40 for 40

My friend Libby celebrated a significant birthday this year. In preparation for it, she spent a year doing a number of things that celebrated her milestone birthday. In May 2010 I will enter my 40th year (i.e. I will turn 39) and in honor of that, I plan on doing 40 things before I turn 40 in May 2011. Here is the first half of my list:

  1. Bake a pie.
  2. Compete in a Crossfit event.
  3. Fly a kite.
  4. Get a massage.
  5. Get another tattoo.
  6. Go to a movie at a drive-in theater.
  7. Go to the top of Mount Washington.
  8. Kayak on the Charles River.
  9. Knit a pair of socks.
  10. Read 52 books.
  11. Ride a rollercoaster.
  12. Run 5K.
  13. Save $20 for each item on this list I complete. Donate the money.
  14. Send 40 postcards to 40 different people.
  15. Snowshoe in the Blue Hills.
  16. Swim in the Damariscotta River.
  17. Travel to one of the states I’ve never been to before (Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming)
  18. Try snowboarding.
  19. Volunteer 4 times at Waltham Fields Community Farm.
  20. Watch a meteor shower.

What else should I do? I want to make sure I can achieve all of the things I set out to accomplish.

Thanksgiving a Week Early

Tulip It’s been a rough few weeks around here, mostly at work. So after today’s gloom-and-doom, I headed to Crossfit, got my butt handed to me by wall balls and the knees-to-elbows. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but I did get all my pushups done strict (i.e. not on my knees), so that’s progress.

Then I came home, realized that the vague feeling of nausea wasn’t related to working out, but rather to the tiny, late lunch I ate today thanks to my gloom-and-doom sort of day at work. Amy rushed out to grill our dinner (YUM) and I got a little food in me and started thinking more about my day.

And then I realized:

  • I have a job.
  • That interests me.
  • That allows me to work with smart people.
  • Where I get to work on interesting problems and projects.
  • In a beautiful environment.
  • That is close to my home.
  • For which I get a salary.
  • Which allows me to live in a house with my wife and our dogs.
  • And play hockey.
  • And Crossfit.
  • And travel.
  • And give money to causes and organizations which mean a great deal to me.

So while I know I’m not the only one who’s feeling awfully overwhelmed about work these days, those are all things for which I am eternally grateful, and I don’t want to forget it. Not everyone is in such a situation, especially not these days, and I never want to take these blessings for granted.

Not Quite 100 Things (More Like 52)

The things in bold are things I’ve done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
(middle level – not the top!)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

On a jet plane

On the way to Educause

I’m on my way to Denver for the Educause conference. Despite the bored look, I’m pretty excited about the free in-flight wifi. If you’re there, drop me a line. Trying to find folks who want to go see the Avs/Coyotes hockey game on Wednesday night, as well as trying to fit in some good food, good beer, and a trip or two to the local CrossFit affiliate, on top of going to and learning as much as I can while at the the conference.

A Few Random Notes to Self

Don’t read books about anxiety when you’ve got big projects going on at work.

Powerbars taste like crap.

Advil does not work for your headaches; Tylenol or Excedrin do.

Unintentional hilarity is the best kind. Don’t be the person who’s unintentionally hilarious though.

Go to IKEA to get several more GOSIG KANIN toys (aka “buuuuuunny” who Otter loves).

Programming home voice mail number into cell phone is a smart idea.

Milwaukee airport does not have free wireless (fie on you!) so be sure to download stuff to read before flying on Wednesday.

Midwest Airlines – for all their fabulousness in terms of chocolate chip cookies – charges for baggage, so pack lightly and don’t check a bag on Wednesday.

Kick the dogs out of bed when you’re really tired or you will wake up with cricks in your body.

Check your twitter account when you want to track headaches. You tweet about them a fair amount.

Use the word “unglued” more often to describe behavior of those who act that way.