If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.
I can't believe I've been 59 for over a month now and haven't yet posted about the "60 by 60" challenge I've made to myself for the coming year. Time continues to spin faster and faster, and there are still so many things I've intended to do or experience just around Austin, much less the rest of the world. If I'm not intentional about it, I'll just keep putting things off and miss opportunities to experience new things, which means I'll miss opportunities to learn and grow.
It's so easy to get 'too busy'.
So I've started a list that I will add to over the coming year, as ideas come to me or opportunities arise. My goal is to experience 60 new things by my 60th birthday. It might be as simple as trying a new food or restaurant, or experiencing a city I've never been to... New Orleans, for example, the site for the 2019 Keller Williams Family Reunion.
The biggest and best new experience this year, of course, will be becoming a grandmother. That, in itself, will bring a ton of new and wonderful firsts.
But most of the things on my list are just touristy things around Austin or somewhere else in Texas that have been on my "one day" list for far too long. You know how it is when you live in a city - you don't sense any urgency in visiting these places, and all too often, you never get there. I don't want that to happen.
I'm not putting everything I've ever wanted to do on here, like visit every country in the world, and some for a second or third time. If the opportunity arises during the year, that's great, but I do realize my limitations in time and finances.
Now, without further ado (and without putting this off another day or week) here is my list so far, starting with the new things I experienced in April. May has been pretty uneventful so far, which is another reason I want to get this going!
- Visit Hope Outdoor Gallery/Graffiti Park -
Done! This place is iconic Austin and I've been wanting to visit for a long time. Its days are now numbered; rumor has it it will be moved to another location in Austin, but I can't imagine it will be the same. I wanted to go to the original on Castle Hill, so after showing property nearby one day last month, I finally made the time to stroll through, admire the artwork and watch people putting their own mark on the concrete walls. I also met... shoot, I can't think of his name right now... who sells his own style of art created from chunks of the wall. You can see the layers of paint in each piece.
- Eat at the Soup Peddler -
Done! I'll admit I had never heard of this little restaurant before I spotted it and decided to eat there. But the parking lots near Graffiti Park are full of warning signs about getting towed unless you're visiting one of the businesses they front ... plus I was hungry... plus I had never been there... so why not two new things in a row? I had an amazing turkey sandwich before climbing Castle Hill to view the artwork. Everything there is so fresh and different. It's a great spot for me to stop when I'm in the area - quick and cheap and delicious. I'm so glad I know about it now!
- Eat at Fareground -
Done! Another place I didn't know about, but experienced by tagging along with my son and his wife, who are on top of everything going on in Austin. It's an underground food court right downtown, full of satellite restaurants from some of the best spots in town, including Ni-Kome, where I experienced #4...
- Try real Ramen -
Done! Prior to this, my knowledge of ramen was limited to those cheap little packets you get from the grocery store. I had no idea ramen could be a gourmet food. My kids are always teaching me new things! Thank you, Tommy and Kirby!
- Eat at the Bouldin Creek Cafe -
Done! I finally enjoyed brunch at this iconic Austin restaurant with my dear friend Lisa when she was in town visiting her son. It was so good! Now I know where to pass the time when I'm stuck on the south side. Thank you, Lisa!
- Celebrate San Jacinto Day at the San Jacinto Monument -
Done! San Jacinto Day is the celebration of the final battle on April 21, 1836 of the Texas Revolution, where Texas won its independence from Mexico.
I grew up in the shadow of the San Jacinto Monument and have visited it more times than I can count, first as a child with my parents on up until I was a mom taking my own kids out there. I'm such a Texas history geek that I would even visit the museum by myself.
So would you believe that even though every year there is a re-enactment of the battle and a festival, I've never gone? And I wouldn't have made it this year if my sweet and smart friend Rae didn't suggest I come in a day earlier than I planned for my reunion with friends/co-workers from my DuPont days.
I admit I didn't actually watch the re-enactment on Saturday (I had to get ready for the reunion), but I experienced something even better ... I met Sam Houston at a special preview on Friday night who acted as tour guide for us through the Texan camp and the battleground. We also heard the Mexican side of the story from someone in their army. The whole time a trio of Texan pioneer minstrels followed us at a distance, serenading us with period music.
At the festival the next day, we visited booths, bought kettle corn, watched Native American dancers (who were amazing!), and even bumped into a high school classmate dressed in period clothing who is an expert on cannons from that period, and actually owns an exact replica.
I know a lot about Texas history but learned so much more that weekend. Thank you, Rae! (And thank you for sharing some of your photos like this one!)
- Take a hard hat tour of a downtown Austin hi-rise -
Done! It wasn't my first time in a hard hat by any means, but for the first time in more than 25 years, I donned one again, this time to view a new hi-rise condo being built in Austin right now.
My clients and I joined the sales rep for the ride up via a construction elevator - much more secure than being lifted in a cage by a crane like we were during construction and shut-downs at my chemical plant! They are in the finish-out stage of the interior now, so the building itself was enclosed and secure.
I can't wait to see it when it's all finished.
That's a first I'm looking forward to! But it's not the only one...
- Visit 5th and West when it's complete.
- Visit the Elisabet Ney museum.
- Visit the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.
- Hike the Greenbelt and see the Twin Falls and Sculpture Falls
- Visit the Blanton Museum (It's true. I admit I've never been inside.)
- Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
- Visit the Zilker Botanical Garden.
- Have my photo taken in front of the real "Greetings from Austin" mural at Roadhouse Relics.
- See the Harlem Globetrotters. (a dream from childhood)
- Experience Sound & Cinema at the Long Center
- Go to the Austin Kite Festival.
- Visit New Orleans.
- Take a Louisiana plantation tour with my friend Sandy. We've been talking about it for too many years.
- See the Lipizzan Stallions (if they come to Texas this year - another dream from childhood)
- Visit Hamilton Pool (it's another travesty that I've never been)
- Swim in Jacob's Well.
- Eat at Mattie's at Green Pastures.
- Go to Unplugged at the Grove.
- Experience Microsessions.
- Listen to live music at the Continental Club.
- Listen to live music at the Elephant Room.
- Make it to a taping of Austin City Limits.
- Visit Marfa, Texas, and see the Marfa lights.
- Visit Marfa, Texas, and stay in a TeePee
- Experience the Christmas light show at Mozart's
It's already halfway through May. I need to get busy! If there's something you don't see on my list that you recommend, please let me know! I might go ahead and start my "70 by 70" list! So...what are some things you've wanted to do that you've just never gotten around to? Please share so I know I'm not the only one.
The problem with putting off things you've always wanted to do is that eventually you run out of always.