At my 30th birthday party, I asked the guests to write down on an index card the things they thought I should achieve by the time I turned 40. You can see the whole list here.
Not surprisingly a number of the goals are repeats and almost all of
them speak to the skills others see in me, namely: baking, writing and
talking. I had (and maybe still have) every intention of completing all those tasks, although some are far less challenging than others.
Challenging: "Become better friends," with a woman I have not seen since about, oh, six months after that party. More challenging: Wear high heels for a month. Less challenging: Go blond for a month. Even less challenging than that: Watch the movie 'Citizen Kane.' (I've already seen it.) I keep meaning to drag that pile of cards out and attempt at least some of them, the ones which I see as a true challenge or the ones which amuse and motivate me to get out of my comfort zone. Some of them I see no point in, mostly because they just don't hold any interest - one of the suggestions was to ride in the Great Victorian Bike Ride. I suspect the person was trying to motivate me to lose weight (thanks FIL...) but a) I'm not a fan of bike riding, and b) If I get a week off to myself, you can bet your ass I'm not going to spend it getting a bruised hoo-hah and sweating my way up a bunch of hills. Just not my thing, especially as I engage in plenty of exercise these days and so it would not be so much a challenge as it would be a form of self-mutilation.
As you will see on that list, one of the items was to perform a stand-up routine.
There is a part of me which adores the very idea of this - because it would be, beyond measure, one of the greatest challenges I'd ever undertaken. It would test my skills of writing, of performing, of being authentic, of bravery - just in writing about this, I can feel my shphincter tighten and my stomach turn over with fear. In short, if I pulled it off it would be nothing short of awesome. That being said, I knew it was something I'd probably never achieve, mostly because it requires me not only to do the gig, it requires me to find the gig in the first place - and that's perhaps a step too much for me. That goal, like most of them, has pretty much just sat in a drawer waiting for me to get to 40 and think, "Damn, I forgot about those!"
However, this week, the same friend who came up with that idea sent me an email which said, "I believe performing a stand-up routine was one of your turning forty goals, right?" and attached a link to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which is currently taking sign-ups for acts, even those which are one-offs.
*sharp intake of breath*
It just *might* be time.
For the purpose of historical accuracy, here's the list updated. In order for it to be really accurate, I've got to go and find out who said what, but this update is a good start at least:
Without further ado, here are the things I'll do by the time I am 40 (red is done, green is in progress.):
- Watch these movies: Citizen Kane, Hamlet (Kenneth Branaugh's version), Death Trap (with Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine.) Watch all 12 episodes of "Fawlty Towers", and learn a song and sing it in front of a crowd. A small group is okay, but YOU must sing it.
- See your name up in lights
- Become an Australian Citizen (I've recently changed my mind on this..)
- Design a cake that looks like me (Jess), finish your course with flying colours, make up a song and sing it in front of 10 people, swim with sharks.
- Repeat your [9 weeks in Europe backpacking] honeymoon trip, but with with triplets
- You and DH should spend 50 hours a week together in the same bed for the next ten years.
- Write a series of children's books that will be as interesting and as successful as the series of books I just read [she had just finished the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.]
- Have such success in your business that you can come visit me three times a year.
- Graduate at the top of your class, or at least in joint first place with me.
- Take a week off without DH and the triplets. (In progress forever more I think. The trip with my BFF did not happen, her health is too precarious.)
- Join a weekend circus school, become a life coach or motivator, take singing lessons, learn to play the tuba, be under-ambitious at some point.
- Learn pole dancing, shave your head and do a mohawk, get a Brazilian wax if you haven't already, learn to tango with DH, go trick-or-treating, in costume, as a family, enter a serious karaoke competition without laughing, learn a musical instrument like a triangle or a kazoo, play naked twister with DH only, learn to scuba.
- Write a cookbook that is suitable for people with nut/egg/coeliac allergies
- Achieve a weekly column in a prestige publication covering topics which make a difference, become proficient in dialectic [I don't even know what that word means], acquire patience with "what if" discussions around the dinner table and "happily" participate, never lose your ability to laugh at all the silly things life throws up, keep your talent for embracing life without steamrolling the people who love you.
- Swim with the dolphins, go to the top of Mt Kosciusko, invite me to your 40th birthday party, give me the cake that looks like Jess, encourage the kids to remember to call me "Uncle", dance at my wedding, and put a king sized bed in my bungalow [this is my BIL, who I want to live in a cool house in our backyard].
- Climb Ayer's Rock to the summit, you will never forget it. [I refuse to do this, on principle. I've been to Uluru, I chose not to climb to the top. I wouldn't want someone scrambling on my sacred site, either. I will, however, amend this goal to be walking around the base of Uluru.]
- Bake a cake for royalty, run a marathon, own your own cake shop and hire me.
- Say NO to teachers who prey on you because of your culinary ability at least twice this year.
- Go blonde for a month, wear high heels every day for a month (with the weekends and gym sessions off), write a book that at minimum is published for friends and family.
- Write a regular column for a magazine or newspaper, set up a franchise (baking or otherwise), bungee jump in New Zealand
- Get to know each other better (this woman disappeared from my life shortly thereafter, so this one is moot.)
- Swim the "Pier to Pub" in the same year that I do, go for a 40km ride down to Sandringham and back with me and anyone else you choose, turn Three Sweeties into a national franchise to rival Mrs Fields.
- Do at least one stand up comedy gig, do the Great Victorian Bike Ride, write a novella/short story and endeavor to have it published somewhere (your local multiple birth newsletter doesn't count).
- You need more adrenaline, so sky dive, preferably with parachute and instructor
- Survive three bar/bat mitzvahs, enter the Great Victorian Bike Ride, win a prize at the Royal Melbourne Show for "Cake of the Year"
- Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef and the Dead Sea [I don't think you can scuba in the Dead Sea, and given that it's dead, what would there be to see?], or if you feel daring, a nice left nipple piercing wouldn't go astray, to match your nose ring (well, the one that's going to be revamped.)
- Take me dancing again, because we are such a good couple, find a way to balance food, work, sleep and family.