Personal History: The List – So long 40’s! Hello Old Folk Discounts!

Goals, we all should have them.  I should be more realistic with mine.  Last year I bit off more than I could chew.  I endeavored to do a 48 in 48 challenge with various tasks.  Too much but still fun and I learned a lot (although I did not reach the finish line or even come close).  I will blog more about that challenge later.  This year, I want to set a birthday goal that covers the span of two years (the last year of my 40’s and the first year of my 50’s).  I want the list to be meaningful and to connect me more closely to the ones I love.  I am truly blessed to be where I am in life.  I consider myself fortunate and I would like to endeavor to share that fortune with others.  So I will have 50 items on my list to complete over the two-year period.  Each item will have “options” – if not A then B kind of scenarios.  A “premium” goal that might be funny to think of completing, that I could never hope of completing, but would be the ULTIMATE experience for that line item.  There will be an “achievable” goal that will be the realistic action for that line item and the one that I will strive for.  And finally there will be a “settle for” goal because I learned with #48in48 that it can be disheartening to not achieve any aspect of a goal so I will make sure that every line item on the list is completed in some fashion.  For some line items I may complete two of the action items, who knows maybe three.  That will not be my end-goal.  My end-goal is to check all 50 off in some fashion and to make amazing memories along the way.  I will also name specific people on my list.  That way they are prepared.  And…they should be prepared.

I love you all.  Happy Birthday to Me.  And now for:

The List:

Ultimate: to take part in a dance class taught by one of my three faves: Yanis Marshall, WildaBeast or Brian Friedman.  Achievable: to dance with my husband in as many states as possible in two years.  Settle for: challenging both Ash and Ally to learn a dance routine from YouTube and each of us submitting to being videoed doing the dance (at least via SnapChat where it will disappear into nothingness once complete).

Ultimate: to attend a National Geographic photography seminar.  Achievable: to have Mander teach me how to use every button on my camera.  Settle for: 365 days of Instagram photos (times 2).

Ultimate: to attend SDCC.  Achievable: to do super hero cosplay with Alex.  Settle for: watch all of the Marvel movies (not series) in chrono order.

Ultimate: to become Stephen King’s pen pal.  Achievable: take seriously the proposed book clubs with both Linda and Ben.  Settle for: reading 50 books over the two year period.

Ultimate: to run the NYC Marathon.  Achievable: to run the Air Force Marathon.  Settle for: to run a race with Erin.

Ultimate: to hike the AT.  Achievable: to hike the WV portion (overnight) of the AT with Renau.  Settle for: to day hike the Harper’s Ferry portion of the AT.

Ultimate: to hold a penguin in my lap.  Achievable: to visit the zoo with Bobby.  Settle for: binge watching the entire series of Mutual of Omaha presents: Wild Kingdom.

Ultimate: visit Harry Potter world at Universal in FL.  Achievable: Harry Potter themed 50th bday party.  Settle for: a weekend of binge watching the entire series prior to going to see the new Fantastic Beasts in an IMAX theater.

Ultimate: Watching NY Rangers on the glass at MSG. Achievable: Watching NY Rangers during my 50th bday celebration on the glass in Columbus.  Settle for: Watching NY Rangers at Columbus.

Ultimate:  Write a novel.  Achievable:  Enter a writing competition.  Settle for: Complete no less than four blogs a month.

Ultimate:  Learn to play guitar.  Achievable:  Sign Bobby and I up for guitar lessons.  Settle for: Singing karaoke with my Husband, that’s nice.

Ultimate:  Body surf at the beach.  Achievable:  Have Pam teach me how to dive into the water with no belly bomb.  Settle for:  Learning how to hold my breath under the water.

Ultimate:  150  Achievable: 160  Settle for: 165

Ultimate:  A cross stitch for every one of my friends. Achievable:  Six cross stitch Christmas gifts (2017).  Settle for:  Finishing this one bicycle one.

Ultimate:  Knitting my husband a sweater. Achievable:  Knitting myself a scarf.  Settle for:  Learning how to knit.

Ultimate:  Road trip with my In-Laws.  Achievable:  Local fun thing with Betty.  Settle for:  Learning how to make Bobby’s favorite potato salad.

Ultimate:  Volunteer for a Habitat For Humanity project.  Achievable:  Working on a walk with Jim.  Settle for:  Organizing a Toys For Tots drive at work.

Ultimate:  Eat at the Picaso in the Bellagio while in Vegas.  Achievable:  Eat at a new (to us) restaurant one date night a month.  Settle for:  Trying out that Mexican place over in Ripley.

Ultimate:  Visiting Roswell NM and seeing “the ships”.  Achievable:  Attending the Sasquatch festival with Donna.  Settle for:  Running the Mothman 5k again.

Ultimate:  Breaking through the barrier of Hungarian information to trace my Taraczkozy roots.  Achievable:  Visiting with Debo and writing down stories.  Settle for:  Finishing out my genealogy photo albums for Seletyn and Contorchick.

Ultimate:  Get a photo of Bobby and Harrison Ford discussing aviation.  Achievable:  Watching the entire Star Wars series prior to seeing the “new one” in IMAX.  Settle for:  Watching the “good ones” with Alex.

Ultimate:  Go to Vans Warp Tour with Mander.  Achievable:  Listen to one new song per week.  Settle for:  Learning the lyrics for The Hook and singing them out loud in front of people.

Ultimate:  Hanging out with Sam Heughen and Cat Balfe.  Achievable:  Reread Outlander series and discuss with Judy.  Settle for:  Binge watching all of the seasons while eating Scottish inspired food.

Ultimate:  Doing the Empire State Building stairs challenge.  Achievable:  Getting Bobby in NYC for a short visit and taking him to the ESB observation deck.  Settle for:  Register for the ESB stair challenge.

Ultimate:  Doing a hike (of 1 mi or greater length) in all 55 counties in WV.  Achievable:  Visit all 55 counties in WV.  Settle for:  Visiting Hancock County, WV.

Ultimate:  Actually hit the ball while batting on a softball team.  Achievable:  Play on a softball team.  Settle for:  Playing kickball for charity again for Dana.

Ultimate:  Take part in a This Is Us themed Pittsburg Pub Crawl.  Achievable:  West End Overlook photos with Jen and Mander.  Settle for:  Watching the Rangers beat the Pens at a “game watch party” at my house.

Ultimate:  Visit the Michaelangelo exhibit in NYC.  Achievable:  Commision each of my artist friends to create a piece unique for me.   Settle for:  Doing the 1 doodle per week challenge in my Bujo.

Ultimate:   Capture Thunder Snow in a video and have it retweeted by Jim Cantore.  Achievable:  Figure out how to get Jim Cantore to follow me on Twitter.  Settle for:  Writing a blog on Thunder Snow.

Ultimate:  Take multiple culinary classes in varying genres of food.  Achievable:  Have Dee teach me, Renau and Mander how to make perogis.  Settle for:  Cook a traditional Polish meal on Dyngus Day.

Ultimate:  Find A Grave photographs for key family members in Ancestry.  Achievable:  Convince Lisa to help me photograph Scarbro Catholic Cemetery (200 graves).  Settle for:  Helping at least five people with their Find A Grave photo requests.

Ultimate:  50 camping trips involving Eddie.  Achievable:  25 camping trips involvind Eddie.  Settle for:  Camping once per month in all the weather-good months with Eddie.

Ultimate:  Meet Melissa Sue Anderson.  Achievable:  Hike portions of the WV section of the Mary Draper Ingles Trail and blog about it.  (Yes, I know there is no relation between the two except in name).  Settle for:  Rereading the Little House series AND the Mary Draper Ingles Follow the River series.

Ultimate:  Hit every Roadside America attraction within 150 miles and blog about them.  Achievable:  Do the Insane Asylum Ghost Hunt.  Settle for:  Visit the Barbour County Historic Museum mummies.

Ultimate:  Do a foodie road trip of some type where I drive a long distance to eat a particular food/meal.  Achievable:  Try 50 new random foods.  Settle for:  24 new types of food tried.

Ultimate:  Pictures with all of my Facebook friends.  Achievable:  Pictures with all of my FB friends, even if photoshopped.  Settle for:  As many pictures as possible with the people I love.

Ultimate:  Buy a kayak.  Achievable:  Rent a kayak and paddle as many lakes as possible.  Settle for:  Kayak one local lake.

Ultimate:  Do the Disney thing.  Achievable:  Binge 10 of the Disney classics in a weekend.  Settle for:  Writing a blog on my top five favorite Disney memories.

Ultimate:  Create, maintain and complete a two year Bujo.  Achievable: Create, maintain and complete a one year Bujo.  Settle for:  Have fun setting up and trying to maintain a Bujo.

Ultimate:  Create a run team for Mason County.  Achievable:  Join the run team in Pomeroy.  Settle for:  Writing a blog about every possible run/hike path in Mason County.

Ultimate:  Learn Spanish.  Achievable:  Learn key Spanish phrases on YouTube.  Settle for:  Learn all of my dirty words in Spanish.

Ultimate:  Find a way to write regularly for a local newspaper.  Achievable:  Write an opinion piece for a local newspaper.  Settle for:  Have a Letter To The Editor published in a local newspaper.

Ultimate:  Visit the home of the king in Memphis.  Achievable:  Binge watch all of the Elvis movies.  Settle for:  Learning the lyrics to two Elvis songs and singing them in public.

Ultimate:  Ride in the bike event the night before the Boston Marathon.  Achievable:  Buy a bike and start riding.  Settle for:  Rent a bike while on a camping trip.

Ultimate:  Visit the Vatican.  Achievable:  Learn to make canoli.  Settle for:  Find a bakery with great canoli within a reasonable driving distance.

Ultimate:  Have 365 days in a row withough a serious health issue.  Achievable:  Run a 5k with no breaks.  Settle for:  Getting my pneumonia shot.

Ultimate:  Hike around Plum Orchard Lake (the entire lake).  Achievable:  Rustic Camp at Plum Orchard Lake.  Settle for:  Return to Plum Orchard Lake to take pictures and have a picnic.

Ultimate:  Train and find homes for six feral cats.  Achievable:  Train and find homes for two feral cats.  Settle for:  Not being judged for all the feral cats.

Ultimate:  Getting my pilot’s license.  Achievable:  Ride in the Luscombe with Bobby once he finishes his pilot’s license and remodel.  Settle for:  Do a tandem with Phil Henry.

Ultimate:  Attend a meet and greet with Dropkick Murphys.  Achievable:  See Dropkicks live.    Settle for:  Go to a concert with Alex.

Ultimate:  Have 50 adventures of varying intensities.  Achievable:  Have fun with as many friends and family as possible in two years.  Settle for:  Find the silver lining to every day for two years.


There it is.  The thick and the thin of it.  Let’s do this thing!

Do YOU have a bucket list?  What things do you have on it?  Let me know in the comments below!

Love you.  Love all of you.

Here’s to my achieving the best version of my 50 possible.  If the first 50 are any indication, we are in for a wild ride!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.