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Now That I’m 40, How ‘Bout A Bucket List ?

Dude, I’m tellin’ ya……….

So as I announced Wednesday, yesterday was my 40th birthday.

I made it.

Sometimes there was some question as to whether that would happen. But over the last four or five years, I increased the chances quite a bit by settling into a more sedentary lifestyle. That certainly helped.

So where am I at as I hit 40?

Well, as most of you know, I’m in-between jobs at the moment. That kind of sucks. But I’m living in a nice, comfortable home with a basement, a yard, and a garage for the next few years. And I’m living in the neighborhood I grew up in surrounded by a lot of the old haunts. And lots of other friends that have stayed close by. And these friends in general—-based on the number of birthday emails, texts and phone calls, etc…….I’m an extremely rich man when it comes to friends. Humbled—-and honored that I have so many people I can call “friend”.

My Dad just passed away recently, but I still have mom. And my sister and her family. And my brother as one of my best buddies. So I’m still a pretty rich , lucky man when it comes to family.

And other than a lot of sleepless nights and some nagging heartburn, I still maintain a pretty good level of health.

I still feel young……like 18 young. I still like to go out and meet up with my friends and share good times and lots of laughter.

So that leads to the next question? What do I plan to do from here? What are my goals? What is my “bucket list” ?

Over the next forty years, there are a handful of things I really would like to do. Things that are of a pretty good importance to me. So let’s see what a few of them are……….

(in no particular order of relevance—)

1)  I’d like to write a book. Of course, I would like it to be a great book. I’d love to write a book that stands the test of time like Tom Sawyer or Moby Dick. But mainly, I would just like to write a book that I am proud of and it gets published. It doesn’t have to be a best-seller or make me a millionaire. I would just like to have a novel published and appreciated by just one other person.

2)  I’d like to someday have a nice, decent-sized log cabin home in a beautiful part of Maine or Vermont or even more northwest like Montana or Wyoming. A place with a nice lake nearby. Not some little box like the Unabomber lived in. A cool, log cabin home that I share with my wife and a dog or two. A place where I could write in peace and find inspiration. A place to walk around the lake and drop a line in. Away from the big city and all of the traffic and noise.

3)  I’d like to see another championship out of every Chicago sports team before I kick it. One more Super Bowl win for the Bears. One more Stanley Cup for the Blackhawks. One more NBA title for the Bulls. And I won’t even be greedy………just one more World Series title out of either the WhiteSox or the Cubs. Doesn’t matter which. I’ve only seen one so far in my lifetime { Thanks Sox !! }. So I don’t care which side of town wins it; one of you just win one more !

4)  I’d like to visit both Rome and Egypt before I die. I just can’t get enough about history and I would love to see the Coliseum and the pyramids before I’m gone. There’s a ton of other historical places and sites that I would love to visit. But those two are so old and classic that they are at the top of my list.

5)  I’d like to have season tickets to the Bears or the Blackhawks again in my lifetime. I once had season tix to the Bears, but the issue of personal seat licenses and a lost season in Champaign (while they remodeled Soldier Field) forced us to give them up. But one day when my financial picture is a bit more stable and secure, I’d like to have season tickets to the Hawks games. That would be sweet. Or the Bears again…..either one.

6)  I’d like to lose 20lbs or more in the coming few years. There is no room to get any larger. It’s time to stop the upward trend that has been happening since I stopped partying so hard and start a downward trend. To this point, I have actually viewed my increasing weight as a sign of health and recovery from where I was. Sometimes I was pale. Sometimes I was gaunt. Sometimes I was disheveled. Didn’t eat for two or three days just drinking and staggering around from one party to the next. Now I am heavy,  healthy, and have color in my face. But I need to look less like Porky Pig now and more like Bugs Bunny.

7)  I’d like to have an impact on someone’s life in a very profound and positive way. This may not happen until I donate my organs after I’m gone. But if somehow—-maybe thru a published novel—–have a serious influence on someone’s life in a really good way…….then you know you left your mark on this Earth. I’m 40 and not married, so the prospect of leaving any kids behind is diminishing. But maybe if I were to ever win the lottery, I could pay for a bunch of life-saving operations. Or send 25 kids to college that may have not otherwise gone. Something like that.

So there’s a handful of things I’d like to see or do over the next 30-40 years. Many of them aren’t that difficult. Like someday getting the season tickets for the Blackhawks. Or losing some weight over the next year or two. I just need to make them happen. Of course there’s some other things I can list, but for the sake of space, I stopped where I did.

Maybe I’ll share some of the more frivolous, hobby-oriented or travel-oriented things in another post. But I have to get out of here and go meet some of the fantasy baseball boys for some lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, go have dinner at a friend’s house, and then join a bunch of friends for some birthday cocktails tonite.

Like I said, I still feel like I’m 18. Today’s schedule is eerily similar to a typical day back then.

Nice.

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