Saturday, November 28, 2009


Don't you love it when so many things come together and seem to point you in a particular direction? It feels like a great big signal, like a nod of approval from a Father who loves me. This post is about one of those confluences. Let me explain.

Over a year ago I read this list and thought that I should do something similar. Later I read this one and got really excited. You know me and lists, after all.

Last July I was talking to Robin about my struggle with the birthday that was fast creeping up on me. I told her that it wasn't the age so much as the lack of goals for the future. That I was wondering, wondering, wondering what it was I wanted next. Till now my growth had always been job oriented. But, I don't want a new job. I am supposed to be a teacher. I love being a teacher. The problem is that no matter how hard I work or how much I grow, in 15 years, I'll still be a teacher. Personally, I need a clear milestone marker. I want to grow, to try new things, to become... more. And to have a clear indication that I've accomplished something. Hmmmm...

A few days ago, I wrote this. It was one of those completely unplanned posts that just sort of popped out of me. I was stunned at how many of you were so sure that my list was doable. It got me thinking. The truth is that the one I most want to do is least likely. A good camera is just too, too expensive right now. But, you're right. The list is pretty doable. Maybe not the achieving part, but the doing part. And we already know it's the doing that matters.

Recently, I made a new blog friend who inspires me with every blog post. I've been going back and reading her older posts. When I read this, I knew what I had to do.

See? A confluence of events. Wish me luck. Better yet, hold me accountable.

39 Things To Do Before I Turn 40 (gulp!)
  1. write that article and try to get it published
  2. get back to doing this brilliant idea
  3. bake some bread from scratch
  4. start saving for a Big Girl Camera
  5. join GKGirl in doing this
  6. read at least three professional books from cover to cover instead of just dipping in and stealing ideas
  7. make my Blog Camp St. Louis idea really happen
  8. read a book in a genre I never read ie. a biography instead of a memoir
  9. buy and play with a fun camera; Polaroid, Holga, or Fish Eye
  10. interview my father-in-law and capture the real version of the story I want to write
  11. have a real life pen pal
  12. take a class and learn a new skill
  13. finally let go of some of those magazines I still have horded
  14. get settled in and feel at home in our new church
  15. eat Indian food again
  16. make walking a regular habit
  17. meet in person at least four new blogging friends
  18. attend this
  19. find the perfect apple crisp recipe and bake often for Jeffrey
  20. spend an entire afternoon in the hammock
  21. buy a vintage record player
  22. go see Wicked (or another Broadway show)
  23. take a weekend trip with Mom and Dad to an unexplored Missouri destination
  24. have my own Moo cards made
  25. find a way to turn my blog into book form
  26. go visit Grammy
  27. take an online course
  28. participate in some street art of my own
  29. start up date nights again
  30. begin art journaling
  31. host a swap on my blog
  32. make a gift for someone
  33. read all the forgotten books that are living on my shelves
  34. buy Photoshop Elements
  35. learn Photoshop Elements
  36. read all of Jane Austen's novels
  37. wreck a journal
  38. transfer all my home videos to DVD
  39. try something I absolutely think I can not do

All images are by Elle Moss and are used with permission. Click on each picture to be taken to the original source. Until Saturday only, all of Elle's work will be on sale. What are you doing still here? Go, go. Buy some lovely for your walls.


Maithri said...



Many rivers...One ocean...

Many little opportunities... One wild passionate life...

Love you,


Bumpkin Bears said...

Sounds like a good list to me. I am great at making lists and not always good at following them, but this year have achieved many things I had always dreamt of doing, having put them on lists. So I'm sure that you can do all of these, let me know how the bread making goes - I've yet to make a bread that wouldn't break your toe if you dropped it ;)! It's Holiday Party Sale time over at my Blog this weekend, Hugs, Catherine x

Andrea said...

Our lists hold lots of similarities and you are right...most of it is very doable. We just have to "do it."
Blessings, andrea

Rita of Grammy's Sweet Nothings said...

Time has a way of passing so quickly and we don't do the things that we really want to do. Your words are inspiring. They make one want to do so many things that we haven't done before. Let's do it!

beth said...

#17....only 4 ?
#20...I'll bring you lemonade while you hang about when we all get together, we art journal for an afternoon and evening and compare notes on how we do it....

LOVE LOVE LOVE your list and I hope that all your list wishes come true....

Tracy said...

Lost on a wave of thoughts and ideas... Thanks for inspiration, Relyn...and for leading us to Geek Inc--wonderful, wonderful... I've yet to make my before 40 list--Yikes, I need to do that soon, I'll be 37 next month--LOL! Happy Weekend, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

smith kaich jones said...

I want to say all kinds of oooohy ahhhhy things about your list becuase I feel all oooohy & ahhhhy when I read it but I am going to be practical - ahem!! Sit up straight! - & offer boring advice to get your list moving. Do not think you must buy a new camera - never, ever think this, unless there is a camera store that comes as part of the package and tutoring when it makes you crazy. There are way, way, way too many used cameras out there in the world and one of them may prove to be a way in. Make sure the person selling it will let you have it checked out if you are in doubt, and if there is no instruction book, make sure there is pdf file online so you can print your own. That said, there's nothing like a new out of the box mine only camera. :)

And when you figue out how to actually let go of some magazines, let me know. I actually try to make that a New Year's ritual and am down to just one very tall stack but I would like it to be smaller.

Love this (just a little oooh & ahhh) a lot. And I will buy your book, no ifs, ands or buts.


Gigi said...

I am hugging you from afar. Many confluences and synchronicities and serendipitous things are happening in my own life right now. I have just taken a very big leap off a cliff. I'll let you know if and when I land safely. Your own challenges that you've listed here are marvelous and inspiring and I know you are going to rock the world even more than you already do! xoxo Gigi

Anonymous said...

You always inspire me and everything on your list is doable. I need to sit with myself and see what it is I'd like to achieve before I am 40 (just 2 yrs away).

Suz said...

Divide your list into two columns

First column:

What I can do today

Second column:

List for the Universe
(this list is one you don't worry about...just let it brew...someday it will show up on your today list)

sherry ♥ lee said...

I believe that any list we make of goals and dreams is possible. It's our inner voice trying to make our outer voice pay attention. It's a matter of being mindful of what we want and making ourselves that priority to say "I want this I need this I will do this" -- it may not be the grande extravaganza, it may be the modified financially possible version -- which means looking at the list and making it work within our means.

I'm glad you've made your list.

And I love the photography at Elle Moss...her work is gorgeous and I'd already hearted a few of these!! Synchronicity!!

caren said...

Relyn ~ I am so glad to hear from you again!!! I love your blog - you always make me think much deeper than I normally would - that's a good thing! I think your goals are wonderful...I must do that myself because I have been wondering exactly what is it I am supposed to be doing...Thanks.

Yiota said...

Lists stress me. I feel like there are tons of things I have to do and "Oh, my God! There's no time".
I was thinking of starting writing my own though, as I feel I've lazed around way too much lately.
I love your list: simple, every day things together with some more sophisticated ones; good balance.
11. I've had a pen pal for 23 years; we met this April in London. It's a wonderful feeling to receive mail from good friends. (by the way, I'll try to send you your little parcel soon)
31. Yes, yes!
36. Again: yes, yes!

Carol said...

I loved reading your list!
2.That's a real goal & very worthwhile.
16.I'm trying to do that one!
19.I have a good one for you!
22.You'll love Wicked.
39. Good for you!

awareness said...

I have a milestone birthday coming up in 2010....and have been thinking about how I would like to honour it. Perhaps its time that I too rekindle my own to do list.....

I wish you well..... and hope you enjoy and savour every single one as they become accomplishments.

ps. I want a big girl camera too. :)

Anonymous said...

i want a big girl camera too. i just dont know which one to choose!

the magazines - after years of hoarding, i am now down to just ten that i keep. if i want to add more to it, i need to let go of one of them. what is it with women and magazines?

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

I can help you with that bread and apple crisp when you are ready:) Wicked is wonderful, we saw it at the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis. I took an online writing class last summer, I learned so much about what I really wanted to do. Thus, the blog...not the book.

I never made lists like yours, or set timelines for things. Now, that 40th birthday is just a memory and I've done some pretty cool things in the years since!


ELK said...

you can so do this list...and it will be fun, it is a great group of goals and wishes..

by the way, may I just say that you bless the world as a teacher, not many people can do it my friend

elsa said...

i love where you coming from and where you are headed Relyn. thank you for the inspiration!

Relyn, please email to me your physical address.

meandering pearl said...

love this list!!! its funny how many goals we can think on, beautiful!!! hope you had a really lovely Thanksgiving!!!
precious thoughts

Jessica said...

That is a fabulous list! I kept reading it and going "me, too!"

Wildflower Studio (Michelle Dransart) said...

I completely relate with your confluence, or syncronicity! What a magical feeling!!!! I love it!
I am so inspired by your list!!! I know you will have and accomplish everything on that wonderful list!
I have a little list of my own for my 35th birthday in March, but I had forgotten all about it! You have inspired me! :)

SE'LAH... said...

Cool list. I hope you accomplish everything on it because your precious day.


BrightenedBoy said...

Often, the things that hold us back are inertia and the fear of failure. I'm an expert in allowing myself to be restrained by both, but now I'm working toward my own goals. You'd be surprised how much you can accomplish if you take that chance.

spread your wings said...

what a fantastic list. and i do believe you will check them all off - just knowing you like I feel I do.
and i hope i am one of those four blogging friends you meet in person. ; )

elizabeth said...


You should sign up for the Mondo Beyondo course in January. I signed up after meeting Andrea at a retreat (she is fantastic) and am so excited. It might be a good way of jumping into this even further! :), I think

Blog Camp St. Louis sounds so fun. :)

I've heard that you can use Blurb to turn your blog into a book.

I can't wait to watch the fun!

Isabel said...

There are signs everywhere and everywhere is a sign. The signs never leave us. We just have to listen.

The key to lists is to act on one thing at a time :) (trust me...I turned 40 a couple of years ago...sigh...and if we don't act, the lists get longer and longer)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jeanie said...

You click those heels and remember -- there may be no place like home, but you can also venture out when you know you have that safe spot to pursue that glorious muse. Beautiful wishes for your journey!

Connie said...

Love the list...I made a 50 before 50 list and I was a wee bit exuberant about what I thought I could accomplish...still working on it!!! I can help you with the pen pal thing if you are interested...I adore sending and receiving real honest to goodness mail :) I fretted, saved and fretted before I bought a big girl camera and then I fretted when I bought something other than the kit lense and now I keep thinking about the $$$ and doubting myself...silly creatures we can be...thanks for your constant inspiration! I have faith that you will accomplish your list:)

Jaime said...

Wow. This post took me a while to get many wonderful links that enticed me to wander further and further away from this post...but I had you in my mind, and my heart, and I returned to read your perfect list. I have been quietly working on a list of my own over the last week or so, and I hope you don't mind, but I borrowed some of your ideas!


Patti said...

Great list Relyn- so many things to do...I think you need to take some days off to do them (hehehe). I really like number 17! Let's work on that one...

gkgirl said...

hey there...
i am just getting to this now
i was so touched that
you mentioned me in your blog post!!
that was so sweet
and i am so happy you made a list
too and that you are thinking of
doing keri smith's 100 ideas too!!!
i'm a little behind with it
and may not truly get back to it until after christmas...but
I am so glad someone else is going to be playing along!!


gkgirl said...


and forgot to say...
if you would like to be
email me your address at
arlenegiddings AT hotmail DOT com

Jerusalem said...

oh what a wonderful list! i have been so busy with the flutter of the holidays that I have not been able to visit much lately, and am finally catching up! it is good to read your list - how inspirational!! if there is anything I can do to make one of those dreams come true just let me know! Merry Christmas friend!!

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