take charge of what is happening in my life!

Is there anything you've wanted to do, but haven't? Isn't it time to start?