Lifelong learning is defined as “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. I pride myself on being someone who is in constant pursuit of more and new knowledge. As I have gotten older, I have become a more curious and adventurous learner. My list has given me numerous opportunities to try new things and adventure out of my comfort zone. It has also reinforced old habits such as reading and travel.
I think this year was a great deal of learning in more ways than I ever dreamed. I had not realized how comfortable I have become on my couch. I am a busy person but when it came to using what little down time I had, it meant separating my behind from my old and very comfortable couch. Fortunately, my beloved husband was in tow for many of these adventures. The list helped us to reconnect and spend more time together. I also had many dear friends and family members along for some of my adventures. This gave me an opportunity to reconnect with them also.
I learned this year and I think at times it is easy to forget how very blessed a person can be just by spending time with loved ones. I spent one of my favorite days ever with Jamie Seitz where we completed acts of kindness, delivered books to free libraries in many locations and dodged traffic. I ziplined over a river in Spain with my oldest daughter, Elena. This was a test of my adventurous spirit. After watching dozens of people go over including Elena, I found my wings. I learned on this trip that my sweet, bob-wearing, plaid-skirted kindergartener had grown into an adult who was now a better, more confident traveler than her mom. I learned about me.
I have spent the last twenty years raising my girls and forgetting about my own wants and desires. I was a very different person twenty years ago than I am now. Some of the basic foundation is still there but those parts have a lot of dust on them. This year allowed me to unearth those parts and spend some time thinking about what the next chapter looks like for me. I have about 20 months before my nest becomes empty and now I have some plans and many of those fears of being an empty nester have been put to rest.
A regular lesson of my life appeared again. I have learned the limits of time. I simply ran out of time to get all my items completed. I completed 43 of the 50 items. If I played professional baseball, I would be earning millions. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed. I have bittersweet feelings surrounding the results of my 50 at 50 list. My appointment for my balloon ride cancelled because of weather and the monastery was booked the weekend I had available. And, I went to Europe instead of my week alone out on the road. Once again, the powers have reminded me that there are 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week. No more and no less.
Write a monthly thank you to someone who has had a big impact on my life Give blood Spend an entire day completing random acts of kindness Grant a wish from my mom’s bucket list Get real with money Say no and mean it and feel no guilt Ask for help with no guilt or delay Allow myself to be photographed more often
- Spend a weekend at the monastery
Learn about other religions Join my church as a member
- Lose 20 pounds
Belly Dancing Class Pole Dancing Class Body Cleanse and Detox Reflexology Acupuncture Tai Chi Learn to Bartend Learn to Grill Take an Improv Class Ziplining Rock Climbing
- Hot Air Ballooning
Disc Golf Laser Tag
- Paint Ball
Big Repairs on the house this year Get a tattoo Have a reading by psychic Go to the rodeo Grape Stomping–yes like the time Lucy and Ethel made wine
- Tandem biking
Compete in an event at the State Fair Drive a convertible Work for a flower shop and deliver flowers for a day Write a blog Read a new book each week Read all the books that my book club selects Film Festival Music Festival Get a passport–the plan to travel out of the country begins..
- Road Trip alone…Thelma and Louise with no Louise…
- Stephen Colbert Show
Independent Bookstore Tour around the Midwest Facial Visit with a cosmetologist for a makeup makeover Join AARP Have a colonoscopy
The items that have been marked through are completed items.