33 in 33 updated

I made this list in February. That seems like a very long time ago. So much has happened in my life since then and it is clear to me that I did not make this list much of a priority in my life this year, perhaps because of all the very big changes happening. This list is about learning, evolving, growing as a person. I feel I've done that even if all of these items don't get crossed out. Some are more risky than others; some are ridiculous, what was I thinking: camping, really? In a few months I'll be 34, and I don't know how many things from this list will end up on my list for next year but I need to think differently about it. I need to prioritize it a bit more and allow it to evolve as new things, events, people and opportunities enter my life. I liked the idea of this list because it was not full of vague goals; it was full of action. However, as things developed throughout the year, what I wanted to do changed. I started taking photographs again, in a way that makes me feel amazing and alive and changes my perspective on everything. I got married and so much of my energy was about the wedding and the party and all the little details. I need to find a way to revisit and revise a similar list for next year, so it doesn't become outdated or silly or impossible. Here's my list as it stood in February and my progress listed below. The strikethroughs are ones I've completed and the * are ones I have started and are still in progress. 

1. enter a writing contest
2. handwrite a letter on stationary (and mail it!)   
3. kiss in the rain
4. cook a meal without a recipe
5. finish a year-long scrapbook (I just ordered my Project Life by Becky Higgins )  This isn't going to happen this year. Maybe I should amend this for next year. 
6. photograph a stranger
7. do yoga
8. *read 6 award-winning novels  I am modifying this to reading 6 novels, because I have so much to read for work right now, that I'll be lucky to complete this task, at all. So far, I've read To Kill a Mockingbird, The Help, Legacy, and am currently reading The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer. 
9. join a book club
10. *write everyday (I've tried to do this, even if I'm just writing in my journal, but I haven't been very disciplined about it. Instead, I've been taking photographs, though their dailyness started recently, too. I need to update this list significantly for next year.) 
11. *try 12 new tea flavors (1 each month) (I've been doing pretty good on this one. I've tried mango, blueberry, passion fruit, lemon blueberry, chamomile, chai, green/white fusion tea, roobois tea and white blueberry, which is so far my favorite.)
12. visit Wrigley Field
13. stay in a bed and breakfast
14. hear live music
15. unplug for an entire weekend
16. attend a retreat
17. host a croquette party & bbq
18. paint my own pottery
19. *watch 8 movies (ones I haven't already seen) on AFI's Top 100 List (So far, I've seen A Streetcar Named Desire, Sunset Blvd. and On the Waterfront)
20. watch Battlestar Galactica
21. eat at sprout in Chicago
22. bake a pie
23. catch fireflies
24. go camping I have decided that the universe knows better than I on this one and am crossing it off the list.
25. do something romantic each week
26. make my own icing
27. visit a winery
28. get all my books out of boxes  (I've decided there's no real point to this one.) 
29. take a trip unrelated to a conference
30. grow my own vegetables
31. visit the Field Museum
32. see a show in Vegas
33. learn to make lasagne

the alphabet of right now

Being a fan of lists, retrospectives and archives as I am, I knew when I saw it on Lindsey's blog I wanted to create my own Alphabet of Right Now. There's a lot going on with me that I don't quite know how to talk about so I haven't been blogging much. I have been reading and thinking and meditating.

A- Allergies, my allergies have been kind of crazy lately though I'll take a Zyrtec every day if it means warmer temperatures and being able to see the grass again. also Angry Birds, my favorite, mindless app right now that really makes me happy.

B- Budget, I'm trying really hard to stick to a budget this year and get some debt paid off. I've always been pretty reckless with money so I have to retrain my brain and create new habits, meaning sticking to a grocery list, cooking dinner at home and only buying things for which I've budgeted the money.

C- Cranberry Soda, my new favorite obsession and it's caffeine-free!

D- Dishes, it feels like I'm always washing dishes, especially since we have been cooking more. It piles up so quickly. Also d is for the daily stuff of life like dishes and laundry and driving and grading and office hours.

E-Epiphanies, which have presented themselves in some amazing ways lately.

F- Frankenstein, which I'm currently teaching and remembering why I loved the novel and how researching it rescued me during grad school. And in many ways, is rescuing me once again.

G - Garlic, which keeps making its way into my recipes and I'm loving it.

H- Heart, which takes some time to convince my head. I"m trying to listen more to my instincts, to my gut reactions before I automatically begin intellectualizing.

I- Illuminated, or as the Dude would say, "Some new shit has come to light." Also, ideas, of which I have many these days including ideas for books I'd like to write... one day.

J- Joy, again something for which I search daily. I want to be annoyingly full of it the way I am sure I have been before when I would stumble across a song on the radio and drive across the bay with my windows down, not going anywhere in particular.

K- Knowledge is power.

L- Letters, Last week I hand wrote two letters one to my grandmother and one to my brother. It was one of the things on my 33 x 33 list. Also, laundry, like dishes, always needing to be done.

M- Michelle, who makes everything meaningful. I continue to be surprised by her in ways that overwhelm me to the core. Also muchness, which has returned with fury.

N- Nostalgia, in which I've been swimming lately. I feel such a deep yearning for times in my life and yet, I know I really wouldn't want to return and live those moments again; well, maybe just a few.

O- Oprah, I've been watching Oprah every afternoon and also a few of the shows on OWN.

P- Pink! My brother and sis-in-law got me The Greatest Hits So Farcd for my birthday and it has been on constant rotation ever since! It's fantastic and I love it.

Q- Questions, so many things are unknown and up in the air and I am full of questions.

R- Ritual, all the nightly rituals I do at the end of the day become comforting.

S- Scrapbooking, which I've rediscovered and am really enjoying but have put some of my projects on temporary hold lately as things ramp up in other places of my mind.

T- Thrive or Thirty-Three. When I chose thrive as my word of the year, I had no idea that it would lead me where it already has and it's only February.

U- Understanding, I believe there is a greater understanding to be reached in moments of turmoil. I'm trying to be understanding, to be open to whatever messages I'm supposed to be receiving but it is not easy for me to resist the sadness and anger of moments lately. I'm more comfortable in those emotions than I am of the unknown.

V- Vampire Diaries, a show I love and am still watching though 3 episodes are waiting on my DVR for the right moment.

W- Words, they matter.

X- Xanax, I wish I had some. Is it sad that that is the first x word that came to mind?

Y- Yes, I'm trying to saying yes to things that scare me, worry me and push myself (when my heart tells me to) toward something great, which I know is around the corner. I can feel it.

Z- Zero tolerance, which I have for bullshit, lately. I'm so tired of excuses from students about where there papers, from offices who can't seem to find paperwork like my W-2 and from myself who is waking up from years of excuses. I'm over it. From here on out, I'm saying what I mean. Watch out world, the muchness has returned.