As I began to heal and find more energy later in 2015, I was able to cross off a fair number of items on my 40 Before 40 list. We’re now halfway through my available time and I’ve completed 15 things and made progress on another five, so I think we’re in good stead overall.
Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
#6. Play tourist in my “home city”
I’ve been working on playing tourist since I first announced this list, and I’m finally ready to declare this goal completed. This fall, I visited Hakone Gardens, saw the Silicon Valley and Smuin ballets, and walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.
I also reconvened a group that dines out at new restaurants and tries interesting cuisines, and bought tickets to see a variety of shows during 2016, including the San Francisco Ballet in February, Sebastiao Salgado in March, and Wicked in April.
#8. Develop and release a free course for my blog readers
In September, I released A Call to Beauty, a 12-week e-course designed to inspire readers to see all of the beauty in our human experience. The course was offered for sale with a pay-what-you-like feature that allowed you to pick it up for free, if you chose.
It’s a series of 12 emails (one per week) that offers a theme for contemplation, exercises, and downloadable wallpapers as a daily reminder of the practice.
The next session begins March 14th and registration will open a month prior. For more information and to join in, click over here.
#16. Try Stand Up Paddleboarding
In August, while visiting family outside Baltimore, Mr. Watson and I tried Stand Up Paddling. My sister-in-law and our nephews introduced us to it at Middle River SUP on Sue Creek.
I really enjoyed it and was able to kneel, sit, and stand back up several times during the adventure. I’d definitely SUP again and I’m glad we learned on a calm creek versus in the ocean, where my sister-in-law first tried it.
#17. Attend a concert at Mountain Winery
I was first introduced to the Gipsy Kings while studying abroad in Prague. Their greatest hits were always playing at a bagel shop I frequented. Since then, Mr. Watson and I have seen them in concert a couple of times and it’s always a wonderful experience. The Mountain Winery only added to that with its stunning architecture and valley views.
#19. Start a personal photography project
I started working on Project “What Will You Be?” last March. Through the project, my goal is to inspire at-risk youth to fulfill their potential through academic and career success—by showing them real-life, culturally relevant role models.
The project is on hold a bit while I work on a few new things, but I’ll pick it up again soon.
#36. Host holidays at home—with guests
This one was originally on my 40 After 40 list (not yet published) because I’d thought I couldn’t host holiday dinner before we owned a home. Well, I’ve since realized that perfection is the enemy of the good and so, when Mr. Watson’s and my Thanksgiving travel plans were canceled last-minute, we decided to invite some friends over for Thanksgiving dinner.
It wasn’t a home-cooked meal and we weren’t seated around a large table as I’d envisioned, but it was just right for where we are here and now.
And on that note, I’ll declare the past six months of 40 Before 40 list progress a success and move on to the next six months. As usual, there are fun things in the works but I’ll update you on that in July.
What exciting plans do you have for 2016?
P.S. I just updated Roundup #2 with photos from our 10-year anniversary celebration in May. Have a look, if you like.