I made up a list of 20 challenges I want to accomplish in a year.  I hope to get all of these under my belt by January 1, 2016. I know I shouldn’t do this to myself (I’ll hate myself as soon as I publish this), but I think this is a great way to help me (and my sometimes willing wife) strive to get something more out in life.  None of these items involves extreme bravery, sacrifice (it’s only money and time), or fortitude (well, maybe a little), but everything on this list is something I haven’t done before or at least not done for a long time. Many of these challenges make me a feel a bit uneasy because they will take me out of my comfort zone. I hope doing them will be exhilarating, fun, and worthwhile. I also hope my list will spur an interest in some readers to set their own goals for the year and Just go for it.

Here we go:


  1. Read Walden by Henry David Thoreau.This may seem like I gave myself a “gimmie” for my first challenge, but I have tried a dozen time to read this bible for the environmentalist and never got though more than a couple of chapters.  I was in the environmental field for my entire career and it has always been an embarrassment that I had never read this book from start to finish.  (OK, maybe this is a puny one, but remember “My Blog, My Rules.”)
  2. Go to a professional game for each of the different Spokane teams.This means I attend one game each for the minor league teams: Spokane Shock (Arena Football), Spokane Indians (Baseball), and the Spokane Chiefs (Hockey).
  3. Get a massage. I’m leery of letting a stranger work me over, but oh! my aching bones (and muscles). I’ve been told to make sure I get the “deep” massage.
  4. Participate in a poetry slam. Read my work to people in a critical audience a third my age—terrifying (not my poetry [at least to me], but the 20 year olds).
  5. Go to a casino and make bets, bluff, and win money (yea).
  6. Go to an Imax movie.  Never been.  Need to do it.
  7. Get a letter to the editor published.I’ve certainly got a slew of opinions, but never once have I taken the time to write down what I feel and submit it to a newspaper.Editorial
  8. Take a community college course. Probably something involving writing—I’m sure my readers would appreciate that (can I finish a sentence like that?).
  9. Get dinner in the best restaurant in town. Hardest part is deciding what is the “best” restaurant.
  10. Attend a murder trial. Unfortunately, lots of chances to do this in Spokane.
  11. Try marijuana. I haven’t made up my mind if making marijuana legal in Washington is a good thing or a bad thing. Having never used “reefer” before, trying it may be the only way for me to come to a conclusion
  12. Go to a wine/food tasting. Lots of these events in this area because we have both wine and food.
  13. Get in touch with someone I haven’t contacted in at least one year. Who could this lucky person be (someone who owes me money?)?
  14. Eat something I have never eaten.   So far, suggestions have been caviar (all that money for fish eggs?), oysters (always looked too slimy for me), and foie gras (who would want a duck’s liver?).
  15. Attend a live music event. Music is big in Spokane, the kind of music I like isn’t (Is Bob Dylan still alive?).
  16. Go to a Film Festival. I know there is a good one here in Spokane. All I need to know is that there are plenty of bathroom breaks.
  17. Take a cooking class. Lots of different classes available to learn to cook a specific dish.
  18. Stay in the fanciest hotel in the area. Nice towels, nice bed, nice view.
  19. Treat myself to a premium cigar and expensive bourbon. This is what makes rich people feel rich.
  20. Get New Knees. Have been trying to get this done for two years (long story). Hopefully, I will get both knees done in 2015. Granted, I don’t see many of you putting this one on your list, but you never know.

I did a quick estimate of the cost of doing this (doubled the money when I think my wife will accompany me [she really likes her cigars and bourbon]) and came up with exactly $2,000 (if you count the knees, it’s probably more like $102,000). I’ll drop our long-term care insurance and that will cover it (just kidding).

I guess this isn’t a real bucket list because:

  1. a) This is for only covers a period of one year, not the rest of my life (which is hopefully more than one year).
  2. b) These are not stellar goals like visit the Great Wall of China or get a part in a Hollywood movie. These are just ordinary things you can do in ordinary Spokane on any ordinary day (well maybe not completely ordinary).

Besides, real bucket lists sound like way too much work to me. I hope to challenge myself, not tire myself out. We’ll keep tally as I go along. I’d love to know what others have on their lists.

20 Challenges for 2015

2 thoughts on “20 Challenges for 2015

  • January 2, 2015 at 10:33

    My goal is to get my inlaws to take us out on their boat a couple times this summer.

  • January 2, 2015 at 10:33

    I think they are really great goals, and fun ones too, except the knee replacements. Ouch.


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