25 Things Before I Turn 50

Today, I turn 49. As I approach half a century of life, here are 25 things I want to do before that milestone:

  1. Lose 40 pounds.
  2. Walk.
  3. Walk to work at least once a week during summer, fall, and spring.
  4. Run in one 5K.
  5. No food after 9 p.m.
  6. Go to bed by 11:30 p.m. each night.
  7. Wake by 8 a.m. each day.
  8. Alcohol only once a month.
  9. No soda except when having alcohol once a month.
  10. Read a book a week.
  11. Read 10 nonfiction books.
  12. Continue to play Solitaire and listen to chill music before going to bed.
  13. Sleeping with Bread daily.
  14. Along with SWB, photo a day of what most grateful for that day.
  15. Go to church once a month.
  16. Go on day trip once a month.
  17. Date night every pay week with Kim.
  18. Visit parents/sister once a month.
  19. Keep to blog schedule. Wednesday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday.
  20. Practice what you preach.
  21. Be quick to listen.
  22. Slow to speak.
  23. Slow to anger.
  24. Talk less.
  25. Smile more.

A few explanations:

Sleeping with Bread is a book by Dennis, Sheila and Matthew Linn. It starts with this story:

During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them,Β β€œToday I ate and I will eat again tomorrow.”

From there, the Linns show how to set up a way of using The Examen from St. Ignatius each night by asking two simple questions: For what am I most grateful? For what am I least grateful? Those questions can be worded in other ways too, but the idea is each day to examine your day.

The “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” is inspired by my mother who often quotes this from the Book of James in the Bible, Chapter 1, Verse 19:

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

The “talk less, smile more” is from the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” from the musical Hamilton:

22 thoughts on “25 Things Before I Turn 50

  1. Great birthday list of goals here. I liked the bread story and hadn’t heard of it so, thank you for that. If you are set to lose weight dropping the sodas will be a huge help. Hey, we’re all made of water, right, so we should drink more of that πŸ™‚

    I loved your Instagram photos!

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  2. I will be 50 in September and although I don’t feel that old mentally, physically my body is falling apart. I know so much of it is my hectic schedule and I have taken steps to simplify things but the damage is done. Maybe some of it can be reversed. Maybe. I like these types of lists but I will have to think about my own.

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  3. I didn’t realize I was nearly ten years older than you πŸ™‚
    This is a fabulous list. I love how you focus on physical, mental and spiritual health.
    I am not familiar with Sleeping with Bread… but I do try daily reflections each night before going to bed. I try to cultivate a gratitude habit and I also try to discern my purpose for the day. Sometimes it is grand, but most times it is very small – like taking a friend to lunch. I do believe, however, that as long as we are breathing, God has a purpose for our lives.
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY (slightly belated) !!

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  4. This is a fabulous list, not only for someone on the cusp of 50, but for those of us who are experiencing other life transitions. For me, a person who loves to set goals but who can get overwhelmed easily, I may take one of these and work on it for a month or so, until it gets into my soul. If you don’t mind, I’m copying your list of goals and saving it to my personal writing notebook. I especially love the bedtime thoughts and the James 1:19 scripture. It may be time for me to come up with my own Post-Retirement, Mid-Year Goals.

    I think that sounds like the title of a future blog post.

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    1. Of course I don’t mind. I’m not reinventing the wheel here, just adding a few embellishments, hopefully. I wanted to keep it short, or relatively short, because if I had 50 things, I’d never get to them all and feel like I failed. This way, I can focus on what’s important…at least that is the plan.

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      1. Twenty-five things can feel like a lot to me, but, of course, everyone is different. I’ve been working on my goal of writing every day for ten minutes for this whole year, and I’ve (mostly) got that down. I think I need to steal (borrow?) your more personal goals of practicing gratitude and talking less-smiling more. These sound do-able for me, and they both seem like goals that would add greatly to my life.

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  5. Yes! Happy birthday! I’m posting my list this month (my birthday month!) as well. Yay! Great list. I love that there’s some self-improvement AND some fun stuff on there.

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