Conquering the Bucket List in the 44th Year

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Here we go again. Time for the annual birthday post. Three years ago I started this sucker on my 40th birthday, and look at me. Over 150 posts. Still going strong!

And here we are. 43. Still rocking the semi-quarantine. Not necessarily shaping up to be the most thrilling 44th year… but let’s see what we can do to change things a little.

Many years ago I wrote a bucket list. Sadly, I haven’t made much of dent into that fella. Some items will take a whole lot of time and effort (get a PhD, get a black belt in a martial art, etc). Some I’m worried that, for all sorts of different reasons, may never happen (for example, run a marathon).

But the time has come to start moving along. To make my dreams into reality, big and small. I’ve read before that if you have a goal, one of the best things you can do is tell the world. When the goal is on the outside, you have more motivation and accountability.

So, world, nag me. See how I’m holding. Help me cross these five items off my bucket list before I’m halfway to 88:

Bucket List: Conquer the Split

Bucket List

When I was a kid, I was insanely flexible. I attribute it to my crazy Tae Kwon Do classes, where we would do intense partner stretches. In no time I was able to do the side split with ease.

Those times are long gone. I’m older. I’m stiff and in pain. And it’s well documented how much I hate stretching.

Just a matter of months ago, because of awful sciatica, I wasn’t even able to touch my toes. My fingers barely reached my shins. It was uncomfortable and embarrassing, so I set out to make some changes.

And that was just the beginning. Before I knew it, I was touching my toes again. Then the floor. And now my goal for 2020 is to be able to place my hands flat on the ground whenever I want to.

And I’m close! Which gives me a lot of hope for the future, since a side split is a whole lot tougher than touching the ground. But you’re hearing it from me today. By the end of my 44th year, I’m going to plop myself down to the floor in a perfect split. It might kill me. It’ll certainly make all those around me wince just to watch. But it will happen!

Age is irrelevant!

Bucket List: Conquer the Pickle

Bucket List

It would be disingenuous for me to say I’ve never made pickles before. It would also be quite an overstatement to say that it is my intention to master the craft.

I’ve made pickles in the past, and they even came out pretty good. But what I want to do is master just one recipe that I (and hopefully my family) absolutely love.

It gets a little complicated when you start thinking about some of my quirks. You see, I love pickles. But I hate sweet pickles. I have an insane sweet tooth. Yet, there are several foods that I never want to be sweet at all.

For example, salsa. I love the stuff. I can eat it right from the jar. But I want it savory, with just enough spice. When you start throwing sweetener in there, or, God forbid, chucking mangos or whatever into my beautiful red delight, you’ve gone ahead and made me angry.

Sugar is awful for you. And in this instance, I believe it’s wholly unnecessary.

And the same goes for my pickles. Keep your damn sugar away. Problem is, almost every recipe I find calls for it.

So, by the big 44, I need to master just one recipe that I can always make whenever I want, it needs to make me and others happy, and I need to be satisfied with its lack of sweetness. (Or I can just order my favorites… )

Bucket List: Conquer the Hoop

Bucket List

When I shoot a basketball, the craziest thing happens. It doesn’t go in.

Ever.

I don’t know what it is about me and basketballs. I enjoy playing. I dribble fine. I move relatively well for my age and size. I’m a decent teammate.

But then I shoot… and the ball goes near, but not in the hoop.

I’ve always assumed that my basketball ailment was fixable, but I’ve never taken the time or energy to bother working on solving the problem.

But that was then, and this is now. If I have to stand in front of the basket for hours on end, and watch dozens of tutorials on YouTube, I will figure out how to get that damn ball in once and for all.

Because honestly, I currently laugh off my inability. But it’s actually kind of embarrassing. And I think we could all use a little less embarrassment in our lives, no?

Bucket List: Conquer the Wheel

Bucket List

And while I’m moving around a bunch…

I’ve always wanted to be able to do a cartwheel. I love watching people flop around through the air with ease and grace. And every time I try, I feel like an uncoordinated fool.

And certainly, as I learn the ropes, I’m sure I’ll feel that way again. But it’ll be worth it if by the time I’m 44 I can join the crowd of those who like to spin their way through vast open spaces.

I’m not yet confident I can do one of these suckers. But I am confident that I can try real hard!

And as a special bonus, I’m happy to film the progress along the way!

Bucket List: Conquer the Pipe

Bucket List

So my last one is very odd, if you know me. I hate cigarettes. I always have. They make me ill. They make my teeth hurt! And to make matters worse, I live in a country where I’m inundated with cigarette smoke 24 hours a day.

Nevertheless, I love the smell of pipes. Perhaps it comes from the incredible aroma, or perhaps there’s a bit of nostalgia from visiting my favorite professor in college while he smoked away at his pipe. Regardless, this is the year I give it a try.

Yeah, I’ll probably find it vile and I’ll never touch it again. But I still got to try. Ya know, for science…

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So, if you want to tutor me in how to shoot a basketball or do a cartwheel, you know the secret to getting to splits without my legs falling off, you have the perfect pickle recipe, or you want to come over and smoke a pipe with me, be in touch. Let’s conquer this bucket list together!

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Conquering the Bucket List in the 44th Year

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