I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions, but I’ve definitely been working on my bucket list ever since I graduated college and finally got my first full-time job.  This year, I say skip the stupid minor promises to yourself about eating better or trying to lose 10 pounds, and instead THINK BIG.  Let yourself dream about things you want to enjoy before it’s too late.  Among the many great things to do in life that are not related to work or being a parent, here are some of my favorite PG-rated adventures, for those seeking a little inspiration:

1. Traveling Abroad
2. Horseback riding
3. Skiing
4. Fishing
5. Sailing
6. Playing Golf
7. Scuba Diving
8. Riding a Hot Air Balloon
9. Taking a helicopter tour over the volcanoes in Hawaii
10. Shooting a gun
11. Enjoying the great outdoors: hiking, biking, kayaking or canoeing
12. Flying trapeze
13. Touring NYC
14. Gambling in Vegas
15. Seeing the electrical parade and fireworks at Disney

As you can see, over the last 20 years, I have definitely made a serious effort at enjoying a lot of the things I was not able to do as a child.  Don’t get me wrong, my mom truly did her best as a single parent with little means, and I will always be grateful for her sacrifices, as well as the generosity of those around us that helped me escape the reality I was born into and see that the world is in fact full of beauty.

Sadly, I am now starting to see my GenX peers getting sick, and our parents are growing old and dying.  Life for us is getting increasingly more difficult–especially as we get older and take on more and more responsibilties.  Meanwhile, everywhere you look there are horrible stories of violence, unfathomable greed and severe acts of betrayal–  and as much as I want to try to address all these issues, every now and then, I also think it is critical to find an escape.

What is the point of working hard if you can’t have some fun?  Whether you need to get away from all the madness or the drudgery of a banal existence, develop your own reward system and give yourself something to look forward to– something major, like the kind of thing you will remember the rest of your life– at least once.

GenXers- I love you, but so many of you seem to have forgotten the importance of play.  If I had to pick a NYE resolution, it would be to help you guys bring out that inner child more.  Before we get too old to climb mountains and sail the seven seas, let’s have some fun and teach our kids that the world is full of wonders worth seeing.  To them, seeing is believing– so help them believe.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.