My Last 24 Hours (of 48)

Big Bag Of Dreams

I have always been a bit intrigued with numbers noticing the ways in which one might imbue meaning into a particular one or even a series of numbers such as the 09-09-09 of today’s date. It’s kind of funny in a way since I’ve struggled with math for a fair amount of my life especially in middle school when numbers on a chalkboard could inspire fear faster than almost anything else.

As a child we moved so frequently and sometimes from coast to coast, that many things were lost in the back and forth of change. My math education was one of them. Looking back, I can see how little math I learned in my first 12 years in the classroom, 13 if you want to toss Kindergarten into the mix. So while I’ll could read before many of my fellow Kindergarten classmates, (okay, it was mostly rhyming Dr. Seuss) I never ever felt like I had a secure grasp on numbers during the long years of my public education.

As you can see by my title, change is coming and it’s bearing down rather quickly. In less than 24 hours I will leave 48 behind and slip quietly over in my sleep into the last year left before my 6th decade begins. I have big plans for this year. I have always treated birthdays in the  same way that many do New Year’s Eve, as a time for reflection and goal setting. I like to make a plan around my birthday and write down my dreams and goals for the next year.

It’s easy for me to look back and think about all I haven’t managed to do yet. I’ve had a list of Things To Do Before I Die since 1987 and while I’ve been crossing things off as I complete them, there are a few that I’ve changed my mind about that no longer matter anymore. I’ve been able to do a good many things on my list, but I am not entirely satisfied with where I am in several areas of my life. I enjoy so many good things while others struggle that it seems a bit greedy to want more than I have right now.

Many of the blogs I read on a regular basis have their own lists that they call a variety of names, such these found here: Mondo Beyondo, Life Lists, as in the case of one I read just this morning where Karen Walrond simply refers to her list as her Truest Goals.

After reading Karen’s post this morning, I felt inspired to do something I never do which is to share at least three things from my list for this year. I’m calling mine my Big Bag of Dreams. The title is based on a quote by Benjamin Franklin:

It is hard for an empty Bag to stand up-right.

This year I’m writing down my goals for the last year of my 5th decade on a brown paper bag with the top three on one side and an extended list on the other. I intend to put bits of the things I do to accomplish my goals into the bag so this time next year when 49 rolls over to 50, my bag will be so full it can stand upright. I want a tangible 3D image of what I am doing to fulfill my dreams during year 49 with me everyday.

Here are the big three for next year:

Complete the book I’m writing now and actively look for an agent and publisher.

Finish designing the game I’m developing with my sister Margaret and begin production and marketing.

Research, design and set up a Big Bag Of Dreams week long workshop/playgroup/dreambuilders gathering for a group of women interested in filling up their own bag of dreams to be held during 2011, the summer of my 50th year here in Cornwall, England.

At a glance that list looks a bit scary even to me, especially if you knew what other things are in the planning stages right now regarding big travel and more home renovations. When I feel as if it may all be too big a dream or doubt starts to creep in as doubt often does, I will remind myself of some of the other things I have done that at different points in my life I would have considered impossible.

It’s easy to overlook areas of success when they occur on a smaller level than say publishing a book or winning an Oscar, but when I need an example of a goal I’ve accomplished, I can remember of my first semester of University work where I learned 12 years of math in three months earning a B in a class I had been terrified to take. If I can do that with all my issues around math and numbers than who’s to say I can’t do exactly what I want with the three main goals for my Big Bag Of Dreams project.

Tomorrow as you may have worked out is my birthday. I’ll turn 49 at 2:02 am and John, sweetheart that he is, has something planned that involves packing an overnight bag and is a total surprise for me. I will probably have limited access to my computer for most of the day Thursday and I’m not sure if I’ll post again before the weekend, but I would love for you to consider leaving three special projects, dreams, or goals you have for your life in the comment section below.

13 thoughts on “My Last 24 Hours (of 48)

  1. Found you today via your comment on Shutter Sisters. I, too, will be turning 49 this year (November). I love your Big Bag of Dreams idea, just wish I had my list together already so I could get started with you…maybe by my birthday in November.

    Enjoy your overnight as you celebrate your birthday!

  2. Wonderfull. I love the Big Bag of Dreams Idea.
    I may use it to help me keep focused, in my chaotic life.

    I am sure you will accomplish whatever you set out to do. You are thoughtful, organised and energetic….. not to mention a great friend.

    Have a Fab Birthday see you when you get back

  3. E,

    Love the Bag of Dreams concept. This is a good time for me to create my own list. I have not allowed myself to dream in awhile. It is time to get started and this is a great way to begin.

    Happy Birthday Girl,

  4. In Oct08, I turned sixty, which gave me pause about what I hadn’t accompished and how short a time was left to do my dreams. After working through the fear of the shortness of time, hey don’t wait until you’re sixty to go forward-do it now, I seem to know what I wanted to do at twenty and I’m going forward-writing is one of those dreams. That’s why I love the Tuesday Morning Writing exercise. I wish you a Happy Birthday, hope you had a great one! Judy

  5. I like this idea, too. It’s always good to keep things in focus and to do things for yourself as well. Belated Happy Birthday! (I love that header photo!)

  6. happy birthday! the weather has been great and it sounds like it will last the weekend…
    your post makes me wonder what planet i am on though…i think your bag sounds like a great idea…for you….but i have absoluetely no plans.
    i’m only slightly older 51+ but i am just sitting back waiting for things to happen. i’ve travelled so much it takes alot to get me excited, my kids are grown….no grandbabies in the forseeable future…
    happy? yes, happy to never leave my home again!

    i have just stated making vague plans to visit the hometown of the grandfather i never met in germany…yeah, there we go! there’s a plan….ta

  7. Happy Birthday Elizabeth, such goals you have, so wonderful. I don’t think I have ever had goals, but now over the age of 50, I want to do things, and the best things I have done so far this year is travel to Paris twice, once with a friend to meet people I didn’t know except through the blog, and the 2 was too return, on my own, and meet the friends I made on the first trip!!

    Kim B .. being one of them, she is so lovely, so bubbly!

    Have a fabulous time. take care Anne

  8. Happy Birthday dear girl–I LOVE your big bag of dreams–a 3D visual–so great to collect tangible reminders of the steps you take to make them come true… And what marvelous wonderful beautiful dreams they are! I can’t wait to witness them coming true…
    Shine on bright light–shine on!

    Oh…and here are my top dreams:

    1. Become a healer
    2. Write for publication–books, essays etc.
    3. Fall in love again

    (oh and #4–I’d love to attend your workshop in Cornwall!)
    xo
    Meg

  9. Happy birthday and also loved your photos from St. Ives – and you and your beautiful dogwood tree!

    Also happy bday to your dear daughter. I’m sure she felt your love and support from miles away.

    Cheers from another Virgo (13th 🙂 ).

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