Saturday, December 29, 2012

An Update on My List Project

This blog started as a project. My dear friend JT invited me to join her in this adventure to do 101 things in 1001 days. JT is a super-organized, type-A, "J" on the Myers-Briggs type of gal.  She finished her list early.

I am not like JT.

My 1001 days were up seven days ago. Some of my stuff got accomplished and I am really glad I took on this exercise.  But partway through my 1001 days, my life got turned upside down and I really was a zombie for about a year. I was alive, but only partially.  I wasn't exactly able to think about checking things off this list while my heart was breaking and my brain was frozen. So, the way I see it, I deserve some extra time and still have 358 days to get more stuff on my list done.  It's my list so I get to make the rules. :)

Matthew's life and death have a lot taught me so much about myself and caused me to ask a lot of questions about what it means to tell a good story with our lives.  There were several things that I put on my list that were idealistic or things I thought I "ought" to do.  One thing that Matthew has taught me well is that life is too short to be caught up in the "oughts" and "shoulds."

So...I'm still working on my list. But part of working on my list now means saying "no" to some of the things I thought were really important to do back in 2010.  And learning to say "no," even to ourselves, is something that is imperative to telling a good story.

[Along the way, I also discovered that I love to write.  And this blog became more than simply an update of my list objectives.  It became a place where I tell stories, stories that (hopefully) lead to a larger story, and even more importantly, to His Story.]

Let me start this "bonus round" with an update on some items on the list.
  • I have inquired about a sewing class. However, I have been so busy taking writing classes, I do not have time to take a sewing class right now. I did, however, take a knitting class.
  • I tried to learn chess. I got several books from the library and read them. And then I decided that I do not seem to have the patience to learn to play chess.
  • I wore false eyelashes for about 5 minutes. They were pokey and itchy and I took them off.
  • I received a composter. And used it for a couple weeks. And then I forgot to clean it out and it got stinky and now it is sitting somewhere in the garage.
  • I can bake several things in Gluten-Free versions.  I've decided that there are also some baked goods that I can just live without.
  • I grew some tomatoes in pots for a couple summers.  I never got to the herbs.  That's ok.
  • I do not have the energy to learn to can food right now.  Maybe when the kids go off to college.
  • I try lots of new recipes. Sometimes I blog them; sometimes I don't. But I no longer like the pressure to have to try one once a month.
  • More "shoulds" that I probably won't actually do: Meal planning, shop regularly at the farmer's market, host a neighborhood cookout, mow the grass for J (cause we no longer own a working lawnmower), read a work of Christian fiction, learn more Spanish, sell something on eBay, take a class at Michael's, or write overdue wedding thank you notes.
  • I throw a pretty fancy fondue dinner party on New Year's Eve for my hubby and a few longtime, precious friends. That counts for now. 
Fondue Dinner Table
  • I make a lot of handmade cards. I like to make and send them. But sometimes Trader Joe's has some really cute cards for 99 cents and sometimes I send those instead. Letting myself off the "always, every time, for a whole year" hook.
  • I visited Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and the Museum of the New South.  Both awesome.  I also went to the Light Factory during intermission of a show I saw at Spirit Square.  The Charlotte Museum of History closed down.  Calling this one done.
Kiddos at Daniel Stowe
  • Invite folks over for supper: We had some fun people over.  One time we had brunch where we invited three couples we hadn't had over before at one time.  It was awesome.
  • Outdoor places to visit: we learned to explore the Sugar Creek Greenway. We spend a lot of time there as a family.  We went to the zoo in Columbia, SC. We have tried unsuccessfully to go to the US Whitewater Center three times.  This item is still a work in progress.
Family on the Greenway
  • I started training for a 5K last year, doing the Couch to 5K program.  I was having fun.  Then, I developed some awful hip flexor/lumbar vertebrae/sacral injury that knocked me out of a lot of physical activity, including yoga.  So, if this item was "go to tons of doctor's appointments, take various drugs, spend loads of money on MRIs, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy," I'd totally be done with that one.  By the grace of God, I think my chiro has finally figured out how to help my pain, but I'm not quite ready to start running again.
  • I found an amazing therapist who has definitely helped me process some of my anger issues.  We're also still working on some things...
  • I used the "Faces" feature on iPhoto to tag lots and lots and lots of photos.  But, we have 30,000+ photos.  It's a little ridiculous.
  • I ordered some cute glasses from Warby-Parker. I'm a hipster wannabe. ;)

I have some other stuff I did accomplish and I want to blog about those things in separate posts.  Stay tuned. :)

I still want to eat vegan for a week (though we definitely explore more vegan meals now than we did before), finish the babies' scrapbooks, go to a church service very different than my own (can't decide between Quaker or Messianic--maybe I'll do both), have a date with each sister, finish our wedding album, and keep JT's kids overnight.  As soon as the last one is potty trained. ;)

Looking over this list, I'm so grateful.  It's prompted me to do a lot of things I always wanted to do and it caused me to take some great risks.  I'm grateful for the process, even if I never actually "finish."  Thanks for being along for the ride, sweet readers, and thanks, JT, for asking me to play this game.

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