Even though I wrote about this a little while ago I thought I should commemorate today, the actual day, the end of 1,001 days to do all sorts of random things that in the weeks leading up to January 5, 2006, I thought I wanted to/could complete by today. I’ve updated the list to show things completed (36) and those partially completed (13). I had never actually counted the items crossed off until today, and I’m kind of surprised I didn’t even get through HALF of the list! But as I’ve said in the past, some things became pretty irrelevant with the major changes that happened in my life during this time. And some other things didn’t get done because I’ve just been busy doing lots of other awesome things. Some of them I’m still confident I’ll do soon (donate to organizations working in places I visited on my trip) or someday (a meditation retreat), others might never happen (memorize a poem), and I’m okay with that. It’s been quite a ride, and I’m sure the next 1,001 days, and the 1,001 beyond that, and so on, will be too — with or without a list to accompany me.
Archive for the ‘101 Things’ Category
I have just over two weeks left until the end of the 1,001 days designated for doing these 101 things. When I saw the date approaching on my calendar I started thinking back over the list, and then read over the list today, and was kind of bummed at some of the things that remain unfinished. But I know that’s kind of silly, considering that many of the things haven’t been a possibility because I’ve been busy doing other awesome things, and because my life has changed way more than I anticipated back when the 1,001 days began January 5, 2006. If things like Move to another country, Meet lots of interesting people, and Experience something new every day had been on the list, they would have been checked off with ease.
I’ve been really busy – working most days, squeezing in some exercise and maybe a little knitting, and going out many nights a week – and when I have a rare quiet night at home I relish every minute. Quality-of-life and productivity gurus often say that if you’re “too busy” you need to assess your commitments and make sure you’re not saying yes to things you don’t want to do. But it’s pretty unusual that I find myself doing something I don’t want to do – it’s just that there are so many amazing opportunities and activities going on that I don’t want to pass up! These are just some of the things I’ve done so far this month: numerous nights playing games at various friend’s houses, a friend’s birthday dinner and salsa dancing, cooking dinner with friends several times, tango music concert and another show, weekly massages, dinners out with roommates and friends, several goodbye parties, a waterdance workshop with people from Couchsurfing, salsa dance class, Couchsurfing movie afternoon, and Peruvian cuisine cooking classes… and coming up in the next week a night at the theater, a voice yoga class, and being a model for a photographer friend’s photo shoot. Even though none of these things is on The List, how can I go wrong?
Day 12 is coming to a close, and except for going a little overboard on the herbed goat cheese today, I’m feeling great. Have jumpstarted the needed weight loss (apparently eating whatever you want for eight months will catch up with you eventually, but eating only raw foods is a pretty easy way to get back on track) and am confident I can continue eating more veggies and taking better care of myself (I’ve also been exercising pretty much every day since the beginning of January).
It’s been a good week in other ways, too, most obviously noted by the several more things I’ve crossed off The List! Last week during dinner with some Couchsurfers and other travelers there was talk of weekend outings, and I was definitely interested since work was petering off late in the week. Next thing you know, five of us—from Australia, the States, and England—were loading up a rental car and heading into the Andes for two days! #2 on the list, spontaneous road trip? Check! It was a great couple days, with stunning vistas around every turn, driving to the tippy-top of the mountains between Chile and Argentina (where we even saw some snow flurries!), and taking a short hike/walk to an overlook for Aconcagua, the tallest mountain outside the Himalayas (check out the pictures). The second day found several of us horseback riding (#19) in a beautiful valley surrounded by red hills and snow-capped mountains.
I was just reviewing my list of things from The List that I said I’d do by the end of the year, and I spontaneously flipped through my calendar and chose Sunday, October 28, as the day I’ll spend the whole day reading, and wrote READING DAY in large capital letters. And then I erased it (nothing goes in my planner in pen!). I decided that before I designate a day for Reading Day, I need to find the book I will read. The book I’m reading now is ok, but not enough to keep me engaged all day, plus I’m already almost halfway through it, I think. So this is a plea for recommendations—what book can you suggest that’s long enough, interesting enough, engaging enough, that I’d want to read it all day long? Once I have some suggestions I’ll start the next step, which will probably be the more difficult—hunting down a specific English-language book in Buenos Aires!
I have just 365 days left—until October 2, 2008—to finish my 101 things in 1,001 days list. I have been marking things off and updating the list, but until today hadn’t counted how many I’ve actually completed, and am a little discouraged to find out just 21 of my 101 are completed! I just went through and did a little color-coding, so now I can easily tell that 16 items are in progress. There are 12 things I probably won’t do while I’m living abroad, so at this point I have no idea if that means they will or won’t be completed within the next year. There are only 10 things that I’m willing to say probably won’t happen at all, which isn’t too bad. If I made it to next October with only 10% incomplete I’d be pretty impressed!
Here are some of the things I am confident I will do soon (by the end of the year, say):
3. Rent a cabin in the woods/by a body of water for at least a week
27. Host a brunch party
64. Spend a whole day reading
71. Buy five CDs of artists that are new to me (just two to go)
75. Attend live dance performance
76. Try a more visual, artistic way of journaling for as long as it takes to fill one journal (inching towards the back of the book…)
81. Take at least one semester of Spanish (started in mid-September, so to the end of December seems semester-like)
98. Spend a day at a spa
On a completely unrelated note, this is pretty awesome.
Our last morning in La Cumbre, I was lying in bed reading when there was a knock on the door. It was Cristian, the great guy who runs the hostel where we were staying. “Wanna fly?” he asked. I was thrilled. “Really!? We can go?” “Today’s the day. Be ready at 10:30.” Knowing we’d finally get to go paragliding made all the less-than-stellar weather and waiting around worth it. None of our complaining mattered anymore; the less-than-perfect moments of the week were erased in a heartbeat. Even though there was still a possibility that conditions would change out at the launch site, I was optimistic—and a little nervous on the ride there.
My dear friend Santoki has created her very own 101 Things list, which is so great it makes me want to do a whole new one. Funny that I’m the one who inspired her to make it in the first place. Now that I’m more than halfway through my 1,001 days, I’m taking this lazy Saturday morning to review my list a little more carefully and add some commentary, etc., that I never got around to on the flight down here as I’d planned. I might start a new list now, so when a great idea occurs to me I can record it, though I wouldn’t actually start work on the new list until this one is finished (on October 2, 2008).
And here’s a funny thing: In reviewing my list today, I realized that something that’s “in progress” right now—not watching TV for a month—isn’t even on the list! Did it get cut in favor of something else? So strange. In some ways this isn’t a good time/place to cut out the TV-watching, since it is actually a good way to learn/be exposed to Spanish when I’m at home, so I might consider not being so strict—I mean, it’s not like I get to cross anything off at the end of the month!
If you’ve ever thought about making your own list, why not do it now? To get ideas, you can do a web search on “101 Things 1001 Days” or check out the list of other people’s lists, as well as guidelines on how to make your list, here. There are also links to other sites for list lovers, like this one. 101 things seems like too many? How about making a both easier and more difficult list of 50 things to do in your lifetime? Or take another friend of mine’s suggestion, and make a list of 30 things to do in your 30s (would that mean 40 in your 40s, 50 in your 50s? is it really realistic that your list would get longer as you get older? perhaps.). Whatever you do, have fun, be inspired, try something new!
The past week in San Francisco has been wonderful. Over a year has passed since I drove out of town last April, headed east, and I’ve really missed the city (and the people who live here). It truly is like no other, and is the place I’ve lived the longest thus far in my life. It feels familiar, although some things have changed and there are still plenty of corners of the city that are new to me. Being able to see good friends multiple times—for dinner, for drinks, for an afternoon walk, for brunch—is a precious luxury. Yet walking around my old neighborhood the other day, something felt different. I felt different. I’m still struggling to put my finger on what shift has occurred, what led to a kind of melancholy while the fog swirled around my head. Am I not the same person who left here in 2004, hopping on a plane to travel the world? Was I crazy to give it all up? Is it disappointing to feel like I can’t afford to live here anymore? Am I worried I’ll never find another place that feels so comfortable, so much like home? It’s occurred to me this week that I needn’t concern myself with finding “home.” It’ll present itself. And it turns out that #31 on The List isn’t “find a new home” but “find a place to live.” That I can do.
I just found out from a friend of mine about Conde Nast Traveler’s Dream Trip Travel Contest, which is really convenient since #85 on The List is “Enter a photo in a photography contest.” Of course, this is the busiest month I’ve had in a long time, and it might be more satisfying to enter a more local contest with fewer contestants, but I’d still like to do it. A few photos come to mind, but I don’t have a lot of time to spend looking through all the photos from my travels for the best ones to enter. Anyone have any suggestions?
Whenever I read through The List to see if there’s anything I’ve done and forgotten to cross off, or to refresh my memory of things yet to be done, it’s clear to me that in a lot of ways I’m in a much different place than I was when the 1,001 days started on January 5, 2006 (for example, instead of moving the rest of my stuff out of my parents’ house—#34—I moved all of my stuff into my parents’ house!). I had been thinking of doing an official revisitation of the list a year in, but January 5 has come and gone. So then I thought the next sort of milestone when it might be appropriate would be halfway, at 500 or so days. I used this handy calculator to find out what date is 500 days after January 5, 2006, and lo and behold, it’s May 20, the day I leave for Buenos Aires! I love when patterns start to form. And that seems as good a time as any to reevaluate. Something to do during the long flight (it’s 10 hours from Atlanta to Buenos Aires).