In a few hours I will have completed thirty-five trips around the sun. This isn’t a tremendous accomplishment, for the most part I was just along for the ride and hanging on for dear life; and based on the average maximum age of the men on both sides of my family, I’ve got about ninety years in me, so I’m still a decade away from half way there.
Still, a friend of mine pointed out a few days ago that thirty-five is “the age when even the elderly don’t think you’re young anymore.” That kind of hit me.
I’ve spent the last couple of birthday’s a bit depressed or pensive or just sorting stuff out. I’m not really in that place this year. The year I turned 30 my marriage of 11 years fell apart. The year I turned 31 I ended up in the hospital. The year I turned 32 I was unemployed and struggling to find my way forward. The year I turned 33 my daughter moved across the country. And last year I took Sarah back to the airport to fly home after spring break.
Of those years, when I turned 32 (which feels like several blogs and lifetimes ago) I did something I don’t usually do, I made a list of things I expressly wanted to accomplish. I didn’t accomplish some of them because they were essentially abstract and therefore essentially unaccomplishable. But on the other hand, the more concrete ones, like get a job with a specific salary, buy a nice camera, use my passport, scare the shit out of myself…those I did manage to accomplish. In no small part because I wrote them down. I made them concrete. I had something to work towards and compare against.
There are 1827 days until I turn 40.
There are things that I believed would be true about myself before I was 40, things that I feel are now starting to slip away.
What follows is the list of forty things that I want to accomplish before I turn 40:
- Be selected for and attend Viable Paradise.
- Have a short story published in an SFWA qualifying publication.
- Have a novel published by a SFWA qualifying publisher.
- Join the SFWA.
- Have a short story published in Electric Velocipede.
- Have a novel published by TOR Books.
- Visit the TOR offices in the Flatiron Building in NYC.
- Meet PNH and TNH in person. Tell them thank you.
- Meet Catherynne M Valente. Try not to go fanboi.
- Meet Neil Gaiman in person. Get him to sign my Sandman #1 and Fragile Things.
- Meet Russel T Davies. Tell him thank you.
- Write a screenplay for an episode of Doctor Who.
- Go to a sci-fi/fantasy related convention (ComiCon, DragonCon, etc.)
Buy a current generation Mac.Bought a 21″ iMac new from PeachMac in March of 2013 Buy a late model-year car/truck.We bought a late model-year Ford Explorer in April of 2013 Buy a project car.I bought a ’95 Saab 900S with a bad clutch and other issues in August of 2012 Buy the tools to fix up a project car.I’ve been buying tools and parts for the last nine months.
- Actually fix up a project car.
- Take the project car on a serious, multi-day road trip.
- Buy a motorcycle or officially give up on that long-held dream.
- Buy a decent acoustic guitar.
- Learn to play Fields of Gold on the guitar.
- Learn to play Fragile on the guitar.
- Learn to play Saint Agnes and the Burning Train on the guitar.
- Learn to speak French well enough to understand a French film without subtitles.
- Learn to read French well enough to read Dumas, Casanova, and Voltaire without a French to English dictionary.
- Learn to speak Italian well enough to understand a Roberto Benigni film without subtitles.
- Learn to read Italian well enough to read Umberto Eco without an Italian to English dictionary.
- Visit France.
- Visit Italy.
- Buy L-series lenses: Telephoto lens, Wide-Angle lens, Macro lens.
- Buy a Speedlight, remote, and diffusers.
- Improve my photography skills.
- Upgrade my camera to a level appropriate for my improved skills.
- Run a 5K.
- Run a Marathon.
- Run a Triathlon.
- Take Communion on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Easter, All-Saints Day, And Christmas in the same year.
- Spend a school-year with my daughter.
Buy a house.See this post.
I might not do all of these things before I turn 40, but I’m not going to turn 40 without trying do do all of these things.
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