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Friday, July 13, 2012

My Fifty Before Fifty List - How I Did and What I Learned

Today is my 50th birthday. 
Two years ago I posted a blog about the 50 things I would like to do before I turned 50… and I did 14 of them. 

Those things I accomplished are: 

Learn to make jewelry chain
Won a photography contest
Wrote a child's book for the babies
Traveled to Shiloh National Battlefield
Raise my own vegetables
Make a compost pile
Come up with my own hamburger
Create my own cheese cake
Create my own pasta salad
Create a signature dish
Came up with my own potato salad recipe
Learned to make sushi
Do an acceptable water color painting
Own a Clan Hanna tartan cape (amended to shawl)

And I am well on my way on these two:

Read the Bible all the way thru 

I bought a “Bible on CD” set and I am listening to it.  I’ve done the entire New Testament and have gone thru most of 1 Chronicles as of last night.  I love having it for my long drives up to Missouri… that’s 4 hours of listening! 

In fact, there have been a whole lot of changes in my relationship with God… in a very good way.

Get organized 

I have made great progress with this one.  Enough that I know it will really and truly happen.  I’m almost done with decluttering and organizing my shed; even as it holds things moved from my hobby room/office as I remodel it.  So I have two “works-in-progress” happening and it all looks a bit chaotic right now.  It’s all good!

Only finishing 14 of 50 could have been a sad thing.  Could have, except for the fact that along the way I learned to finally throw my lists to the wind and accept all the incredible things the Lord has blessed me with.  And those things came to a number far higher than 50! 

Learned to make cheese
Learned to make a blown glass float
Took a series of mixed media classes
Put in a large herb garden
Completely remodeled a room in our house (hall bathroom)
Learned to felt
Learned to make wire wrap jewelry
Learned to make stamped jewelry
Learned to do wheel pottery
Gone to a "sea glass beach"

Became a DOTING Auntie (as opposed to just ‘being an aunt’ which actually would be something my sister did!  I was already an aunt when I wrote my list.  I never dreamed what those two little people would do to me.  Those babies OWN me…and I love it!)

AND I did one thing that I had said in that blog was “Of course there are the ‘dream’ things – travel to Scotland,… I know those are not realistic.”

I went to Scotland!!
And that brought some many experiences I had never dreamed I would do:
Purchased a length of hand-woven Harris Tweed from its weaver
Visited the land of my Scottish ancestors: Colonsay Island and Sorbie Tower, Galloway
Traveled thru the Highlands
Been 'monster hunting' at Loch Ness
Take a falconry course
Handled a Bald Eagle
Have eaten haggis and black pudding.
Have eaten REAL fish & chips.
Photographed a wild Red Stag.
Rode on a steam train.
Rode on a double-decker bus
Rode in an old fashioned 'cabbie' taxi
Slept in a lighthouse
Slept in a castle
Slept in a converted church
Stayed a week in a private beachside cottage
Driven on the 'wrong side of the road'
Walked the Old Course at St. Andrews.
Been on the "Falkirk Wheel"
Had a picnic on a beach
Walked thru ancient standing stones (the Callanish Stones on Lewis)
Eaten at a world famous restaurant (Three Chimneys)

So that is my 50 Before 50 list.  Two-thirds of it never even crossed my mind two years ago.  It’s been a great journey with so much learned.  I’ve learned to learn what to let go and what to keep close to me. 

I’ve learned that you have to realize “Prince Charming” isn’t real but you can still “live happily ever after”.  It’s not a fairy godmother’s magic wand that makes it happen; it is a lot of hard work and commitment… especially when you are tired of working hard and keeping the commitment.

I’ve learned to cut myself a break and realize I don’t have the strength or stamina of my 25 year old self.  But give extra time and a few assisting tools, I can do everything I’ve ever been able to do.  I just have to do it smarter. 

So today I start my ‘Fabulous Fiftieth Year’… and I already know it’s going to be a great one! 

(And there are things on that old list I still want to accomplish!)


  1. HAPPY Birthday, Teri!! You accomplished so many wonderful things off your list ... and so many more than you didn't even know you wanted to do! I hope you have the best day ever ... it's a lucky one on Friday the 13th. :)

  2. What awesome list of accomplishments- regardless if it was 1 or 14 or all 50- you did it! Have a wonderful birthday and here's to another 50.

  3. Happy 50th, Teri! I love your bucket list - both the things you planned and the things that just sort of evolved over the last couple of years. You've inspired me to make my 50 list and see what else comes up.

  4. Welcome to the decade! I've been here for 2 years, and my fifties are GREAT! Good for you for trying all of these new things...I am doing the same. Now if I could just get rid of the hot flashes...

  5. Happy Birthday to you! Welcome to the "Fifty Club".

  6. What a great list! I have a "Before 30" list I started and haven't devoted nearly enough attention to it. Thank you for the push. I'll have to start crossing things off!

    I think it's wonderful that you can take a step back and see ALL that you've accomplished rather than focus on those things you didn't get to do. It sounds like you had an incredible trip overseas that made a lasting impact.

    Have a GREAT Birthday! Cheers to another great year!


  7. Happy 50th birthday!! Your lists are SO inspiring! Amazing how many wonderful experiences (big and small) that we have along the way, but fail to note as "experiences". The mere notation of them makes them all important.
    Here's to MANY more! And cheers to being a DOTING auntie. :) It's the best.

  8. Congrats on all you've accomplished - and happy birthday!!

  9. Happy Birthday!

    Well, you didn't mess around did you? You have accomplished more in those few short years then I have in my entire life! I might need to get myself one of those "lists" going. it was a joy to share a little in your adventures =)
    That is absolutely amazing and wonderful!

    Enjoy Your Day!!!!

  10. Happy Birthday. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.”


  11. Happy re-birth day....Make it awesome..

  12. Happy 50th Birthday!!! A milestone! Yeah!!! Have a fabulous day!

  13. Happy 50th Birthday, Teri! What an impressive list. It's so amazing to think of all the things you accomplished that you didn't even set out to accomplish! Loved the quotes scattered throughout your post. You have created such an awesome life for yourself and your loved ones -- may your next 50 (yes!) be just as rewarding!

  14. happy happy 50th birthday! I love your list. I love that you didn't accomplish them all and that you are okay with that. I love the list of things you did accomplish that you would have never thought you would. I just think you have great perspective and that you are just one smart gal! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts on your special day!
    Jaime from crafty scrappy happy

  15. You shared a great lesson and managed to do things you hadn't dreamed of along the way. Quite an accomplishment! Happy belated birthday!


  16. Happy birthday! I'm so inspired by your list! I have a little over a year before my 30th birthday, and I'm inspired to create a list of my own. Thanks!!

  17. Happy Birthday!! What a wonderful and inspiring post!! I hope your day is full of SO much joy!


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