Doing 49 Things I’ve Never Done (before I turn 49)

Why Wait?
by Topher Morrison

Accomplishing 49 Things in 49 Weeks is the Journey — Becoming a Happier Person is the Goal

If you buy a stranger coffee, without asking for anything in return, can that be as memorable as something more exciting, like climbing a 70-foot wall or trying to ride a mechanical bull? For my friend, Shannon Barbato, that answer was an easy “yes.”

39 days from her 39th birthday, Shannon made a choice — to stop waiting — and then she made a list. She would do 39 things she had never done but had always wanted to before she turned 39. And yes, it included the coffee, the wall and the bull.

But while her story wasn’t very different from the other “bucket list” stories we’ve all heard, it stuck with me. First, she decided to do her 39 things in just 39 days! How’s that for ambition? But the part I liked most — something that applies to nearly everything life throws at us — was her inspiration: “Why wait?”

We all have answers to that question. Work. Kids (for me – Dog!). Traffic. More work. “Shark Tank” is on. I have to pay bills. Whatever the reason, we can all relate. But those hurdles aren’t going away. If anything, they’re a reason to make a list.

So I did.

I’m borrowing Shannon’s plan, with a few tweaks. I’m turning 49 in January of 2018, so that gives me about 49 weeks to do 49 things.  Apparently that’s the difference a decade makes: I’m not crazy enough to attempt all 49 things in 49 days.  Most of mine will be local, like the one I crossed off last week: taking a pontoon bike tour along Tampa’s Riverwalk (a big thanks to the awesome people at Tampa Bay Water Bikes).

But while most will be local, I’m open to anything. And they can be combined — we’re living in a Collaboration Age, after all. For example, I’m not opposed to eating cow tongue while flying in a private jet to the Bahamas where I’ll try spear fishing to catch the dinner I’ll learn to filet in a cooking class that evening. See? I’m easy like that.

But anything goes. Simple. Difficult. Bring it on. So send me your suggestions. Right now, I have about 20 solid ideas for the list. A quick disclaimer, I most likely won’t be tattooing or piercing anything, I won’t break the law – at least not really big ones, and I won’t move to Singapore. But I will be blogging about each experience I take.

When I wake up on my 49th birthday, I want to know that I’ve spent this year challenging myself to face fears, overcome obstacles, to be comfortable with who I am, and, if I’m lucky, to be a happier, healthier person.

Why wait?

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