The message began by pointing out how most of our lives have become somewhat humdrum, focused on the day to day: the kids, the jobs, the getting through.
"Not that our lives aren't wonderful, and the envy of roughly 99.99% of the world's population. They are. But how many more years do we have left to do something to make our days extraordinary?" it asked. "I'm not talking about some insane midlife crisis stunt (though, more power to you if that's what you need). But I'm also not talking about your typical New Year's resolution ... What I'm looking for is a pledge to do something extraordinary next year - literally, out of the ordinary - but achievable. Somewhere between losing that extra five pounds, and winning a Best Director Oscar."
Given how much I've been soul-searching of late in the wake of Emilie Lemmons' death, this couldn't have come at a better time. I first thought about vowing to stop feeling obligated to sample the cake at every children's birthday party I attend, but I suspected the idea was to aim a little higher.
So at the risk of jinxing myself (there's a $50 bottle of something in it for the person whose aspiration is voted the coolest, after they accomplish it), I submitted the following three Quixote-like stabs at achieving extraordinariness (a word I just coined on the spot and am rather liking):
- To play the cello in public again
- To have a byline in the New York Times (I have to keep up with my brother Matt, you know. Who's recently been gaining ground on my brother Daniel.)
- To build a loyal following for this blog that actually includes people I don't already know.
Update: The challenge has already been won, in my mind. She wasn't actually one of those competing, but it would be hard to find something more extraordinary, or inspirational, than what Leslie Nordin is doing, wouldn't it? Rock on, Leslie!