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Life's good...even when it's coming at you like a freight train!

It took some drilling, a couple of good whacks with a sledgehammer, and a few sticks of dynamite, but I think I’ve cracked the safe.  You may recall a post I wrote recently over at The Hack Novelist, where I talked about my struggles to come up with an interesting, intriguing, and cohesive idea for a novel.  I’ll take that silence as an, “of course I remember; it was so powerfully written, I printed it, framed it, and it now hangs over my bed.” as opposed to an “Umm…sure I remember.  That was the one where you wrote a bunch of words and made some jokes right?  Yeah, that was a good one.”  Well, over the past several days, I believe I may have unlocked that idea that’s been hold up in that vault for so long.

It’s a great feeling to take a spark of an idea and work it into a roaring flame.  Whether that flame will sustain itself and grow into the raging inferno I anticipate is yet to be seen, but we’ll get to that.  Right now, I’m just glad to have come up with something original that interests me enough to move ahead with the process.

Speaking of “the process”, it occurred to me that loyal readers such as yourselves may be curious to the status of my 30 Before 30 list.  You may recall a time way back when, when I would post regular weekly updates to the list known as “Follow-Up Fridays“.  I’ll take that silence as…oh never mind!  Anyway, I put an end to the follow ups when I decided that a list of things to cross off a piece of paper was no longer the end-all be-all of this blogging journey.  I shifted my focus from “how can I check off another item?” to “how can I enjoy my life more and tell funny stories about it?” and so far, I’m glad for the shift.

However, the fact is that as of this moment, I am just over two months away from the big 3-0.  They say time flies when you’re having fun.  I say time flies when you’re chasing two little munchkins around the house, taking much-needed vacations, recovering from head-shoulders-knees-and-toes-disease, and destroying, rebuilding, re-destroying, and re-rebuilding your basement.  I’ve never been one to use the excuse “life happened”, but let me tell you something…life has happened big time around my house lately!

With all that life has thrown at the Chaney clan over the past several months, I feel neither ashamed, nor embarrassed to tell you that progress on the list has moved about as quickly as the roadwork on I-95.  Some of you may be disappointed in me.  I know there are some loyal readers out there, at least 3 or 4, that subscribed to this blog because they love the idea of a bucket list.  Well, this never was a bucket list.  I mean I’m not dying just yet…as far as I know.  The list was a motivational tool to help me embrace life rather than cower in the shadow of the impending milestone.

If you look at it that way, I feel I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.  Of course you could also look at it as a complete and utter failure.  To each his own I suppose.

Now for the list-lovers out there, don’t take this as a white flag.  This post is not to serve as my unconditional surrender to the birthday gods.  There are still 2 months to go and I’m not done with my 30 Before 30 just yet.  So with that being said, here is an update (a brief one, but an update none the less) on what is to come as the final countdown gets underway.

#1-3 (Marathon, mile, muscles)Ok, this is disappointing.  I fell into the trap of every other person who makes a resolution in January to get in shape, and by March they’re asleep on the sofa, surrounded by half-eaten Ho-Ho’s.  I said I was going to commit to the gym, get in shape, and set some personal records for myself.  Well, I’ve done none of that.  I can’t go back in time and convince myself to go for that run any more than I can go back and tell 19-year-old me that it’s not cool (gnude) to “trick out” a Saturn coupe.  What I can do though is train like hell for the next month and run that marathon!  I know, I know, it’s not a good idea to run a marathon without the proper training regiment.  Well, the last time I ran the race, I also didn’t train for very long and was still able to beat my previous time.  So I figure this time I’ll either set a new record, or…well, let’s just say I won’t have to worry about turning 30.

#5 (Get Inked)This was one that people were very skeptical about when they first saw the list.  If you know me, you know that my pain threshold rivals that of a 7-year-old girl most of the time.  So I got some interesting comments when “get a tattoo” showed up as #5.  Well, this has yet to happen, but mainly because I haven’t landed on a design idea yet.  I don’t want to get a tattoo just for the sake of crossing it off the list, and then have to explain a random tribal symbol to my grandkids in 30 years.  I’ll keep you posted on this.

#11 (sing it to the world)Another item that drew looks of doubt from many a friend and family member.  Plans for my debut performance have fallen through on several occasions and a make up date has not been scheduled.  I still really want to do this, just have to find the time.  Who knows, maybe I’ll belt out a rendition of the “Phineas and Ferb” theme song while in Disney World later this month!

#13, #14 (read and watch!…it’s the new scratch and sniff!)Haven’t finished the book or the films yet but have at least made a dent in both.  Whether these two items get completed before November is still up in the air, but they are well on their way at least.

#20 (My Eleanor)This was the Moby Dick of list items when I created the 30 Before 30, and remains as elusive today as it was then.  I’ve tried several avenues, all of which resulted in dead ends, but I refuse to give up on this one.  I’m pleading once again to all my readers out there, if you have any connections that could help here, please speak up!

#28 (I’m going to Disney World!)This one is definitely happening.  We leave for the happiest place on earth Saturday, September 24.  A week in Disney with 2 little munchkins will likely require its own vacation when it’s over, but I’m looking forward to it very much.

#29 (Letters to the kids)Halfway done after my letter to the Jakester last month for his 1st birthday.  It was hard getting through that one, I won’t lie.  But I may need a new keyboard after it shorts out from the tears I’ll likely shed when I tackle a letter to Iz.

And that brings us back to the start of this post and #30 on the list.  As the process gets underway, I’ll be sharing my thoughts and feelings with you every step of the way.  So there you have it, the latest and greatest.  Thanks for sticking around and we’ll talk soon!