50 Things Before I'm 50

50 Things Before I'm 50

Posted by Hallie S. on Apr 24th 2018

Something To Be Proud Of

First off - HELLLLLOOOOOO SPRING! Little bit of sunshine has put a bounce in my step for sure. And I don’t know if it’s the change of the season that’s got me thinking or if it’s what lies ahead for me this fall - being an empty nester - or what exactly it is but I’ve been thinking a lot about age. And that, if we’re being honest, at 46 years old I am on the downhill stretch of my life in all likelihood. In a mere 3 and a half years, I am going to be 50 years old. Half a century. Not decrepit by any means but certainly no spring chicken.

50 Things According to Hallie

Well that got me thinking even more. What do I want to have accomplished by the time I’m 50? What have I not yet done that I want to do? And there became my blog. And I’ll tell you what - coming up with 50 things was a challenge at first. But as I started to write them down I found myself evaluating my life and, my list, it turned out pretty fabulous. And inspiring. And humbling. Some physical, some whimsical, some clerical, most of them certainly attainable. So here you go - 50 things to do before I’m 50.

1. Run a marathon.

I was a runner for years. And I stopped running because it’s hard on the body and my doctor suggested I might find something a little less damaging. And truth be told I really haven’t missed it much. And running a marathon has NEVER been something I’ve wanted to do. Until now. I’m getting a lot of resistance from Rob but we’ve agreed to let me try. 26.2, you’re on my radar!

2. Get a colonoscopy.

Yuck. Like legit yuck. But colon cancer is legit as well and given that I have family that has had colon cancer, getting a colonoscopy is a necessary evil. Good thing I have 3 and a half years to work up to that one.

3. Read the pile of books on my nightstand.

I have four of them sitting there. And I am about halfway through two of them with the other two not even opened. I love to read - it’s simply making the commitment, making the time to read, making it a priority. A little at a time, no more books until I finish those four.

4. Take a weekend trip with Rob.

Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t tell you the last time Rob and I had a weekend away. I’m not talking months or even years. I’m talking in decades. Any number of relevant reasons why - three kids, 50 thousands sports, no funds, a pack of dogs, Rob’s job. But it’s something that we need to do. Just to get away and be Rob and Hallie.

It's Your Love

5. Get another tattoo.

I have been mulling this idea over for awhile. I have a large tattoo on my side and another tattoo elsewhere. (Beer. College. Enough said.) I’m not talking tribal flames across my back - something smaller, something meaningful. I just haven’t figured out what it is I want yet. But achievable - totally.

6. Experience something new with each of my children.

This is a must do for me. I want to do something with each of my gooses individually that neither of us has experienced. Doesn’t have to be something grand - sometimes the biggest gifts come in the smallest packages. And I’d like to have that memory with them and let them have that memory too. Something that is just ours.

7. Get a brand new car that is just mine.

Yeah. Lord, I hope this happens. I have driven a series of used cars with high mileage for as long as I’ve had children. Whether they were commuting cars, hockey practice cars, cars that were safe and got great gas mileage - oh, yeah - those were all mine. They were ugly but serviceable. A little banged up but they got the job done. These tuna cans on wheels have allowed for new hockey skates when needed, new football pads and helmets that were necessary, private schools and amazing educations. I wouldn’t know what a car that doesn’t have 140,000 plus miles on it is like. I’ve sacrificed a lot. Happily. But momma wants a new car. License plate will read MOMEEZ.

Fast Cars and Freedom

8. Watch the sunrise from the top of a mountain.

Coming from Montana, surrounded by mountains, one would think I’ve done this. And I haven’t. And I’d like to.

9. Watch the sunset from the beach.

Living in Massachusetts, surrounded by beaches, one would think I’ve done this. And I haven’t. And I’d like to.

10. Clean and organize the basement and the garage.

Ugh. I am not a hoarder, I am not a keeper of a lot of things. Not everyone in my family is of that same philosophy. I try not to look at the mess in the basement, all the “I might need that someday” items that are strewn around. And the garage is not my domain. But I would LOVE to get it cleaned up and organized. Which leads me to number 11.


11. Rent a dumpster.

Give me a large dumpster and a weekend. And I’ll be in a frenzy purging. There is something so freeing about getting rid of stuff and we haven’t done it for a number of years. And we’re overdue to get one and spend a weekend filling it. Next couple of years - it’s gonna happen.

12. Get a full body scan.

I got LOTS of little brown spots. Age spots. Woo Hoo. And really, I think getting a full body scan and a once over is so smart and very necessary. Totally committed to getting that done before I hit the big 5-0.

13. Write a letter to someone I love.

I think we underestimate the power of the written word at times. And there are few things as precious as opening up the mail box and seeing a handwritten letter, addressed to you, by someone you love. I have so many people in my life that I should sit down and write a letter to. I have no doubt it is something they would treasure as I know it’s something that would mean a great deal to me. I’ll be checking that off my list for sure.

14. Forgive a transgression.

Forgiveness is tricky and often times I think we lie to ourselves that we’ve forgiven. And carrying around that transgression, that hurt does us NO good. I’m not ready yet but when I am, I look forward to being able to forgive, forget and forge ahead without that burden.

15. Replace all the carpeting and wood floors in the house.

We moved into our home in 2001. And all the original carpets and flooring is still here. Carpet that has seen numerous accidents from animals, throw up from children, spilled drinks, smeared food, dirt, mud and other little lovelies brought in from outside. Wood floors that are permanently scarred from doggie feet, refrigerator water damage, you name it. Whether we sell or stay, the carpets need to go.

You're Gonna Miss This

16. Give my children their history.

There is so much to be said for nights around the kitchen table, the campfire, the front porch and telling your children stories from their past. I want my children to know their history. I want them to hear the stories from when they were babies, what our life was like, the funny things they did, they said. It matters so much and it’s one of those gifts that they won’t realize until they have children of their own and they can recant their history to them.

17. Learn how to make a three course gourmet meal to perfection.

I want to have that meal that I know how to make with my eyes closed. Something that will impress, that I can always pull out of a hat in a pinch and I have down to a science. I’m not talking burgers and Annie’s. I mean the real deal. Not sure what it will be other than risotto will be a part of it. Like risotto that would make Gordon Ramsey cry it’s so good.

18. Go fly fishing.

This takes me back to my childhood and reminds me so much of my paternal grandfather. I remember sitting on the shores of Belt Creek as a child and watching my grandfather fly fish. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch and I’d love to learn how to do it - or even just try it.

19. Drive cross country with my brother.

I don’t like long car rides. Like anything more than an hour is a pain in the you know what - physically and mentally. But I would love to drive cross country - just once. And I’d love to do it with my brother. To spend the time with him, to make the memories. With six kids between us and hectic lives, that one will be a stretch. But I would love it nonetheless.

Hey Brother

20. Visit the Grand Canyon.

I’ve never been. Would love to go. Any snakes or crawly things would be required to vacate the premises for the day however. Grand Canyon - bucket list.

21. Go to a country music concert.

I have been to two country music concerts in my life. One was Garth Brooks way back in 1991 and the other was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill - unsure of the year. A long time ago regardless. Every year I say I’m going to do it and every year something takes precedence, some expenditure or commitment that is more important. But I need to do it and I want to do it. Country Fest 2019 maybe…

22. Stick my toe in each of the Great Lakes.

This is most likely not going to happen. I’ve swam in Lake Michigan. Huron, Ontario, Erie and Superior - would like to take a dip some day.

23. Spend a day kayaking.

I love the water. I’ve been in a kayak. Just have never spent a day kayaking. There is something so peaceful about being out in the water, going at your own pace, taking in the simple beauty of nature. So it’s on my before I’m 50 list.

24. Wish on a shooting star.

Maybe you think this one is silly but let me explain. I don’t take the time to look up at the sky rarely if ever. The last time I saw a shooting star was after my grandmother died and I remember I was out walking in the early morning hours. And crying I missed her so much. And I remember looking up at the sky and saying, “Granny, if you can hear me will you let me know? Will you give me a sign?” And right then and there, a shooting star. True story. So yes, I’d like to see one and make a wish.

25. Buy a frivolously expensive timeless black leather motorcycle jacket.

Yeah. To match my new car.


26. Build a farmers table.

I want an old fashioned farmers table for my home. I want to build it myself. Maybe it could be one of the new experiences I share with one of my goslings - knock two off my list at once. My first job was sanding wood for my dad and learning how to stain the wood. And it’s one of those things that I love to do. So I would like to build one. What better gift than to have my family gathered around it, eating, talking over each other, making a memory.

27. Grow a vegetable garden.

This I have to do. Every year I say I’m going to do it and I never do. I love gardening, watching things come to life. There is something very peaceful about placing my hands in the dirt, nurturing plants, helping them to thrive. I don’t know much about vegetable gardens and it would require the help of my Rob but I would love to do one. Maybe this summer will be the year…

28. Worry less.

I’ve got to find a way to accomplish this. Worry is a waste of time. Totally. Worrying about things doesn’t change them, doesn’t help a situation. I’m much better than what I was but I can always improve. Going to keep learning how to train my brain to focus on the positive and not worry about things I have no control over.

29. Have a provocative picture taken.

I have worked so hard on self image, on strength training and on not focusing on the number on the scale. I wish I could see myself through my Rob’s eyes. And my thought is having a tasteful with a touch of provocative photo taken maybe will remind me on the days when I don’t see the hard work - that I am beautiful in my own right. And what a lovely gift for Rob…

30. Design a piece of jewelry for my children.

Maybe as a 21st birthday gift for each of them. Cuff links for my boys maybe? A bracelet or ring for my Lex? Not really sure. But I would like them each to have something that was made with them in mind. For those special occasions in their life so that they always have a piece, a part of me with them.

31. Have a girls weekend.

I’m talking a whole gaggle of girls. Hair down, drinks a plenty, good food, lots of laughs, Uber, no responsibility. It’s something I’ve never done and I’ve got some amazing women in my life. So a girls weekend - that would be something I’d really love to do.

This One's For The Girls

32. Redo our will.

Our will is old - probably at least 12-15 years old. And it needs to be redone. The kids are considerably older now and our life is considerably different. Rob and I need to just sit down and get it done. Have copies made, talk with the kids about it and that will give me some peace of mind.

33. Learn how to knit.

Yes, I want to learn how to knit. It means everyone on my Christmas list will be getting a blanket or a hat or a scarf and I’m sure you’ll love it. And if you don’t, lie to me and pretend you do.

34. Make a family garden stone.

Again, so simple, right? I have garden stones all over my gardens that the kids have made for me over the years and I absolutely love them. It’s my favorite thing to put out every spring. Rob and I have one that we made together. I want one that the five of us make together. Our years of all being home in the summer in the same house are getting short so maybe that is something we can take care of on Mother’s Day. (hint hint)

35. Teach my nephews and my niece how to ride the waves at Misquamicut Beach.

I hope I get the opportunity to do this. It’s one of my happy places and I love the water, love riding the waves. I would love to be the one to gift them that.

36. Do a spa day with my mom.

My mom, she is something special. And with my dad fighting cancer, the past several years have been hard on her. And she is so deserving of a day of pampering. That is something that I would love to share with her and give to her.

In My Daughter's Eyes

37. Visit Norwich University.

Now this could be combined with a weekend away - two birds one stone. Rob graduated from Norwich and although I’ve heard the stories, I’ve never been. It’s a part of him that I need to know, that I want to see him in that environment. Hopefully, we can do that in the upcoming years.

38. Sing Karaoke.

Yes, I’ve done it before but not for a looooong time. So girls weekend. Jus sayin.

39. Dance with my sons.

There will come a time when another woman in their life will come first. As it should be. But some day, I want to dance with each of my boys. Appreciate the men they have become, hold them in my arms, share a moment. Shrug. They may think it’s silly but I guarantee you every mom reading this understands.

40. Go ice skating in Central Park with Lex.

Oh, how amazing would this be! I don’t love to skate because I’m afraid of falling and breaking something. But I would love to share this with her, be a part of something that has defined her for more years than it hasn’t.

Don't Stop Believin

41. Volunteer - somewhere, anywhere.

I need to give back, volunteer my time. No animal shelters because I would be coming home with all the animals but somewhere. I believe in living a life of service and I need to start doing more to back that up.

42. Get a hope chest for each of my children and start to fill it.

There are things I have for each of them. Ornaments, jerseys, knickknacks that are a part of their history and I want them to have. Something Rob and I need to do together but time waits for no one so it’s something to start thinking about.

43. Learn how to change a tire.

I don’t know how and that’s ridiculous. Family learning day this summer.

44. TP someone’s house.

I REALLY want to do this. But it’s going to have to be someone with trees, probably someone I know that has a good sense of humor and someone hard of hearing because I don’t think it will be done quietly. Again, girls weekend…

Best Day

45. Lay on a blanket, drink beers and look at the stars with Rob.

Hear me out. In the hustle and bustle of life, we forget how small we really are. How magnificent and beautiful life is. And sometimes, lying on a blanket, drinking beers and doing nothing - magic happens. You talk, laugh, play ‘remember when’. Those moments are life changing and who doesn’t want more of that in their life. I certainly do.

46. Plan a day of spontaneity with the family.

This one could be met with lots of grumbling and complaining and whining as we are not exactly a ‘spontaneous’ family. No phones, no friends, just the five of us. Would make for a great blog post for sure. How not to surprise your family…

47. Create a ‘how to’ manual for my children.

A bible. Reminders. Basic stuff that when they are on their own they forget or don’t know and it’s those little things that are game changers for our days. Might be a work in progress but no time like the present.

48. Take a family vacation to MT.

We haven’t been for three years and it’s time. We just need to make the time. But before I’m 50, I want to get back home with all of them.

Take Me Home Country Roads

49. Get a side by side recliner.

Our small couch is too small for Rob and I. Our big couch is too big. A side by side recliner - that’d be just right.

50. Be more present.

This is a constant battle and I forget all the time to just be present. Enjoy the gift of the day, the moment, the right now. Again, I’m so much better than what I used to be and I am all in to get where I want to be.

Why It Matters

So there you have it. My list of 50 things. I learned a lot about what really matters to me when I made the list, the direction that my life is going. And how incredible my blessings are. I say it all the time that we only have one trip on the Merry Go Round. There aren’t any do overs. It is up to us to live our lives to the fullest that we can. I have been in some respects and I haven’t in others. And having this list, it makes me a little more accountable. And I am hopeful that maybe I’ve inspired one person to clean their own lens and make a list, to reevaluate where they are and where they want to be, how they are going to make their days, their weeks, their years count. Think about it. Dream it. Believe it. Make your list and make it happen.

One More Day