45 Things To Do Before 45


I started a mix media journal since I have been learning to draw for Graphic Design. I decided to make a pseudo bucket list like my friend. She simply made a list of things to do before 30 and gave herself a tad over a month to do so. I wanted to make a list of deeper things and I am 43 so I needed the extra time.

This is my first “selfie” and probably doesn’t look much like me, but it was fun anyway. I feel more connected to my goals and dreams when they are displayed creatively. It helps me focus. 

Here is my list of 45 Things To Do Before 45:

1) Get a nose ring: I use to have my eyebrow and tongue pierced and took them out to be “normal”. However, I love piercings and they make me feel confident and bold and will get my nose pierced. Definitely going to Tattoo Charlie’s for this.

2) Fix my pearlies: I was injured previously and it caused damage of blood flow to my teeth; which was exacerbated by pregnancy five times. This past week, I started the process of having my pretty teeth repaired. It will help my self-esteem.

3) Become a Graphic Designer: This is what I spoke about on my previous post. I  am following Karen Cheng’s game plan on www.karenx.com.

4) Learn to Flat Foot: Flat Foot is a traditional Appalachian dance. I grew up at Bluegrass festivals and everyone dancing the flat foot. I never learned it properly and now will work on picking up the steps via youtube weekly.

5) Eat at El Camino: El Camino is a local restaurant in the heart of the Highlands that serves Mexican street food and tiki cocktails. It has an eclectic ambiance with sugar skulls and brightly colored decor and walls. They have a weekly theme night with film and food. In the warmer months, they have an outdoor area with fire pits inserted in the tables.

6) Read two books a month: I use to be very good about reading often. However, with the chaos of motherhood, especially these winter days of no school, I have been putting out fires between them and their boredom than being able to concentrate and read.

7) Audition for a play: This one makes my hands shake and palms sweat, but I just want to do it. As a kid, I always pretended to be an actress on a movie set or on stage. When I went back to school, I had to retake an English Lit class that did not carry over credits. I was probably the oldest person in the class. We were going over A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. We were all suppose to share in reading some of the play aloud. However, when I got to read for Nora in the play, that was my role for the rest of the reading in which we finished the entire play. My professor remarked how well I read and suggested that I audition to act in plays from that day on and even after the completion of the semester. I never did and now wish I had.

8) Ride a horse again: I use to ride horses, train, and show them. I miss them. I have not been able to ride for years and need to get back on a horse to feel that sense of freedom and flight.

9) Hike the AT: The Great Eastern Trail in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge feeds into the AT or Appalachian Trail in West Virginia. The AT is a 2,180 mile trail that passes through 14 states. I do not think I would be able to do the whole length by age 45, however I want to do as much as I can.

10) Write a book: another childhood dream of mine was to be an author. I use to write pages of novels and put them aside when I felt I was wasting my time or felt I wasn’t really a writer. I was the “vivacious” one, not the talented one. All those pages are lost in time. I want to start over and try a book of essays or brave a novel.

11) Become self-sufficient: I have been married twice and for more than half of my life. I have more often than not, been a stay at home mom too. I now have five kids ages 21 through 7. I sadly have become dependent on my husband for support because I have kids to raise. I do not like it one bit and want to be able to stand on my own two feet; I want to make my own choices and decisions because I am the one who knows what is truly best for me and my kids.

12) Lose weight: I know, the cliche weight loss goal. But, for me, it really is a necessity. I was never overweight growing up except the few extra that come with puberty. I gained the weight when I caved in to jealous husbands and stopped being the very active woman I once was. I miss being active, but now the weight limits my ability. It is also about self-care and self-love. If I do not love myself and take care of myself, how can I truly love and care for my children?

13) Learn yoga: I have tried to learn yoga before, but gave up too soon. I need to destress daily and this will be part of my intervention. I also need the centeredness and being in my body that yoga provides. 

14) Learn Bhangra: I absolutely love watching this dance. The energy is explosive and brings such joy. I need more energy and joy in my life. I use to dance all the time and make up my own routines to perform at the teen dance clubs. I need to dance not just for my body, but for my soul too.

15) Do a 5k: “Do” probably should be “Run”. I use to run…. a lot… even in thunderstorms. Oh how I miss it. I need to get back into and use one of those C25K apps to prevent injury. I would love to do one of the many community runs here in Louisville; like the Color Run or the Zombie Run

16) Learn Zumba: Again, this is to get my dance on that I have not done in far too long. I want to “shake it like a Polaroid picture”.

17) Do a 10k: again… “Run”. We have the Great Pumpkin 10k here in Louisville.

18) Get a Love Letter tattoo: As I have mentioned in previous posts, there is a tattoo art project going on out of Lexington called the Love Letter To The WorldIt is based on the poem of the 2013 Kentucky Poet Laureate, Frank X Walker. Check it out, participate, and share please!

19) Become a minimalist: This is something that I have been working on for a few months, but was put on hold as we are having to move. I figured it would be easier to kill two birds with one stone and clear out all the unnecessary when we move. This is important to me because I feel a cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind; no room for focus and dedication to goals and dreams.

20) Get a manicure and pedicure: I just want this to spoil myself. I have never had this done and want to feel pampered. I think every woman needs a little spoiling and if her man doesn’t do it, she needs to take her hands and feet to a professional.

21) Grow a garden: I intended to start a garden again this Spring, but the need to move has set that back. I am hoping that maybe we can adjust quickly and I can get something in the ground in time.

22) Sew a swimsuit and go swimming: I say sew a swimsuit because I am not putting my body in something so revealing. I want to sew a more modest suit so that I will feel more comfortable to enjoy the water. Swimming was another thing that I did very often living on the coast of North Carolina and San Diego. Growing up, we would always swim in Cat Creek or Natural Bridge. I love water and love the feeling of lightness and connection with the natural world.

23) Buy a bike and ride: For most of my life, I have had a bike. My dad rode his bike across country at age 23 and again at age 63. Bikes were always a part of our lives. I bought one again a couple of years ago, but it was stolen out of my back yard. I need to buy another one and keep it indoors and make more use of it. 

24) Do a Tough Mudder: I think “do” fits more than “run” here because it is an obstacle course run. My younger sister did one a few years ago and she loved it. She talked about the camaraderie and spirit of most participants who were more experienced helping those who were newbies. Not only will I get my active on, but I will be able to witness greatness of humanity.

25) Eat at Ramsi’s Cafe of The World: This is another epic restaurant in the Highlands that is well known for great food and belly dancing from the Ruric dancers. Old world Mediterranean decor makes this a place to experience.

26) Learn To Sew Better: I know how to sew and can do a pretty good job, but I would like to perfect my technique. I want to master certain concepts and cheats to make sewing easier and more beautiful.

27) Start my own biz: I am an entrepreneur at heart. I have always wanted to be my own boss. I have dreamed of a place in the Highlands called the Sew Creative Cafe in which people come and rent sewing machines, sergers, and all other tools they need to create their own clothing, home decor, or whatever fancies them. I even created a Pinterest board for inspiration. 

28) Practice OM: I learned meditation when I lived in San Diego. I merely got out of practice and I need to restart and establish consistent daily practice. Meditation is for my destress program and to become more focused in the present and what I can actually do now and not worry about the future.

29) Change to whole real foods: I have made some progress in eating; such as home cooked meals. Sometimes though I get overwhelmed in making “dinners” that end up requiring more processed foods. I need to steer towards more of a Mediterranean diet that has samplings of whole, real, and often times, uncooked foods. More from the earth and less from the factory… or factory farms.

30) Find my tribe: I have moved around so much in my life; especially as a former military wife. I need to find a group of like minded people that I can look to for support and engagement. I am not saying that everyone has to have the same exact views, that would be boring. I am saying that I need non judgmental people who  have a positivity about them that will not hinder my journey. 

31) Create a harmonious home: This one may sound simple or even something that should have already been done. It isn’t when you have had two marriages with children from each. A lot of baggage got dropped in my home. I am hoping this next and hopefully final move will generate more stability and enable a cohesive rhythm to flourish.

32) Be a blogger: Yea, seems a little silly, but I started this blog about a year ago and have fallen off the flow far too many times. I would love to keep at this and be consistent (there’s that word again).

33) Run a 13:1: aka Half Marathon… like the Run The Bluegrass or the Urban Bourbon. 

34) Build a chicken coop: I want backyard chickens!!!! This is my having a hissy fit and demanding to hear squawks and see eggs in a hen house. 

35) Visualize every day: This is to help me focus on my goals and dreams. I have read many scientific articles on this subject. Many athletes use this technique to improve their time, ability, and reach new heights. 

36) Submit an article for publication: I once took a creative writing course. Loved it! My professor suggested that I submit some of my writing to publications. I didn’t. I was so afraid of rejection that it was easier for me to keep my writing to myself. I have since lost my work. I am going to force myself to not only write daily, but to actually submit my work.

37) Walk in the woods weekly: I use to do this, but when I ended up with bronchitis from an early Spring. I hacked so hard that I tore muscles on either side of my rib cage. I need to get back to doing this because it felt so good; my moment of zen.

38) Start family traditions: I want my kids to have fond memories when they grow up. I had a lot of traditions with my two older kids and then life got messy and I stopped doing them and forgot to start again. I want to have Friday night movies, Saturday library days, and Sunday picnics… and Halloween trick or treating in Taylorsville. 

39) Do a heritage DNA: I have a yearning to know what we are really made of. Some things about our family, we know for sure, but many things about my family are just mysterious. I wonder if my DNA is what causes me to drool over international dishes or feel and dance to world music. I just need to know! My friend used the one from ancestry.com and found out some interesting things she never knew.

40) Start six word weekly wisdoms: I love the Six Word Memoir Project at Smith magazine and came up with some of my own that I would like to share even if no one cares. I still want to share what I have learned in my 40+ years. One of my favorite words is edify… and it is one thing I want to do in life.

41) Build a tiny home: I am obsessed with tiny homes and off grid living. I know every great empire has fallen throughout history and believe the “dream” or “illusion” cannot last forever. I also have a motto for my life; “to live simply so others can simply live.” If we are all part of the consumeristic mentality, then there is only room for a few. If we give up on having every THING then there is a room for us all on this beautiful planet that has nourished us and we have failed to appreciate.

42) Be a better mom: This actually is top of my list, but the way it fell on my sketch. I do the best that I think I can, but I know I can do better. I know that I need to do better. My kids deserve their mom at her best. I have fallen short because I forgot to factor in self-care and self-love thinking that would be picked up by my significant other. Life doesn’t work that way. Mommyhood is the hardest job in the world and the least appreciated until many years later by those who benefitted most by it. I want to ensure my kids feel strong enough to take on this crazy world of ours.

43) Start canning: I have all the supplies from a canner to jars and now need that garden growing to can. I hope to learn to make that great sweet pepper jelly that I was given back in Stanton, Kentucky. I cried when I ran out of that stuff. 

44) Learn to play an instrument: When I was a kid, we had this great old neighbor, Mr. Puckett. Every day when we got off the school bus we would gather around his porch to set a spell. He would take his seat on his rocking chair and play his mandolin. It made the sweetest, most heartfelt sound. Also, when we were young, our Uncle Johnny Hoskins would play with his band at Bluegrass Festivals. Those memories are ingrained in me forever. Music expresses our feelings when we cannot. I have a cousin who plays banjo at his church on Sundays.and we listen to locals play on my dad’s back porch in the summertime. I want to give those memories to others. I haven’t decided which instrument I would learn, but it has to be a Bluegrass instrument like the banjo, or the dulcimer, or the mandolin.

45) Live one day at a time: These are my goals and dreams to work towards and achieve by the age of 45. I am not going to use these to stress me out or set some standard that reflects on my worth if not completely fulfilled. I am just going to live one day at a time.



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