Why Top 45?

These are the things that float to the top of my list of activities that I want to do for the year 2012 when I am 45 years old. The list is comprised of things that I have either never tried or have wanted to try and just didn't have the courage or time to do it. Follow along and watch my progress and feel free to comment or add words of encouragement to help keep me going for the next 365 days!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

45 Recap

As I write this post, it has been a little over a year since I started my journey to complete 45 activities to commemorate my 45th birthday.  I gave myself 12 months to complete them all and I can report today, that I have checked off 44 of the 45.  A few of the items I have only partially completed and I endeavor to finish those things very soon.  When I was brainstorming the list, one of the requirements for being added to the list was that it wouldn't be life-threatening so skydiving would not be added to the list even after many people suggested it because it is on their own individual bucket list.  The one thing I did not do last year was take a photography class and I have decided to make an executive decision to put skydiving on the list...the twist is that it will be at the indoor skydiving center being built near my home.

One thing I have learned about myself over this past year is that as I come to the end of a task, in my brain I feel like it is complete and then I am ready to move on.  I am ready to move on to new goals for this year and be able to check this activity off.  In my brain I was done, somewhat bored by the idea of actually finishing and I have come back to finish the recap and be able to say, "This is complete."

Here is a brief recap of the last items on the list that I did not blog about:

Chicken S*&t Bingo:

My friend, Amy, had suggested we go to Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon to witness a very old Austin event.  I can't remember exactly why it came up and vaguely remember it was a combination of me owning chickens and The Help.  After about 2 years of planning, some really hot Austin temperatures keeping us from going anytime during the summer months, we finally made it!  We drank beer in the parking lot, ate chili dogs for free and bet on a chicken to poop on a number in a coop set up next to the very crowded bar.  The entire affair lasted about an hour from start to finish and unfortunately, we didn't win.  I did get some nice one-on-one time with Amy, so that was a score!

Self Portrait in the parking lot with beer.

Miss Ginny!
And the fun begins!

The Hobbit Feast:

I LOVE Alamo Drafthouse!  Anytime I can get to one of their menu and movie events I do.  Some of the memorable events along with food that I have been to are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory chocolate feast, Mother's Day Champagne Brunch with Breakfast at Tiffany's, and now The Hobbit Feast.  I have often thought about going to The Lord of the Rings feast, but sitting at the movie theater for 12+ hours is just too overwhelming for me.  Nicole, Andy and I went and thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the food.  It is so fun going with Nicole and I really like the fact that she is adventurous with food.  I know there are others out there like her, I just don't know many who would be exclaiming, "YUM!" to some of the food that came out.

Hobbit Menu

B Scene at the Blanton:

Alison and I adventured downtown to the monthly member happy hour with a Gatsby theme.  We ran into some friends of mine, Curt and Annette, drank too many dirty martinis and learned to do the Charleston...well sort of learned to do the Charleston.  The martinis made me a bit dizzy so I ended up in search of water and food to calm my stomach.  Alison knew I had to take a break after I exclaimed, "I stepped on my own left foot!"

Curt & Annette

Carnival Magic - Western Caribbean Cruise:

I was able to wrap several events into this cruise.  Yes, some of them were substitutes for original list items and in my opinion they are legitimate because several of them were first-time activities for me.  Nicole and I had a wonderful trip, survived being disconnected from the internet for 7 days and were really able to relax.  Nicole was a bit fearful of the stingray city and ended up loving it and even kissing a stingray! (supposed to bring 14 years of good luck).  It was fabulous riding horses into the hills and then swimming in the ocean on the horses' backs.  Finally, swimming and interacting with dolphins was a dream I have had for years, probably since I was around Nicole's age swimming with the Dayton Dolphins swim team when I was younger.  It took me a few days to get my land legs back after the return.  I was glad to be home and get back to work and in a routine.

Carnival Entry
My Carnival Birthday Card
Our Wait Staff:  Pepito, Romeo and Randy.

My Birthday Portrait

FirePit Ceramics - Pottery Throwing

Chris, my neighbor and friend, came with me to the ceramics class just before the holidays.  We spent an hour and half playing with clay, creating pottery on wheels with several other people.  I can see how this activity could become an addiction.  It is not simple, but extremely fun to watch the change in the clay as you try to create items with your hands.  We still have to return to glaze our pieces and will do so very soon...picture to come, maybe ; ).

Austin Symphony - Brahms

I recently went to the symphony with my friend, Greg, and his neighbors, Barbara and Ed Clark.  The musical selections were from Brahms and Britten.  The music brought me back to my college days when I would go the the UGL library to study.  I would go to the music area where you could pick out a vinyl album, get some earphones and plug in to the music from a cubby to listen.  I would choose some classic album and recall it was often Beethoven or Brahms because their music was perfect for listening to while studying.  The routine was always the same, choose music, plug in earphones, fall asleep for several minutes in the beginning (often deep enough to wake up with drool on the desk) and then being able to listen and study for several hours.  My biggest fear seeing the Austin Symphony live would be falling asleep and drooling in front of Greg's neighbors and luckily I can report that that did not happen.  I really enjoyed the music and while I didn't love the Britten piece, I can report that is certainly was lively and felt like living through a rain storm.  Last night confirms that I am still a fan of Brahms composing.

Indoor Skydiving - TBD

As I mentioned above, jumping out of plane won't happen but the indoor version looks extremely safe and really fun.  As soon as they open, I will see who wants to go along and I can make the final check mark on my list and be on to new goals and endeavors.

Thanks to so many friends and family members who helped me meet all my goals this past year by participating, supporting and encouraging me to go for it.  I know for sure I could not have even dreamed up this past year without knowing I would have so many people accompany and support me over the last 12 months.

Happy New Year!