On July 20 I celebrated a birthday, and I've already come to terms with some things. 1. Bill Clinton with balloons is my new favorite everything. 2. I need to carve out an Ashiatsu budget each month. Annnd, 3. : at the ripe age of 32, I have discovered that I am extremely good at getting things done when I list them.
Like most people, I have about ten million thoughts that pop in my brain throughout the day -- writing prompts, restaurants I want to try, goals I'd like to achieve, books I'd like to read... But, most often, I forget these things. Poof! Just like that. They're in. They're out. They're gone.
Inevitably, Logan and I will be driving round in circles repeating, What do you want to eat? I don't care, what do you have in mind? I dunno, are you in the mood for anything in particular? Or, I'll find myself perusing the 'New & Notable' section of books at the library for something to read, knowing darn well that there are plenty of specific titles I've made a mental note of.
Listing things, for me, is a way to free my brain of all it's commotion and allow for more productive thoughts to enter. And there's just something so obnoxiously satisfying about striking through a task that has been completed. (One of the best feeling evaaaaaaarrr!)
So with my birthday two weeks down, I decided that I didn't want another year to go by where I am left scratching my head saying, "I wish I had made time for that." Seeing so many lists around the internet-- 30 Things Every Girl Needs to do Before She's 30, 50 Acts of Kindness Before I Turn 50, etc.– I decided that I was going to create one too.
Many of the things on my list are things I have started-- and stopped-- or are things I just really need to buckle down and commit to. Other things are just for fun, or practical. (IE: Learning how to change a tire, for real). Throughout the year I hope to update the blog with my progress.
1. Learn how to properly change a tire (FINALLY!)
2. Commit to Date Night once a month
3. Find an activity that I love that provides good exercise
5. Pay off credit card debt
6. Visit False Cape State Park
7. Picnic each season
8. Finally finish Think and Grow Rich
9. Attend a floral (or plant!) workshop
10. Enjoy a "Lady Date" once a month
11. Commit to a blogging schedule! (My goal is to post at least 4x a month)
12. Volunteer at least once
13. Commit to "Meatless Mondays" for one year
My first Meatless Monday I made THIS, and it was beyond yummy!
14. Visit two new countries
15. Commit to sleeping well, and waking up early!*
(* = Unless I'm sleeping in due to celebratory reasons!)
16. Enroll in a dance class
17. Engage in 32 random acts of kindness
I've already completed two since making the list by buying three Slurpee's for the people behind me in line at 7-11 last weekend, and by making a phone call to personally wish them a Happy Birthday instead of sending a text. While the second one may not seem like a big deal, it was for me, as this particular person and I have not always had the easiest-going relationship.
18. Be more aware of negative thoughts & actions, and work on maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) when I can
19. Work on having radical empathy for myself
20. Become a "Fearless Photographer"
21. Take a family cooking class at New Earth Farm
22. Do at least one thing that terrifies me
23. Visit Sliding Rocks
24. Find my flow
25. Go to a Nationals game
26. Make a new friend
27. Visit Eliza on her farm
28. Learn all that I can about styling & food photography... and practice, practice, practice!
29. Do a ropes course with the boys
30. Practice gratitude daily
31. Take more photos of the boys
I have to admit, typing that list here, for anyone to see, is a little nerve-wrecking. While these things don't seem like much, the idea of "putting it all out there" is what freaks me out a little bit. I suppose that in & of itself is a challenge for me this year: to put more of myself out into the world, into this brand of mine, and not to be so scared of the "what-ifs".
For many years, I blogged consistently, well before "blog" was a buzz word. Over the past few years, I've become quite private, and am remiss to share much of anything about my personal life online, despite the internet's warm embrace of all things personal. I constantly struggle between wanting to blog, expelling all these thoughts of mine into the world, and becoming a serious recluse in all areas.
There is just one item on the list I am not going to reveal just yet. It's a big one, and I need to ease into sharing more about it publicly. Keep checking back, and, as I get more comfortable with it, I will start sharing more.
All that being said, I haven't had any breakdowns about being another year older. In fact, I'm truly grateful to be here, in this life, experiencing everything that's thrown my way. I'm looking forward to what's going to happen over the next 50 weeks. I'm looking at it as though it will be the best 50 weeks of my life thus far.