It’s my 37th birthday today. And while aging over the first 35 years didn’t phase me at all, wrapping my brain around turning 36 and 37 definitely has proven more challenging.
But really, what’s the point? We all age. We're all operating on the same calendar. And I like to think I’m getting wiser as I go. Certainly, if the last six years are a testament, I should be psyched about getting older, because my life has grown immensely richer over each of the last six years. Not to mention that if I follow an aging trajectory anything like my mother’s, I will rock the party as a retired person.
A couple of months ago I responded to a Dear Boston Mamas query about cool ideas for friendship anniversaries and it got me thinking about life lists (aka bucket lists). I initially resisted making a bucket list because it felt a little passé by the time I started thinking about it, but the thing is, I’m a list maker and I have lots of passions in life, so I figured that instead of fretting about turning 37 I ought to use the day as an opportunity to reflect on things I want to do and enjoy in this lifetime. I started drafting this list during the summer, and as a quintessential list maker (who loves checking things off the list), I definitely felt happy being able to cross one item off my list two days ago.
So, without further ado, here are thirty-seven things I want to do in this glorious lifetime:
1. Learn to do a cartwheel. (I know, can you believe I don’t know how to do one?)
2. Learn to spin pottery.
3. Visit Korea (ideally with my mom, possibly also with Laurel if she's up for the journey).
4. Find out exactly how my mom makes her perfect chap chae (a secret video camera might be required).
5. Remember to take photos of my family on the first day of each month.
6. Learn to sew a piece of clothing (i.e., something that doesn’t only involve right angles).
7. Learn how to do a single jump on ice.
8. Run a 10K. (This may sound trivial since I'm a fairly regular runner, but distance is not my strength; I have never run a race of more than 5 consecutive miles. For those of you who followed along on my Eat. Blog. Run. journey, my contribution was about 14 miles, but that was split over three legs.)
9. If my knees survive a 10K, train for and run the Boston Half Marathon.
10. Spend one week completely unplugged (no Blackberry even).
11. Get a couple's massage with Jon. *Completed 10/10/2010 at the Portsmouth Harbor Inn & Spa. AMAZING.
12. Meet Michelle Kwan.
13. Climb a tree. And take a picture from the branches.
14. Volunteer at a shelter on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day.
16. Write the book that has been percolating in my mind since Blissdom 2010.
17. Write the book that has been percolating in my mind since BlogHer 2010 (it’s different from #16).
18. Figure out something really cool and beautiful to do with Laurel’s series of picture day photos (i.e., something that can include each year's photo from the toddler room through high school).
19. Be the subject of a professional fashion photo shoot. (You know, like, where I get to try on a million different outfits and pairs of shoes and the photographer instructs me on how to pose fetchingly.)
20. Finally hang pictures in my living room. (We’ve lived in our home for two years and the walls are shamefully bare.) *Completed 12/19/2010.
21. Buy the dining room table and chairs I’ve been dreaming about for some 10 odd years.
22. Once I acquire said dining room table, assemble an amazing group of friends for a spectacular dinner party.
23. Go all out one Halloween with a really fantastic costume. (For a designer, I'm ridiculously uninspired when it comes to Halloween.)
24. Learn to make fancy little French pastries. Perhaps while in France. *Completed 3/12/2011.
25. Wear a couture gown somewhere (#19 might count as somewhere…your call).
26. Mentor someone who really and truly needs my help (i.e., someone who is in need and disadvantaged in this world, not someone who simply wants me to advance their business agenda).
28. Figure out how to properly apply eye shadow to my lidless eyes. (Lessons from makeup savvy friends welcome.)
29. Related to #28, find a mascara that doesn’t give me raccoon eyes 5 seconds after application. (Which I suppose also involves finding a way for my stick straight lashes to curl and stay curled.) *Miracle mascara find documented 10/29/2010.
30. Apprentice for a day at Charm City Cakes. And convince them to let Laurel apprentice with me. (Duff, seriously, she is the best baking helper!)
31. Travel to a foreign land with Jon and Laurel (and Roll).
32. Ride a bicycle of my very own. (The one bike I ever owned was stolen in Somerville two days – only one glorious ride – after I purchased it. That was about 15 years ago.)
33. Experience natural childbirth. Or even just a few contractions. Or even just a labor and delivery that doesn’t involve food poisoning. *Completed 3/18/2011.
34. Enjoy one clothes shopping outing during which I buy things that I absolutely adore and fit beautifully, without looking at the price tags. (I’m a picky shopper to start, and on several occasions I have walked away from the perfect investment pieces because I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that they were investment pieces.)
35. Throw a party for a loved one as beautifully thoughtful as this one.
36. Learn to play the mandolin or banjo (still trying to decide which one).
37. Create an artistic rendering of our family tree, in honor of my father and grandparents. (For a very long time, I’ve wanted to embark on a family genealogy project because the Koh ancestry is complicated and very confusing to me.)
So, welcome 37! No, not just welcome, bring it 37! And happy birthday to all of you. Because at some point within the year, you, too, will advance a year. And we really should all rock this aging party instead of fighting it. Don't you agree?