The Year of 50

A little more than six months ago, I hit the half century mark. Lots of my friends have also turned 50 and they marked the occasion with parties or momentous events. I couldn’t think of one thing that I wanted to do, so I decided I would try something new every month of my 50th year.

It’s been somewhat successful. In July (my birth month), I saw the Avett Brothers live. It was my first time seeing them and I really didn’t know much by them when I went to the show. They are now one of my favorites.

In August, we spent a weekend at a “cottage” an hour north of home, and I tried kayaking. I had been terrified by the idea until I had just enough of a tipsy buzz to feel adventurous without being a danger to myself. I loved it. I especially loved how sore my arms were the next couple of days. If I can get a workout while doing something that enjoyable, I’m all about it.

September was the onset of fall, at least according to the calendar. I was in the mood to create something, anything, to commemorate the occasion. We moved into a new space in May, so I spent several months (and dollars) in decorating mode. While I’ve painted before in the popular wine and paint classes, I did this one mostly on my own. I say mostly, because I found a great YouTube video series and this was one of the lessons. And for someone who never attempted anything creative until the last few years, I’m pretty damn proud of this.

But the best new thing about September was that my granddaughter came over for her first overnight visit–and it went exceptionally well! We’ve done it twice now and both times she seemed to enjoy herself. That makes a grandma very happy.

October brought Halloween, of course, and still keeping in mode of wanting to decorate, I created my very first wreath. I had to keep it inside because the sun shining through the front storm door of my west facing house would have made short work of my hot glued ornaments. According to what I’ve read since then, a combination of glues would have been a better option. Lesson learned for next time. Still, I’m pleased with how it turned out. Aside from the explosion of glitter in my house, it was a pretty fun project. But the bigger thing about October for this Cubs fan was that they not only made the playoffs, they made it into the World Series for the first time since 1945!

And in November, in a seven game series and 10 innings with a rain delay, they won the World Series for the first time in 108 years!! Talk about getting your money’s worth of baseball! All in all, it was something new for every living Cubs fan. The rest of November was a lot of little new things. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner in our new space, but that’s not a first and also, The Boyfriend’s mom did most of the cooking. My niece visited for the first time (along with her parents, who were visiting for the second time). I made my first Pinterest creation, a platter of summer sausage, cheese and crackers in the shape of a turkey. After the holiday was over, we went to the Lights Before Christmas, which also wasn’t new, but we accidentally sneaked in without getting our one free weekend pass marked off. And yes, it was an accident, as we just walked through the wrong gate. No one stopped us, though, and it wasn’t until afterward that I realized they hadn’t punched our card. Oops. (If you know me at all, I would never have the courage to deliberately try to sneak in, so this was a fluke.) We also took a very quick trip to the new metropark in our downtown area, after having eaten lunch in a restaurant I’ve never tried.

And then there was December. Our first Christmas in the new house. And my granddaughter called me “Gamma” for the first time. ‘Nuff said.

Here we’re nearly at the end of January, and I can’t think of a single new thing I’ve done. I don’t think getting off of Tamoxifen counts. I have a couple of days, though, and I’m going bowling on Saturday night. A perfect game is out of the question. I mean, tasty beverages will be involved. Maybe my first turkey?