The year of healing and conquering fear.
Like many people, I’m still struggling to catch up with the grief and trauma of 2016. On top of wading through the painful political turmoil of the past two years, I also experienced several incredible losses, some self-inflicted, some normal turnings of the universe. Both my writing partner and my writing mentor passed away in 2016; I closed my storefront space and let go of Bombadil Books; I ended a long-term relationship in a way that I’ll always regret. I moved from Grand Rapids to Detroit to Portland. I lost a family. I ruined a friendship. I got fired from a job where my co-workers felt like family. I totaled my car. I was hard on myself and didn’t take care of my body.
I survived the past two years. But now I’m ready for the healing. For the letting go of some of this grief I’ve been carrying around. I’m ready to be sad and angry and happy. So this year, 2018, is about that, and about conquering some of the fears that 2016 and 2017 bred in me.
Here’s my to-do list:
- Finish a second draft of Miles of Sparks. 
- Read 60 books.
- Have a potluck dinner party. 
- Go skinny dipping. 
- Learn one song on harmonica. 
- Organize and print photos. 
- Ride on a motorcycle. 
Go to the beach and lay in the sun.  Take a painting class. 
- Take a pottery class. 
- Go canoeing or kayaking 
- See a play, opera, or other theatrical production .
- See the Atlantic Ocean .
Get a watch .
- Get a typewriter .
- Start a retirement account .
Take a digital detox.
- Take a weekend writing trip to the seaside. 
- Eat vegetarian for a month. 
- Start a book club.
- Have ten house plants. (6/10)
Have three great rugs. (3/3)
- Take a coding class.
- Take a design course.
Buy 20 new used books.
- Ship everything from Michigan.
- Have a Christmas tree.
- Draw something every day for a month.
- Travel out of the country.
- Visit Mount Hood.
- Visit Mount Saint Helens.
Go camping. Go swimming.
- Get new slippers.
Get Mugs a new harness. Get a welcome mat. Buy flowers for someone.
- Have a house party.
Get a crock pot andmake freezer meals.
- Learn the names of the trees on my street.
Do my own taxes (confidently).
- End the year with money in a savings account.
Make a reading corner.
- Make a zine.
- Go to grad school.
- Send work to one place a month. (
- Take a writers residency at Sundress.
- Take a weekend beachside vacation.
Get a blender and make smoothies.
- Get a juicer and make juice.
- Paint something on a canvass.
- Eat dinner alone in a nice restaurant.
See a movie by yourself. Bake a confetti cake.
- Watch a sunrise.
Watch a sunset.
- Become 50% proficient on Duolingo in Spanish, Polish, and Russian.
- Learn how to swim.
Go to Scrap PDX and pick out ten things.
- Be sober for 30 consecutive days.
Visit an art gallery. Visit a museum.
- Buy art from a friend.
Become a driver again/conquer crippling fear of driving. Create a mix tape for someone. See a film at a small, local cinema.
- Learn how to properly bachata.
- Blog every day for 30 consecutive days.
Try acupuncture. Conquer fear of heights by going on the Portland sky ride thing.
- Go snow shoeing.
- Visit a national park.
- Go whale watching.
- Get a tattoo.
- Foster a dog.
Have a phone free day. Just one. Create a vision board in office.
- Learn how to make hardcover notebooks.
Take time to identify the activities and actions that make you feel good.
- Read through all old journals.
- Find a support group.
- Fill up quote notebook.
- Find a place to volunteer.
- Take a writing workshop.
- Teach a writing workshop.
- Write a children’s book.
- Design a calendar.
- Leave 100 love notes. (2/100)
Find a favorite local park. Buy a lot of cozy blankets. Let something go that is the hardest to let go of. Make apologies where they are needed. Find the most luxurious pajamas. Do something for Luke. Do something for Brent.
- Revive an abandoned writing project.
- Go on a trip with a girl friend.
Define what it means to be in a healthy relationship.
- Finish this list.
I’ve been doing lists of 101 Things for almost a decade. If you want to see other lists or learn about how it started, begin here.