“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”—The Princess Bride
I am an obvious romantic. Spontaneous to a flaw at times. These are not new traits, but rather old traits finally given the freedom to come bubbling back to the surface.
This morning it hits me: I am nearly three months from turning thirty-five. Three months and nine days, actually. I believe it is this deadline, this unspoken milestone, that I can either harness or buckle under. I’m choosing to harness it.
A very dear friend of mine, also undergoing a mid-life crisis, spoke to someone about it. “Ahhhh,” the therapist said, “A mid-life crisis. Yes. Those are great. They move you forward.”
I am moving forward.
Earlier this year, I remembered my “bucket-list” that I wrote at the tender age of 22. I shuffled through my journals, pages and pages of angst and written pathetic poetry, to find the list of fifty things I thought important enough to accomplish before I die. I’ve since modified this list, only slightly, to include bigger, more worldly ideas and sometimes smaller, more reasonable ones.
I will, in part, take from this list in the next three months to move forward before I hit thirty-five.*
It is in this vein that I plan to accomplish the following. I say this out loud, to you, because so many of you are part of this list. My boot-camp girls, My yoga instructor. My parents. My sister. My spouse. My village. My online-community. You each hold value in my life beyond written words and unspoken thanks. You help me achieve, encourage, and love. Without you, there could be no list.
1. It is always been a goal to be in, arguably, the best shape of my life by thirty-five. I will… WILL… accomplish this. I have Ashley here, my village at bootcamp, my yoga instructor, my friend Theron, my undergraduate degree (it must be worth something, right? exercise and sports science must be a tiny bit applicable here) and my motivation. There is no excuse. None.
2. I will have the book outlined, started, and submitted to several publishers. (If it was up to me, I would write here, “Accepted by a publisher” but instead, I will focus on things that *I* can control.) I’m changing this slightly, as I will eventually get my PhD but for now, I have a variation on a theme to submit a more public, user-friendly book on a topic I am passionate about. Too many of you offered to buy my pathetically dry dissertation. I would never do that to you. You inspired me to write something you might, possibly, maybe, slightly enjoy. Thank you.
3. I will return to Europe before my birthday. Since I was five, I’ve wanted to go to Germany. Growing up hearing about Germany and the years my parents lived there, it is by far the One.Single.Place I must go. In some ways it’s where I was born. Or, rather, in truth, “created.”
4. My focus will be on Yoga, breathing, knowing. Kayaking. Hiking more. Camping. Enjoying. These are things that always bring me peace and are crucial to cultivating the person I want to be.
5. I will accomplish all these things completely, totally, utterly sober. By the time my birthday rolls around again, I will have a lovely birthday party with my closest friends and we will drink and celebrate these accomplishments. I will serve strong drink, we will laugh heartily, and I may pass out after one. But I will be able to say, with absolute certainty, it is the best most lovely tasting drink in three months.
Here’s to three months and nine days. I promise to write too often, too in depth, too much information. After all of your personal letters about your own mid-life crisis, I can only offer this: You are not alone. We are never alone.
*Here is the list in entirety:
12 guests here now.
You’ll do it. And more, friend. And so much more.
By amanda on 2010 07 20
You have my undying support!! (Except the part where I say incredulously “You’ve NEVER SEEN GWTW????”) Look at those things you’ve already accomplished - awesome. Plus, I’ve said it before…. Mrs. Flinger, yer my he-ro!
Also, if it comes down to crunch time, Indigo will let you self-publish.
Bye-bye, Flinger! Have fun storming your castle!! (BUT, allow one beer/radler/alcoholic beverage for your German trip. Seriously. Would you go to Florida and skip the orange juice?) :-D
By CitricSugar on 2010 07 20
Well. That is a very very very good point. German Beer it is, then.
By Mrs. Flinger on 2010 07 20
Awesome! So very awesome!
By Ashley on 2010 07 20
This is motivating! Can I just do all these things vicariously through you? Especially Germany. Go Flinger!
By Wendy on 2010 07 20
It has recently come to my conscious attention that I am nearing 50. Yes, 50! In just over 2 years.
This is somehow very wrong, as I’m not really that old, and I was 35 just a few short years ago.
I think like a younger person. I drink like a younger person (just a little bit younger, not a 20-something). I haven’t even made a bucket list yet. And sometimes i still find myself thinking, “maybe I’ll try that when i grow up.”
So don’t despair! Keep on keepin’ on! You’re way ahead of a lot of us, and you give us incentive to get moving!
Thanks for the great post.
By christina McCarthy on 2010 07 20
Christina, I love that you still feel the same. I hear age is only how we FEEL, right? So I’m going to enjoy the wisdom of additional years and the energy/spunk/fun of my early thirties? ‘Cause that, mydear, is truly inspiring. Thank YOU!
By Mrs. Flinger on 2010 07 20
You have an awesome list! I love reading other people’s lists, it makes me want update mine, thank you for sharing.
I can’t wait to read about your adventures!
By Sandi on 2010 07 20
I totally feel like a loser now. You are so accomplished already, your mid life crisis is just motivating you even further. My mid life crisis has me balled up in a corner rocking back and forth. (And I’m hardly kidding).
I am cheering you on from here sister. I know you will do it.
Best of luck. You have motivated me.
By The Laundress on 2010 07 21
go. to. thailand.
go now. go quickly. go as fast as you can.
just went this year and i will never evah be the same!
By maria on 2010 07 21