Tuesday, March 17, 2009

25 in 25

As I near the end of my 25th year, I feel compelled to reflect on all the things I've accomplished in a quarter of a century, as well as all the things I would like to accomplish by the time I reach the half-century mark.

So, without further ado, here is my list of 25 things I'd like to "accomplish" within the next 25 years (in no particular order):

1. Create an investment portfolio/retirement savings plan
2. Watch a Stanley Cup Play-Off game live
3. Watch a hockey game in the Czech Republic and/or Sweden
4. Visit every province in Canada (but not necessarily all the territories!)
5. Attend the wedding of one of my female friends born in 1983 (hint hint!)
6. Read the Bible all the way through
7. Purchase a condo/apartment of my own
8. Travel around Japan using a JR Railpass
9. Take courses on Shakespeare and Canadian History
10. Watch Shakespeare performed at the Globe
11. Watch a play at the Stratford Festival
12. Visit Boston, NYC, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand
13. Spend quality time with God every day
14. Own a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer!
15. Watch all three LOTR Extended Edition movies back-to-back in a 10-hour marathon!
16. See a film screening at the Toronto International Film Festival
17. Watch Les Miserable and Cirque du Soleil performances
18. Send my parents on a cruise/trip somewhere (probably as an anniversary present)
19. Pay for our house to be professionally cleaned (or for an air duct cleaning at the very least!)
20. Do a historical tour (WWI or WWII) of Europe
21. Dedicate around 5% of my income to supporting charitable organizations/works (Is 5% an overly low/high amount? I don't know enough about financial management yet to judge...)
22. Have a career I enjoy and find fulfilling
23. Go on an English-teaching mission trip
24. Visit Castle Loma and the Canadian Museum of Civilization
25. Go on a Canadian or American road trip with friends

And here are some of the things I've "accomplished" up to now:

- got baptized

- graduated from high school

- studied Japanese

- went on a missions trip

- saw the Avs play in Denver
- saw the Avs play the Leafs live
- watched Team Canada play live (World Cup of Hockey!)
- took a flight by myself (to BC to visit Steph!)

- became a WAY counselor
- graduated from university

- got a teaching degree
- met Tomas Kaberle

- traveled Europe
- went to Japan
- paid my own living expenses--housing, grocery, utility, etc. (I was going to say "lived independently" but I know I still rely on my parents a lot to help me out financially, so I'm not quite there yet...)
- bought a car less than 10 years old (both of the cars I've bought in Japan have been 9 years old at the time of purchase!)

- inspired a student
- visited the Ghibli Museum in Japan
- furnished my own apartment
- bought a front-loading washer-dryer
- ate alone in a non-fast food restaurant
- watched a movie alone in theatres
- cooked a meal for friends (i.e. without resorting to canned or store-bought dishes!)
- took (Japanese) dance lessons
- wore a kimono
- went to Hong Kong
- bowled 100

As you can see, a lot of stuff has happened since I came to Japan. I think the experience of moving to a foreign country has really taught me the importance of appreciating and making the most of the time and opportunities I've been granted.

Even though it was a decision made in desperation and at the last minute, applying to JET was probably one of the best decisions I've made in my life.