Many people are familiar with the “bucket list” made popular by the movie of the same name. It’s a list of things someone wants to do before they die… or kick the bucket. I haven’t gotten around to creating a bucket list yet, but I do have a “ball drop list.”

What’s a ball drop list? It’s a list of things I want to do before the ball drops on a particular year. (Yeah, I made that up, but play along, please?) In the US, a lot of people watch the ball in Time Square drop at midnight on December 31. For those of us that are not in the Eastern time zone, it’s double fun because we get to yell, cheer and kiss our lover and then sit around for another hour or two to do it again when the local TV station plays it again at midnight local time. These are not resolutions, they are activities or accomplishments. There may be some overlap with resolutions, but think of this list more as new year resolutions on Prozac.

My goal is to include a variety of things from simple and easy to highly unlikely. Throughout the year I will check them off and provides status updates to see how it goes. Here is my list for 2010 in random order.

Before the ball drops on 2010 I want to:

Run in a 5k race – I am trying to run more, but I have a long way to go. Completing a 5k would be a major milestone for me on my journey to becoming a runner.

Participate in a blog carnival – I love to write, but for some reason I am shy when it comes to participating in social writing events. I’ve seen these blog carnivals mentioned in various places where writers all choose one thing to write about and post at the same time. That just sounds like a crazy fun ride, doesn’t it? This year you can count me in.

Paint a painting – I love to paint with watercolors. I’m not very good at it, but it relaxes me a lot. I’m setting a low goal here, but if I paint one painting this year I will match my total for the past 5 years.

Attend a NY Giants game with my sons – I have raised my sons to appreciate the brutal sport of American football. My oldest son, Hunter, is a huge Giants fan and loves to watch Eli Manning play. My second son and I are both cowboys fans, so that creates some a conflict, but it’s all fun. I would love to take Hunter to a Giants game. Ideally, I would love to take him to see the Cowboys beat the Giants, but I’ll settle for any Giants game.

Go Scuba Diving – Scuba diving is my favorite hobby that I never have time to do. Recently I carried my dive gear all the way around the world and didn’t even use it. This year I plan to log at least 4 dives. (That would only equate to one trip if I plan it right, but given that it’s been two years since my last dive I’ll settle for that.)

Lose 20 lbs – Don’t get me wrong, I need to lose a lot more than 20 pounds, but my goal this year is not weight loss. My goal this year is to increase my overall fitness. I believe that if I can do that I should lose at least 20 lbs and be able to keep it off. (In the past I’ve lost 50 lbs or more, but gained it back each time.)

Attend a Rangers game with my sons – My second son, Jaden, is more into baseball than football. Since he is a big Texas Rangers fan I would like to take him to see the Rangers play. I think I see a road trip in our future!

Ride a train – For any readers on the east coast this may seem like a strange request. Here in Alabama, though, we don’t take the train to work. Our interaction with trains is limited to being late for work when we have to wait for a long cargo train to pass as we are driving to work. When I worked in New Jersey I enjoyed taking the train various places and my oldest son really enjoyed the subway in New York this past year. I would like for our family to take a simple train trip somewhere (anywhere) and enjoy the experience.

Beat Hunter at a game of Madden 10 – I cannot explain the frustration experienced by a dad when his pre-teen son whips him at a video game. The frustration is compounded when that video game is a sports game. This year I will win a game of Madden 10! Hopefully.

Plan a special date for my ladies – Yes, it’s true. I am a ladies man as I have two wonderful ladies in my life (telling me what to do.) One is my wife and the other is my princess (my eight year old daughter.) I want to plan a special date just for them. This will take some planning because I want it to be something memorable for them.

Take Dance Lessons – I have pestered my wife about taking dance lessons for a few years now. Two years ago while traveling in India I attended a free Salsa introduction. (I’m talking about the dance not the spicy goodness you each with tortilla chips.) It was amazing! This year I plan to take dance lessons of some sort. My only limitation is that it will not be tap dancing or square dancing.

Redesign my personal website – chuckallen.us has been in its current form for several years now. This year I want to give the site a makeover, which begins with writing more often.

Play a round of golf – This is another one of those simple things, but I rarely make time to play golf. It’s another non-ambitious goal, but if I can play just once this year I will consider it an accomplishment.

Create a bucket list – I mentioned I didn’t have one yet. I might as well create one this year.

Get more involved in addressing poverty – I have some specific goals about this one, but I don’t want to post them here. I want to make sure I’m doing this for the right reasons and posting what I want to do just doesn’t seem like a good place to start. Our world already has too many people talking about what they are going to do and not enough people doing something. I want to be one of those doing something. It’s still on my list, though, because it’s on my heart a lot these days.

Launch Bibb Mosaic – For the past several years I have been preparing for a new church plant. The Lord has taken me on quite a journey over the past several years and challenged a lot of what I thought I knew about church. I’m still clueless on how this will work, but I plan for this to be the year it moves from theory/planning to people.

Write, write, write – I have a bunch of stories in my head that I really want to compose in type. Learning to write well is a challenge and takes a lot of practice. This year I want to be intentional about writing and be less sporadic than previous years.

Perform in a community theater play – I am not an experienced actor and boast no particular skills, but I want to be in a play. One day I hope to be in a musical, but for this year I’ll settle for a simple play.

That’s all I have for now. I reserve the right to add more when the urge hits me. I’ll post updates throughout the year regarding the status of my list.
What about you? What’s on your ball-drop list?