It’s my 29th birthday, and I’ve been thinking about thirty things I would like to do before I turn 30. I admit that this is hardly my own idea for a post, but I can’t remember where I cam across it. Still, in the spirit of medieval writers, the fact that I don’t know where the idea came from doesn’t mean I’m not going to use it. Quidem — certain people — as they would put it, suggest that lists are a useful way of driving accomplishments. Some people put all sorts of crazy things on their lists — swimming with sharks, sky-diving, standing on the edge of an active volcano — but since I have other goals (such as paying off my debts), most of mine are cheap or free and closer to home.
Mine are foundation-laying goals. These are all specific annual goals, though some are ways to achieve perennial ones (being fitter; being a better correspondent; being good at Latin for any era, not just the 21st century); others, simply long-cherished things to do someday. Well, someday is going to be some day between 1st December 2011 and 1st December 2012.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, the seeds planted for the next year’s hortus animae:
1. Learn to use a sextant.
2. Memorise twelve poems by heart.
3. Read the complete works of Shakespeare.
4. Read the complete works of Plato.
5. Learn to tie twelve knots.
6. Cook Pad Thai from scratch.
8. Learn to make five really good cocktails, including martinis, Pimm’s Cup, and kir.
9. Play my flute in public.
10. Walk every street in the Halifax peninsula and across the two bridges.
11. Walk out of Halifax (and back).
12. Take each Halifax Transit bus to the end of its line. Also take the ferry.
13. Make bagels from scratch.
14. Learn the major northern constellations and their primary stars’ names, and go star gazing one night to pick them out.
15. Learn twelve useful and interesting things to do with a handkerchief.
16. Learn twelve interesting ways of wearing my hair and actually do them.
17. Become able to do 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and skip rope 100 times. In case you are curious, I am starting very close to 0.
18. Write one letter and one thank-you card each week.
19. Read all the books on one bookcase.
20. Read my writing aloud in public.
21. Learn how to do a cartwheel.
22. Design and make a stained glass lamp.
23. Make a tapestry (either woven or needlepoint) cover for my footstool.
24. Learn to play recognizable songs on the piano.
25. Read all of Montaigne’s Essays in French.
26. Improve my Latin fluency.
27. Read all of the Divine Comedy in Italian.
28. Write for a full hour every day.
29. Make phyllo pastry from scratch.
30. Host a movable dinner party.