Tuesday, May 19, 2009

And the list grows . . .

Since starting my blog, people have been sending me suggestions left and right. I love it - thank you all. Check out the growing list!

- Paddle across Regina in a canoe
- Serve lunch at Soul's Harbour Mission
- Take public transportation (or walk or bike) for 2 weeks in Regina
- Go back country camping by myself
- Sleep under the stars
- Try flying trapeeze
- Fly in a hot air balloon
- Donate more than $500 to something
- Go to Antarctica
- Go kite surfing
- Learn to sail
- Visit the Olympics

I LOVE all these ideas. Some of them might be more doable than others and I might need some help on some of these. Where can I do trapeeze? How do I keep the bugs off me when I sleep under the stars? Are there tickets left to the Olympics? Who's willing to sponsor my expedition to Antarctica?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Adventure #2: The David Letterman Show!

Well, I have another thing checked off my list! Adventure #2 took my husband and I to the Late Show with David Letterman! I was VERY excited. I had never been to the taping of a television show!

So I think a big part of doing 30 new things in my 30th year is ensuring that I stay young at heart (not that 30 isn't young!). While going to the Letterman show was exciting and I felt pretty hip as we were getting tickets for Letterman, in the end, it actually didn't make me feel young at all. In fact, I think it made me realize how old I actually am! Let me explain.

I am a high school teacher. The day before spring break, I was asking my grade 10 students what they were doing for the break. Although no one asked me what I was doing, I had to announce my plans for the holdiays. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Guess what I'm doing for the holidays?! I have FREE TICKETS to the Late Show with David Letterman! Can you believe it!

No response. My students sat like lumps.

Me: Can you believe it? Isn't that exciting?

No response. Finally, one student said something.

Student 1: What's David Letterman?

Me: What's David Letterman?! Oh my God! You don't know what David Letterman is?! Can someone please tell Charlie what David Letterman is?


Me: None of you know who David Letterman is?

Silence. So I explain. Then they ask what sort of guests Letterman has.

Me: Oh! They have all sort of super famous celebrities! Like, Julia Roberts and Bono were both on this week! Isn't that cool!

Student 2: Who's Julia Roberts?

Student 3: What's a Bono?

I couldn't believe it! Needless to say, I was starting to feel a bit old at this point. But I dismissed their comments and figured that I must have the lamest 15 year olds in the world in my class if they didn't know who Julia Roberts and Bono are.

So . . . today, we were standing in line for our Letterman tickets, and I overheard someone say that Zac Efron was the guest on today's show. I turned to my husband and asked, "Who is Zac Efron?" He didn't know either, so we proceeded to text several friends and family members. No one seemed to know. I know . . . for those of you know that Zac Efron in "High School Musical" and the new movie "17 Again," you must think that my husband and I are really the lame ones!

So the Late Show was pretty cool and now I can say that I've been the taping of a TV show (although I think tickets to Ellen or Oprah would have faaaaar surpassed the Letterman experience!) In the end the whole experience didn't leave me feeling young and hip so much as lame and out-of-touch. Luckily, I'm OK with that.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My 30th Birthday. . . and Adventure #1

It's here. April 11 - my 30th birthday! While many yearn to stay in their fun-loving 20s, all accounts from my older and wiser friends indicate that their 30s have been the best years of their lives. Frankly, I think people want to hang onto their 20s because they think that it was the best time they've ever had in life (I'm sorry for all you poor souls that yearn for your 20s again, but in my mind, you might as well face the truth). For me, I think the best is yet to come.

Don't get me wrong, my twenties were great! I lived in Mexico and Kuwait. I fell in love and got married. I climbed Kilimanjaro, went on safari in Tanzania, visited the pyramids in Egypt, learned to rock climb, and visited Lebanon only a month before the war. I did move back to Saskatchewan in my 20s, but I still didn't let the fun stop. I ran a 1/2 marathon and while the training was often not fun, I can now say that I've done that. It was a pretty full decade. I had a blast and had many unique experiences. I must say that I am very fortunate to have had all these opportunities.

To tell you the truth, when I woke up this morning, the first thing that crossed my mind was not how great my 30s was going to be. I mean, in comparison to the things I did in my 20s, I'm currently leading a pretty ordinary life. I own a house with my husband in a city in Saskatchewan and work as a teacher. My days generally involve getting up, going to work and teaching all day, coming home, going to the gym, watching my favorite TV shows - Grey's Anatomy, Survivor, and Desperate Housewives. On weekends, we do errands, get together with friends, and eat out at our favorite restaurants. From this description, my life seems pretty ordinary - definitely not exciting nor glamorous.

So, this leads me to the purpose of this blog and where I got the idea. This morning I had plans with my friend, Sejal, to go for coffee. At 9 o'clock, she cruised into our driveway on her motorbike. Stepping in the door, Sejal lifted her helmet and said, "Ashley, I hope you don't mind, but I brought my bike over. I thought we could ride over to the coffee house."

The words weren't even out of her mouth and I was already shutting her down. "No! No way. Sorry. You can leave your bike here and I'll drive. I'm not riding a motorbike. I hate motorbikes. Ryan had one when we lived in Kuwait, and I hardly even looked at it, let alone ride it. I'm not riding on your motorbike."

I think she was a bit taken aback by my frankness, but she was not going to let me off the hook that easily. "Come on, Ashley," Sejal said, "it's the first day it's warm enough to ride. Let's go."

I refused.

But then my husband, Ryan, stepped in. He knows how to push my buttons. He said, "You know, Ashley, this is your 30th birthday. Maybe you should start it out with a bang. I think you should do it. You've never ridden a motorbike before."

It was like a switch flipped in my brain. I love doing things I've never done before. Well, to be honest, it's really more about telling the story afterwards. Telling the story of how I had started my 30s by riding a motorbike was appealing. I had to do it. "OK," I said, "but don't you begin to think that riding a motorbike is going to become a habit or something. I'm just doing it to say I did it."

So, minutes later, I had a helmet on my head, was straddling the bike, and was holding on to Sejal for dear life, scared that I would fall off the back! As we were getting ready to leave, Sejal asked me, "By the way, Ashley, what's your goal for your 30th year?"

"My goal? I don't know. I've never really thought about it. I'd love to have the goal to visit a country I've never been to, but I'm not sure how realistic that is. Maybe I should think about this."

The next thing I knew, we were off. We decided to go on a cruise around the city before we headed for coffee. As my apprehensions faded, the ride gave me time to think. A goal? What should be my goal for my 30th year. Then it came to me. I should attempt things that I have never done before. And I can already cross one thing off my list - riding a motorbike! That was it! It was decided.

But now I had to think of how many new things I would do in my 30th year. I thought 10 would be a good round number. I tried to think of what some of these things might be. I created a quick list in my mind . . . going to a movie by myself . . . flying a kite . . . taking up a new sport . . . taking a vacation by myself . . . wearing a bikini. Some of these things just seemed too easy. It wouldn't take me long to accumulate ten new things. And then it came to me. Thirty for thirty! I would do thirty new things in my thirtieth year!

Now, before I close, I must say that narrating my adventures of my 30th year online was not my idea. Many of my friends have recently started blogs: a mommy blog, a lifestyle blog, a blog about personal passions, and a blog about life in Saskatchewan. I guess blogging is the thing to do! So, not only do I have to give a shout-out to Sejal for sparking this idea in me, but I also need to shout-out to Risa for suggesting a blog and Brenda for the creative name she suggested! Thanks, gals!

And so the adventures begin . . .