40 Before 40: 10-6

Let’s call these will be my liberal arts five. If I could only get the tax payers to support the rest of my goals too, I might be able to accomplish them…

  • Grow a beard
  • Of all my goals, this may be the hardest to complete. Not because of money or time or effort, but because of Gary Chapman. Physical touch is one of the five love languages and will essentially cease during the time needed to properly grow a beard.

    And while I’m atypical, I’m not quite THAT atypical.

    I’m thinking the beard growth will be for a minimum of 30 days and will only allow me minor trimming on the neck area. This should get me through the itchy puberty looking stage and will let me know how much of a man I really am.

    I have this feeling it won’t go well. Odds are, if I were able to grow a decent beard, I would have by now. I’m pretty sure I would never have made a proper Old Testament prophet.

  • Get a real shave from a real blade
  • One of the benefits of growing a beard will be shaving it and I’ve always wanted to have real shave. And by real, I don’t be mean using a razor at all, but a true blade. One that has to be sharpened by a 75 year old man with shaky hands before we get started. I want the musk smelling shaving cream applied with a brush and I want it followed with a hot towel.

    Might have to head to Mayberry to stop by Floyd’s place. He always seemed to give the best cuts & shave. Plus, the two combined would only cost $2.25.

  • Run for public office
  • When I first got out of college, I thought I could change the world. Janet was teaching middle school and making a difference and I wanted to as well. We actually teamed up and took her class to a Clemson game to show them what college was about and to plant a small seed that college is a legitimate possibility anyone.

    After a few years, our trip was shut down, mainly due to school politics. I thought maybe I could change education system and contemplated running for school board. But reality set in. I was a 24-25 year old with no kids in the system and no idea how politics really work.

    Now I’m 33 with one kid in and another about to enroll. And I still have no idea how politics work. And I don’t care to know. But one thought still remains – what really happens on the public side? How are decisions made, and implemented? What information truly is available? Would I respond differently if I had different information available to me?

    All these questions remain and I’m curious to see how I’d handle things.

    Now – I just need to find a position that no one wants and put my name in the hat.

    What would I do if I won?

  • Read and discuss a literary classic
  • They say knowledge is power. And I like knowledge. And I like power. Seems to be a match made in heaven.

    Somewhere through high school and college, I realized how to “do” class. Class has a tangible objective – “A” and my idea was to do what was necessary to earn that “A”. No more. No less.

    And I did pretty well. I stumbled a bit on the way, but I graduated – with greater than a 3.0.

    But one thing I lost was the joy of the ride, especially in non-major classes, like English. I was even happy to walk with a “B” just so long as I was done.

    But I feel like I missed something. I either never read or never enjoyed the required reading – like the classics. I’m not up to speed on Twain or Hemmingway or Dickens or Shakespeare.

    And I would like to be. I’d like to know what it is about Shakespeare that has inspired hundreds of thousands to write, create, and love. I’d like to know what troubled Hemmingway and Wilde and see how that transpired in their works. I’d like to see life through Dickens or culture through Fitzgerald.

    And I’d like to be able to bounce my ideas of someone else – to truth them and debate them. There’s a reason their writings have lasted, and will last, for as long as they have. And I’d like to know what it is.

  • Act in a play
  • I have a bit of ham in me. From both my love of barbecue to my being an only child. I have this desire to put people at ease – and hopefully laugh while doing it.

    My best bet is a comedy put on by the local theater company. They could probably find a part for me – somewhere. And I think it would be grand.

    In my past, I have performed in two or three talent shows (all in elementary school), mock trial (high school), and a few skits (college and soon thereafter). But that’s it. I’ve never stood in front of a paying audience or seen my name in a playbill. I’ve never changed outfits or tried to memorize more than a line or two. But one day – maybe.

    I’ll need time, but that seems to be a common need. And we’ll see how important this is by the time I give it.

With these five, it leaves only five to go. It won’t be long until I’m required to no longer write, but act.

I’m nearly ready.

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