Thursday, July 31, 2014

#31- Celebrating Big Monkey's Naturalization Ceremony

"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary."~Arthur Schopenhauer


Although, I knew it was approaching, I originally did not intend to include Big Monkey's naturalization ceremony in my 40x40.  It seemed like more of an event of importance for him.  But after attending the ceremony, I realized what special meaning it really held for our family as a whole, and without a doubt it should be included as a once in a lifetime event.

Big Monkey and I have been married for almost 14 years and started the process of his becoming a citizen immediately after our wedding.  Yes, it was just as you would imagine... sitting through interviews a la "Green Card", the movie.  Being asked questions like "what is Big Monkey's father's name?", "where was he born?"  Its been stressful at times and I'm happy to move on from it, but I'm also proud to have a multicultural family who does not take our freedoms for granted.

I have to say the ceremony was lovely and filled me with pride to be an American and to watch 92 others have such obvious pride in standing up, saying their name, and being welcomed as new citizens.  The folks officiating were so respectful, and even though I'm sure they do this weekly, took the process very seriously and made it a special day for everyone taking part.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

And the challenge begins.....

"The best years of a woman's life - the ten years between 39 and 40." ~ Unknown Author 


I'd like to think I had another ten years before hitting forty, but in reality I have exactly 15 months starting today.

Thankfully, earlier this month, I was inspired by my friend KimmyLou to start thinking in detail about what I am actually going to do with those 15 months and how I'm going to end out my 30's.

To that end, I've come up with a list of things I'd like to accomplish before turning 40.  These are not necessarily monumental accomplishments or even things I haven't done before.  But they represent things that I'd like to embark on and turning 40 gives me a reason to try harder.

So, here is my list:

1) Run a full marathon
2) Run a half marathon under 2:00 hours
3) Take a trip to Portugal
4) Take a creative writing course
5) Take more golf lessons
6) Get an oral history from my grandparents and my parents
7) Watch five "classic" movies
8) Read five "classic"novels
9) Go on a family camping trip- real camping, no cabins
10) Go on a weekend trip with my mom
11) Go on a weekend trip with just Little Monkey
12) Pick 5 things to throw out (or donate) weekly- PURGE!
13) Write one thank you note (or more) a week
14) Perform 40 hours of community service
15) Be in a play
16) Take a family trip and stay in a hostel
17) Donate blood at least 4 times
18) Dance in a Flash Mob
19) Visit a psychic
20) Learn to change a tire
21) Paint a picture
22) Read the Torah portion and commentary every week for a year
23) Be able to do one pull-up
24) Have a fun night on South Beach
25) Try at least one new restaurant a month
26) Have at least one date night a month with Big Monkey
27) Go on a hike
28) Go on a full moon paddleboard trip
29) Go on a family picnic
30) Meet and take pictures of 40 strangers

"But you only have 30 things listed, Sara", I hear you saying...  

That is where you, my family, friends, and readers come in.  I need nominations, challenges, and suggestions to round out the last 10.  That's not to say I'll do whatever you suggest.  I'm not going to go skydiving or travel to the seven wonders of the world (unless you are bank rolling that), or anything I really don't want to do, but if its something that appeals to me, I'd love to take your suggestions.

So, ready or not, 40, here I come...
Items added since original post:

31) Celebrating Big Monkey's Naturalization ceremony