34 things while I'm 34

Last year, I created a list of 33 things I wanted to do throughout last year. I did not accomplish as many of the goals as I'd hoped. Again, I don't think I made the list a priority. This year, I'm trying again. In order to truly focus on "tending" to my life, this list aims to challenge, nurture and help me in creating experiences and opportunities for myself. Some things I didn't do last year, make it on the list again. I'm going to print this and have it somewhere I see it all the time as a reminder that there are things that I want to do.

I created the list in Photoshop using Ali Edwards' Hello Joy brushes. The font is called Jenna Sue


1. Blog 3x times a week. I have a feeling this is going to be a challenge, but one I really want to meet. I am cranky when I don't write and blogging has always been an outlet for me. I strive for connection and I want to do a better job of working in spaces where that is possible. 

2. Keep a plant alive for a season. This is funny because I always think gardening sounds like a very cool idea and I always end up killing the plant. So, I want to make an effort to keep one houseplant type thing alive during its season. I see this as another to bring the attitude of tending into my life. Now, I just need to figure out which kind of plant is pretty hearty so I have a chance at accomplishing this. *Disclosure: I have killed both bamboo and a cactus, which everyone insists is hard to do. This is how bad I am at tending to plants. 

3. Be More Playful. This is kind of nebulous as a goal. I often feel too serious like I don't allow myself to be silly or goofy or childlike. I have a strong feeling that part of tending this year should be about listening to my inner child and giving myself permission to be playful and openminded. 

4. Complete 365 project. We're definitely on our way with this. I'm excited about the prospect of having pictures of our lives for the year. 

5. Read 15 books. I've always been reader but I often don't make much time for it. This year, I'd like to change that and read 15 books. That's a little over one a month, which is doable, I think. If I read more, I would be ecstatic. Currently, I'm reading The Girl Who Played with Fire which is just as good as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, maybe better. 

6. Complete Project Life. Today, I feel like this is doable. This goal works in tandem with the 365 project. This is necessary for me. I don't feel like I have to worry about taking pictures for PL because I know I already have a picture of my week thanks to taking a picture everyday. There is great freedom in creating the habit of a picture a day and I'm so very glad that before I started PL, I'd been taking pictures each day for 2 months. 

7. Try a new cheese each month. I want to try new things and I love cheese. It's as simple as that.

8. Visit Washington D.C. I have never been to D.C. and I'd really like to explore historical places more, and museums. I adore museums.

9. Tour a Lighthouse. I am fascinated by lighthouses and their history and design. I'd like to take a tour of some and learn more about them. 

10. Visit the Smithsonian. When I'm in D.C. I want to visit some of the Smithsonian museums, definitely the American History Museum.

11. Make a monthly playlist. M bought me a premium subscription to Spotify for my birthday. I have made a conscious effort to turn off the TV and turn on the music when I write or grade or read. I also read a few music magazines including Rolling Stone, Paste and Pitchfork in order to try and see what's new and what's coming out soon. Each month, at least, I want to try and record what I'm listening to and in the end, I'll have a year long list of the year. 

12. Watch the sunrise. I'd actually like to do this more than once. I watch the sunset almost every day and I'd like to see how the colors change when the sky wakes up.

13. Say yes to something scary. This is hard for me because I'm notorious for doing exactly what I want to do and being pretty stubborn about what I like and what I don't and where my comfort zones are. To stretch out of those will be challenging, which is why it makes the list. I need to push myself occasionally, even when I'm scared or maybe, especially when. 

14. Go on a picnic. I can't remember the last time I had a picnic. It doesn't have to be crazy, elaborate or anything like that, just eating outside in a park or something. 

15. Learn to use my speedlight flash. M found this great resource and tutorial for understanding the speedlight and how to use it, which will be good to learn. 

16. Visit a winery. I haven't been to a winery when I was actually able to sample the wines and each time I make a plan to go, something happens that prevents it. So I'd like to go to local ones, and there are plenty to choose from around here. 

17. Make tiramusu. I have a recipe that looks involved but not terribly difficult so I want to try to make it sometime and I rarely give myself time to try that kind of baking, so I figured if it's on this year's list, I'll make a more concerted effort... maybe. 

18. See five live events. I categorize this as concerts, plays, ballets, etc. 

19. Random Acts of Kindness. I think it would be amazing to spend one day doing completely random, completely kind things or even trying to do one kind thing a day would be pretty great, too. 

20. Swim. I'd like to swim in an ocean again but I'll take any kind of swimming, which I hardly ever do. I have the best intentions but then never follow through on swimming. I've been really missing the water, lately. 

21. Make homemade meatballs. Once I've tackled the lasagne, which I still plan on doing, I'm moving to meatballs. Oh yes, I will know how to cook some Italian dishes well. 

22. Cook 12 new recipes (and blog about them). I just added that last part. These could include meatballs and tiramusu so really I only need to find 10 other dishes to try. I'm thinking 12 because it's easy to do one each month. 

23. Do something creative every week. As a way of tending, I know that I need to do something creative beyond taking pictures. Maybe this is writing a creative exercise or trying to make something I saw on Pinterest or even cooking something new. I'm scared my creative muscles are weakening because I don't stretch and feed and push them enough. 

24. Stay in a bed and breakfast. This could be one of those things that the idea of it sounds better than the actuality, but I feel like this could be fun. 

25. Make my own artwork (and display it). I always see things I want to try, even if they fail or don't look the way I imagined. I suppose I take photographs and display them as artwork but I'd like to do more, even if it's something simple. 

26. Express my gratitude every day. 

27. Ride in a hot air balloon. Just seems fun. My brother and sister-in-law did this recently and said it was really cool and the pictures they took were amazing. I think they even saw the sun rise, so I could combine some of the items on the list. :) 

28. Grow my hair out and not cut it.  I'm trying to grow my hair out now; not sure why exactly but I almost always get it to a certain point and then chop it off again and start the process all over. 

29. Watch all the movies nominated for an Oscar this year. 

30. Wear all my perfume or get rid of the ones that have expired

31. Grow an herb garden. I've always wanted to use fresh herbs when I cook, particularly mint, cilantro and basil. 

32. Organize my recipes.

33. Draw a heart in the sand and photograph it.

34. Memorize 3 poems.