50 by 50 bucket list report

Being a “lola” or grandma has been one of the best things not on my 50 by 50 bucket list.

I hate failing. What’s worse is when I fail publicly.In two days, on the 24th, I will turn 50. Remember my #jewelallen50by50challenge? Yup. Me neither. Kidding.

It’s time for a pre-birthday assessment since I am sure I will be busy living it up on my birthday. When it was all said and done, I had listed 30 things. I had decision paralysis and couldn’t pick enough items to add to my list, and it felt like cheating to say “Go to Ireland” and add it from years before. Or “be a grandma” because it wasn’t like I aspired to be one this year particularly…though I have absolutely LOVED being one.

In all, I got 12 done. 12! Ugh.

Granted, one of them I did not do was totally beyond my control. I couldn’t skydive in Maui due to strong winds.One of them I did not do, by the way, was “pole dancing.” I think I meant the one where you exercise on a pole. Palm to face.

I did not learn another language. I did not get my food handler’s permit. I did not run for a “higher” office. And I have not flown first class (too expensive).

Instead, this is what I DID do.I spent time with the grandbaby. I drove two hours away to visit our soon-to-be puppy who is about as perfect a dog as I had imagined. I wrote books I wanted to write. I revamped my wardrobe and bought unique pieces from the thrift store. When I wasn’t feeling certain professional opportunities, I declined them.

In other words, I acted like a woman turning 50 who has stopped pandering to what the world seemed entitled to tell me I needed to be or do. It is a remarkably freeing feeling.

Of the things I checked off, I am proudest of the first–writing every single day in my journal, sharing on this author page for accountability. It’s not only been fun to chronicle each day, but it’s made me more self-aware. To those of you who commented or liked or read my posts. Thank you. It gave me enough motivation, it didn’t feel like I was shouting into the wind.

One that was not on my list, but I feel deserves mention, is growing gray gracefully. I have stopped dyeing my hair. I look 50 and dang proud of it.

Oh, and being a Lola.