Monday, October 15, 2012

Allie Pleiter on Benchmark Birthdays

Allie Pleiter here, discussing what can be a very dicey topic for some:  benchmark birthdays. 

November 5 will mark my 50th birthday.  That makes it my “golden birthday” to the tenth power, right?  I’m thinking it has to be a good day.  Maybe even a spectacular day.  I certainly plan to celebrate.

Some benchmark birthdays are hard to swallow.  My 30th weighed a bit heavy on my shoulders.  Other birthdays sneak up on you when they’re not benchmarks.  I remember taking my 26th particularly hard, because it felt like I was sliding toward 30 and no longer “young.”  It seems to hit everyone in unpredictably different ways.

I’m surprisingly comfortable with turning 50.  Except for the physical ravages of age--which seem to show up all at once right around this time--I’m comfortable with being a woman of five decades.  I’ve been trying to figure out why, and this is the best I’ve come up with so far:  I’ve reached many of the goals I set for myself, and I have lots more on the burners.  When I make my “bucket list”--something I do every five years--I get excited rather than panicked.  I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of gal, so optimism is my friend here. I plan to stick around a long, long time and have lots of fun.

Here are a few of the things on my “Bucket List”:

  • Visit Hawaii
  • Meet David Tennant (of Dr. Who fame..that's his famous TARDIS on the right)
  • Ride the Orient Express
  • Go on a hot air balloon ride
  • Keynote a major conference
  • Learn to speak French and eat French macaroons while gazing at the Eifel tower
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Meet Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart (both from Comedy Central)
  • Knit an Aran Sweater for each of my children (and maybe my grandchildren)
  • Have one of my books optioned for movies or TV 

What’s on yours? 


  1. Wow I never can find seem to find my bucket list when I need to. I really should print it out when I make my next one and put it on my fridge. Leading up to my 30th seemed like a big deal and yet life seemed to have less pressure after it.

  2. intersting you mentioned your 30th was hard. It was the worst birthday I have had. it was a Saturday and no mail so no cards. (and none the day before) besides mum nothing no calls or visitors until 5pm when a neighbour came. then I settled to watch the ice skating in the olympics and someone came gave me a gift and spent the next hour or so talking to mum ignoring me so I missed the skating. It was a really bad day. I got cards on the monday but the day was so bad I decided then I would plan things from now on.
    Im with you with Dr Who.

    My bucket list includes
    Seeing fresh snow fall (not the old snow thats like ice)
    See Gettysburg (which should happen next year)
    See a international Field hockey game.
    Go to New Zealand
    get paid to help promote Christian books online.

  3. I actually like yours except I feel no pull to learn French. I still have nightmares over learning to speak Spanish. As for television personalities. I'd like to meet Colin Firth.

  4. Scraproni, I do think its powerful to put a list like this somewhere where you can see it often. Jenny, that does sound like a disappointing birthday--and that's just why I do make sme of my own plans when I know I need the day to be recognized. I hope you do get a glimpse at that fresh snow--we sure see a lot of it in Chicago! Pamela, I'm not especially good at languages, either, but I love the sound of French. I'll probably be terrible at it, but I'm willing to try.

  5. Good luck with those, Allie! You are more ambitious than I!

  6. Early congratulations on your 50th, Allie! I truly enjoyed number 50. It was easier than 40, for some reason, and my friends threw a surprise party that totally caught me by surprise. Really, I don't see these things coming.

    Your bucket list makes me want to start one. They all sound like such fun!

    Jenny, it's smart to plan your own fun on birthdays. So sorry your 30th was so miserable. Great bucket list!

  7. Happy Birthday, Allie!

    My bucket list includes having a little, teeny tiny part in a movie or TV production. I mean as one of the extras.

    Lots of films are done in my "neck of the GA woods" so it's not really a "pie in the sky" wish. Although I'll probably never take the time away from my writing to audition. :)

  8. Love your list, Allie. I found a pattern on Ravelry for a Tardis afghan. I'm crocheting it for my son for Christmas.

    My bucket list includes having dinner with Mark Harmon, knitting with Debbie Macomber, celebrating loved ones' salvation, writing full-time, traveling to Italy...those are off the top of my head.

  9. Happy Birthday, Allie. You don't look it!

    My bucket list includes going to Ireland. I am privileged to say I have already crossed a number of things off my list.

    We will see what happens this year!

    Peace, Julie

  10. It's such fun to read other's dreams, isn't it? I've crossed several off this year, but only included the ones "yet to go." Christine, definitely start a list--there's power in putting such things down on paper! Lisa, I've had the chance to knit with Debbie, and she's just delightful (as you can imagine). Julie, thanks for the complement...I often hear I don't look it, but oh, some days I FEEL it :)

  11. You're catching up with me, Alllie! I turned 50 this year as well. :)

  12. 50 is really quite a wonderful birthday. I remember when mine hit that I was actually looking forward to it. I enjoy Dr. Who too, although I like some of the older doctors from previous years. My bucket list has been whittled down a bit but it includes:
    Actually publish a book traditionally
    Travel more--Would like to see more of those 50 states. I have seen over half.
    Would love to visit England.
    Meet a few more of my favorite writers--Would love to meet Debbie Macomber.


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