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.