The 49 Before 50 List

Sunday, January 29, 2023
I'm the first one to admit that I'm no fan of getting older. If you read my post, The Eyes Have It, then you know I've had my own struggles with physical aging over the years! But this post is more about celebrating how far we've come. You 70's and 80's kids out there, isn't it crazy to think that we're almost 50? Or for those who have reached this milestone already, can you even wrap your head around it? 50 years!! One thing I'm super excited to do before I turn 50 is to complete my 49 Before 50 List. I have two years, so I'm a bit ahead of myself - but it does take some planning. Follow me and I'll tell you all about it. (*And don't miss the update at the bottom of this post to see how the list is going and if it's worth making)

This post is part of a series called Momma Musings, where I share some of my most intimate thoughts and stories with you. You can check out all of my past Momma Musings here.

The people in my life have heard me talking about the "49 Before 50" List for quite some time now. The idea came from Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom, whom I met at Social Media on the Sand at Beaches Turks and Caicos in 2019. Emily has a website and numerous social channels. She gives away vacations and appears frequently on Good Morning America, Kelly Clarkson and other television shows to tell us the best places to travel and tips for awesome vacations. And on top of that, she's a super nice person and very inspirational. Anyway, I digress. One day I was reading an article featuring The Travel Mom and she spoke about her "49 Before 50" List. It's essentially a list of all the things you'd like to accomplish in your 49th year, the year before you turn 50. For me, that is next year. 

And honestly, you can make a list like this any time, at any age. But there's something about turning 50- it's such a big milestone. I almost felt like making a list like this would be a big gift to myself. I wanted the things on my list to be things I've always wanted to do, places I've always wanted to visit, even if some of them would require a step out of my comfort zone. I've been compiling this list for a year now, and I haven't even reached my 49th birthday yet! I'm about 5 months early. 

It's actually not easy to come up with those 49 things, so I recommend starting early. As a mom I don't think I focus on myself much, so compiling the list (I'm actually still compiling it) allowed me to really focus on myself, and ask, for once, what do I want? For example, I've never actually been away from my son and husband for more than one night. So I added a special two-night mom's trip to my list (I really, really want to visit The Tower Cottages at The Roxbury Motel Stratton Falls location). Some other items on my list (so far):

-learn basic Polish (since my family is Polish, and so is my husband's. I've already started lessons on Duolingo and I know how to say apple and duck and boy and woman, which is a huge accomplishment IMO - Polish is hard!!)
-try a Takiyaki cone in New York City
-visit Dollywood
-self publish my short stories
-learn to dance 'The Bus Stop'
-stay overnight in NYC (can you believe I've never done that?)

See? Some of those things are a little weird, like The Bus Stop. But there's a story behind that dance/song, so I added it to my list, because...why not?? It stemmed from watching a Wiggles video with my son as a baby, many years ago. I SO wanted to be that pretty girl with the shorts and go-go boots! 

The 49 Before 50 List differs from New Year's Resolutions (I actually despise resolutions) because they're not really about making self improvements or creating life goals (that will probably never get accomplished anyway). They're more about doing those things that you've always wanted to do but never did, and they range from simple to complex.

Oh, and don't think I've forgotten about a 50th birthday party. I'm already planning that in my head, too. I'm throwing the party for myself because there's no point in waiting for anyone else to do it, and this way I can make it exactly as I want. But I need a theme, and I'm torn here- Hello Kitty or Alice in Wonderland? Only time will tell. 

49 Before 50 List Update

I'm not 50 yet (it's coming up fast, though, like the giant rolling boulder from Indiana Jones!😆) but I figured I'd post an update about this list and let you know if it's worthwhile and what I've learned. I actually had trouble coming up with 49 things, and as we speak, I'm still compiling the list (I figure it will just be a 49 at 50 list now). I also realized, as I was trying to accomplish items on the list, that things change. One example of this my language goal to learn basic Polish. Polish is super hard, y'all (at least for me), and what I discovered in the process is that I should go back to the first language I learned in school, which is Spanish. That opened up a whole new experience, which you can read about here. Here are some other things to note, in a nutshell:

-it's okay if you have to change items on the list, or if you realize the goal you wrote was a little too far out of reach. Tweak your list when you need to!
-really sit down and ask yourself what you want. I've had friends tell me that this was an eye-opening experience for them, because how often do we really ask ourselves what we want? In writing these desires down, no matter how weird they may seem, you might learn something about yourself.
-shorten the list if the task is too daunting. A reader commented on Facebook that she makes a list like this for herself every year since turning 50, but she adjusts it (such as '23' items for 2023).
-you might find that you can't complete your list without help. When I first made my list I didn't really want to share it with anyone. But then I realized that the people who love me were actually interested to hear it and wanted to help. Sometimes we need that push from others or a companion to help us complete the tasks on our list. 

Have you made a list? How is it going? Feel free to comment or let me know!

Post playlist: Debbie by The B-52's, Atta Girl by Sprung Monkey, Not Just Another Girl by Ivan Neville

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