My weird, and mostly accidental, winding path toward music started with a birthday challenge almost 5 years ago. That simple, self-imposed challenge that included taking voice lessons, has changed my world forever, brought beautiful people into my life, and sparked a deep passion for songwriting. Time disappears when I write and sing and the act of creating something where once there was nothing, always fills me with wonder and an overpowering feeling of gratitude. It’s as if I’ve just had a miracle come through me. Those moments connect me to everything, to all that is. I love that place. Music was the best birthday gift I have ever given to myself.

Sarah Cade with Guitar

So, as I approach 55, I decided to treat myself to another birthday challenge! By the end of August 2021, I hope to look back and see a year full of wonderfully scary, beautiful, inspiring, hard, joy-flinging, eye-opening, door-opening, heart-expanding, lesson-learning, life-enhancing experiences!

I’m coming for you 55!!

Here’s the ever-changing and updating list:

  1. Write 55 Songs (they don’t all have to have music or be “keepers”)
    1. Redhead Blue – recording now
    2. Untame My Heart (Karen Novy – cowriter) – recording now
    3. When It’s Time (Karen Novy – cowriter)
    4. Misogyny, Hypocrisy
    5. The Last time
    6. I Don’t Mind
    7. Cowboy On Spring Street
    8. I Hear Tears
    9. Sure Enough
    10. His Love
    11. No Choice
    12. Help Me Stay Gone
    13. Impossible Choices
    14. The Song of Forgiveness
    15. Sweet Dreams My Baby – recording now
    16. Crying, Crying, Crying
    17. No More
  2. Release 5 Singles – Currently working on recording 4 songs with my producer Eddy Hobizal at Treehouse Studios in Austin.
  1. Visit 5 New State Parks
    1. Fort Cobb State Park in Fort Cobb, OK
  2. Visit 5 National Parks
    1. Hot Springs National Park
  3. Visit 5 States
    1. Oklahoma
    2. Arkansas
  4. Read 5 Books (real hold in your hands books)
    1. Daisy Jones and the Six (***) Interesting format. I had to look it up to be sure it was fiction!
  5. Read/Listen to 15 Audio Books
    1. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson (*****)
    2. Luster by Raven Leilani (***)
    3. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero (****) I want to go drink a beer with this woman.
    4. Ink and Sigil by Kevin Hearne (****)
    5. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero (****)
    6. One Minute Out by Mark Greeney
    7. The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett (****)
    8. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (****)
    9. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (*****) He’s written several of my favorite books. They stick with you.
  6. Write 55 Letters (15 so far)
  7. Learn 5 of my songs on Guitar
    1. Redhead Blue
    2. Let’s Just Sing
  8. Learn 5 Songs on the Piano
  9. Play 5 gigs
  10. Sell 5 Paintings
  11. Take Art Welding Classes
  12. Volunteer (at least) 5 times
  13. Try 55 New Things
    1. Velvet Taco Restaurant
    2. Virtual Yosemite Songwriting Retreat (****) loved it!
    3. Virtual Open Mic at Yosemite Songwriting (got through it!)
    4. Virtual Tin Pan South Songwriting Seminar (meh)
    5. Ola Maie Take-Out (meh)
    6. Emapanada Trailer at S 1st and Oltorf (meh)
    7. Coffee Dog in Bastrop (meh)
    8. Mrs Johnson’s Bakery Bastrop (meh)
    9. Camping on the coast in our camper Sargent Beach RV We stayed for 5 days and really enjoyed the laid back, quiet strip of coastline
    10. Glass Blowing: I took a one-on-one, socially distanced, open-air studio, glass blowing session at Lost Pines Art Center. I can see how this art could get expensive and addicting very quickly. I would be happy just blowing spheres. There’s something magical about glass! Here’s the sun catcher I made (with help).

I will update this blog as I go. I hope to add links to the new songs, even if they’re just rough drafts. This part makes me nervous!

Are there any challenges I should add?

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