Sunday, September 25, 2011

Milestones and Life Lists

Every September I reflect on where I am and what I've accomplished. This time of introspection, usually reserved for December and January, is a habit from my back-to-school days. Each new school year was filled with the promise of new. New school supplies and a new outfit started me out on the right foot. New subjects, teachers and classmates to learn and challenge my thinking. But as an adult, the newness and challenges happen far too infrequently.

I stumbled upon the idea of a "30 things to do before I'm 30" list too late. It would have been more like a 30 things in 30 days list. You see, I turn 30 very soon. This milestone birthday has not weighed on me as it has for other friends because I'm approaching it a little bit differently. I'm embracing it as the starting line for a reinvigoration. It's a new decade, full of promise.

To get started, I created a Day Zero list. Maybe you're more familiar with its project name: 101 Things in 1001 Days. This is my challenge for the next 2.74 years. (You'll help hold me accountable as I blog my way through the 101 things.) Without further ado, here is my list organized by theme:

1. Open an etsy store.
2. Professionally print and produce my senior thesis book for my grandparents (that I’ve been wanting to give them for 8 years).
3. Shoot a roll of film on my Holga.
4. Hang my art in the house.
5. Learn how to take better photographs.
6. Create book of my Weddingbee posts.
7. Make Christmas cards.
8. Buyer fewer/make more gifts.
9. Create my “50 States” canvasses.
10. Create wall collage of wedding photos and ephemera.
11. Shoot roll of 3200 film.
12. Restart vacation sketchbook.
13. Take printmaking or screenprinting (again) class.
14. Create family recipe book.
15. Mercury glass something.
16. Buy more art.
17. Resume wine blogging.
18. Use washi tape for a greeting card series.
19. Create displays for shell and sand collections.
20. Re-design both blogs.
21. Guest blog.

House Projects
22. Create studio space for myself.
23. Paint all of the house's interior wood trim white.
24. Paint, drywall ceiling and install new trim in our bedroom. (I’ve lived with the green swatches on the wall long enough!)
25. Go garage/estate sale shopping.
26. Transform a piece of furniture.
27. Epoxy paint basement floor.
28. Paint second bedroom ceiling fan white.
29. Build a living wall for rear yard.
30. Build a simple water fountain for rear yard.
31. Paint closet floor or install hardwood flooring.
32. Devote a weekend to house stuff: re-grouting, touch-up paint and other procrastinated tasks.
33. Paint the front door.
34. Create emergency kit/bail-out bag.
35. Catalog contents of house for insurance purposes.

36. Purge closet of out-of-style or ill-fitting clothes.
37. Re-wire and find shade for stacked ball lamp.
38. Orchids: feed and find large cloche to cover one of them.
39. Learn boat knots.
40. Learn sign language beyond alphabet.
41. Go camping.
42. Go horseback riding. (Bonus if it’s bundled with #41.)
43. Learn to identify 10 constellations.
44. Learn how to better use my dSLR.
45. Refinish my dresser set.
46. Take or teach myself a new choreographed dance.
47. Learn about beer varieties and production.
48. Distinguish between wine varietals in a blind tasting.
49. Take pile of clothes to seamstress/tailor for alterations.
50. Snorkel, without being a spaz.
51. Learn massage techniques.
52. Overnight sailing trip.
53. Go sailing with just Brian.
54. Find a new job.

Culture & Travel
55. Attend a film festival.
56. Read the Harry Potter series.
57. Visit a new country.
58. Visit a World Heritage Site.
59. Resume working at Va La Vineyards.
60. Attend a concert.
61. Return to Finger Lakes for another wine weekend.
62. Visit the tri-state wineries.
63. Visit a new wine region (VA/MD, Long Island, WA/OR)
64. Network toward the goal of a wine or design career.
65. Host a wine tasting event.
66. Get around to reading 10 of the classics I've never read.*
67. Get a Final Jeopardy right.
68. Road trip!

69. Set up auto-deduct for short and long-term financial goals.
70. Wipe out any outstanding debts.
71. Establish a rainy day fund.
72. Save $10k for down-payment.
73. Maintain debt-free household.
74. Set aside money for a baby.
75. But first, determine baby budget.
76. Sell my wedding dress. :(

77. Host another Family Dinner with our friends.
78. Dine at 10 new restaurants.
79. Join a CSA.
80. Read my Geometry of Pasta book and create 5 proper dishes from it.
81. Go on a culinary road trip.
82. Make croissants.
83. Make macarons.
84. Plant a vegetable garden.

Health & Beauty
85. Resume yoga.
86. Dust off the elliptical and commit to 15 days each month.
87. Lift free weights for 20 minutes on the days I don’t use the elliptical.
88. Get health insurance.
89. Begin using anti-aging moisturizer and night cream.
90. Color my hair.
91. Give myself a monthly manicure.
92. Switch to a new foundation.

93. Play croquet or bocce in the park.
94. Mail package to random person in my address book.
95. Make three new friends.
96. Go out once a month with a girlfriend.
97. Find my way through a maze (corn, hedge or otherwise).
98. Photo scavenger hunt with friends.
99. Write a letter to my grandparents.
100. Curl up with a book all day.
101. Fail (epicly) at something.

*The books: Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, The Odyssey, Ulysses, Don Quixote, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Gulliver's Travels, The Importance of Being Earnest, & A Tale of Two Cities

What do you think of the list -- too ambitious? Do you have a similar list?