Wednesday, September 22, 2010

39 Things

On my birthday, I alluded to a "special project" that I was working on in honor of my 39th year. I mentioned that the project required some thought and that, with everything else going on, I wasn't quite ready to share the details. Well, since I have been cursed (blessed?) with insomnia this week, I have actually had time to work on this mystery project. So . . .

Some Background

Rachel, our fearless leader at the Ely Public Library, has put together a list of 101 things that she wants to do within 1001 days. She got the idea from her nephew and then came up with an inspiring list of goals intended to broaden her horizons over the next couple of years. I just thought the whole thing was fantastic, and I've been religiously following her blog of the project here.

But, of course, I'm not going to be content just following Rachel's progress. No, I've gone ahead and put together a list of my own.

My Version

My project differs from Rachel's in a couple of ways. The biggest difference is that instead of 101 items to be accomplished in 1001 days, my list has 39 things (I'm 39, get it?) that I'd to focus on before I turn 40.

The other difference between Rachel's project and mine is a little harder to describe, but it has to do with how I chose items for my list. I am not necessarily trying to broaden any horizons with my list. In fact, I am sure many people would find my list downright mundane. But that's okay - the last several years of my life have been pretty exciting, and this feels like a good time to focus on being at home, being a mom, and just being present. For me, this project is about being Myself and doing things that make me happy.

My version is inspired in part by Gretchen Rubin's book "The Happiness Project", which I highly recommend to everyone, everywhere. (Many thanks to my good friend, Jo, for suggesting this book to me.)

And yes, Mary Oliver's question "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" was also on my mind as I put together the list.

My list does not include everything I'm going to do in the next year, just some of the things I'm choosing to prioritize. I have elected not to include any work-related goals on this list - that seems like it might be better off as a separate project. I have also not included very much about reading on the list because, if I had, the list would probably go on forever. Plus, I know I'll be squeezing in as much reading as possible anyhow.

So now, without further ado . . .

39 Things (In No Particular Order):

1. Research recipes for natural, homemade cleaners and start using them.
2. Learn to crochet.
3. Attempt fair isle knitting.
4. Learn to can/preserve food. I'm not going to let the blueberry jam incident of 2009 stop me.
5. Establish a vegetable garden.
6. Go cross-country skiing with Jack.
7. Make a full-size quilt.
8. Pursue selling skrapyram bags at Kess Gallery.
9. Eat more vegetables! "Action steps" (I'm winking at you, Rachel) include packing veggies in my lunch every day and perfecting at least 4 new vegetarian recipes. Some ideas I want to try include spinach and/or squash ravioli as well as a new-to-me quiche recipe and my own hummus.
10. Bake cookies at least once a week. Perfect at least 2 new recipes for my repertoire.
11. Study astronomy with Jack.
12. Try spinning yarn.
13. Attempt needlepoint again. (I completed a sampler a few years ago, but that was from a kit intended for kids. I'm ready for the next level.)
14. Experiment with embroidery.
15. Read Rob Brezsny's book "Pronoia".
16. Take a family BWCA trip.
17. Have a "home spa" hour once a week. Bathroom door or no - just do it.
18. Bake bread! Make time for this at least once a week. Try new recipes, including bagels, crackers, cardamom bread.
19. Plan my family's meals each week.
20. Get back to spending time at the yarn shop. Shoot for one hour each week.
21. Make breakfast on Sundays.
22. Make one non-cookie desert each month.
23. Visit one of the local alpaca farms. Knit something with their yarn, if possible.
24. Weave a basket. (Again, I've done this once before but I am ready to move up a level.)
25. Learn to make my own yogurt.
26. Create the new style of skrapyram bag I have in mind for Sisu Designs.
27. Take Jack to the Space Theater in Hibbing.
28. Spend time with my "idea book" each week.
29. Play the flute in public at least once. This is going to require some prep work . . .
30. Write at least 5 things in my gratitude journal each day.
31. Visit the Great Lakes Aquarium with Jack.
32. Complete my free-lance project for the Dorothy Molter Museum.
33. Keep homemade granola and homemade GORP in stock.
34. Get a goldfish. Name her Dorothy.
35. Keep walking! Go every day. Make sure that the walk lasts at least an hour 4 times a week. Get off of the pavement at least once a week - persuade Scott to take a break from the house project and join me for that one.
36. Make homemade dog biscuits.
37. Take Jack to the Science Museum of Minnesota.
38. Experiment with applique. Some ideas include "the bird" and "the cone flower".


39. Put together a list of 40 Things!


Anonymous said...

Whoopee! You're on your way! You go, this feels fierce!

SmartCookie said...

What a great twist on the day zero idea! I hope that you have as much fun as I am with mine, and I think it's great that you have so many home and hearth centered things on your list given that your new house is such a central item in your (and Scott's and Jack's) life right now.

More action plans (groan!) ... at least these aren't in a grid with my name attached to the responsibility column!

StefandLin said...

Love it!!! I especially love the at home, being present, celebrating your life focus.
Choose to be happy.
Love you.

Melissa said...

Love the list Mary!
~Melissa Placzek

Anonymous said...

great ideas - good luck! It will be fun to see your progress!