The year of really living
Last year I focused on healing and conquering fear, and WOW, did I ever. I learned how much blame I was carrying for things that weren’t my fault. I dug into my past traumas and learned how to take better care of myself and be my own best advocate. I learned how to grieve (really, deeply, truly). And I learned how to be brave and move on.
I tried acupuncture (hated it), and faced my fear of money by opening a savings account and a retirement account. I did my own taxes (a disaster, highly don’t recommend). I went vegan for an entire month. I gave up drinking for 30 days, and then some. I filled my house with plants. I conquered my fear of driving and bought not one, but two cars. I let myself get really, really lonely, and then I let myself fall in love.
Oh, and I accidentally got pregnant.
So 2019 is about taking all of things I learned and using them to start really living my life. As Maya Angelou said: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Here’s my to-do list (currently at 36/101 complete):
- Go skinny dipping. 
- Get a typewriter .
- See a play, opera, or other theatrical production .
- Put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean .
- Finish Miles of Sparks. 
- Learn one song on harmonica. 
- Take a weekend writing retreat. 
- Ride on a motorcycle. 
Go to the beach and lay in the sun.  Ship everything from Michigan. 
- Visit Mount Hood. 
- Visit Mount Saint Helens. 
Have a house party.  Make a reading corner. 
- Apply to grad school. 
- Send work to one place a month. (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12) 
- Take a writers residency at Sundress. 
Take a swimming class. 
- Blog every day for 30 consecutive days. 
- Go whale watching. 
- Learn how to make hardcover notebooks. 
- Find a place to volunteer. 
Take a writing workshop. 
- Teach a writing workshop. 
- Write a children’s book. 
- Go on a trip with a friend. 
Have a really beautiful birth experience. Buy 20 new (used) books. Have a Christmas tree and a Menorah.
- Take a real, luxurious vacation.
- Pick out the perfect logo for BRAVER.
- Do at least one pop-up shop.
- Find a signature scent.
- Get a portable treadmill or elliptical.
Host a dinner party.
- Host a game night.
Go pumpkin picking.
- Plant perennials.
- Grow something and eat it (a salsa garden!).
Re-read the Harry Potter series (again).
- Go for a long solo hike.
Fill out 2019 planning workbook.
- Make the book of things found in books.
- Go on a camping trip.
Have a picnic. Go to an art opening.
- Buy art from a friend.
- Go strawberry picking and make jam.
- Make a rag rug for Mugs.
Make a paw ornament for Mugs.
- Put holiday lights on the outside of your house.
Get a massage. Get a pedicure.
- Create a gallery wall of local art.
- Take a 48-hour digital detox.
- Hand-make all of your holiday gifts.
Get a gym membership. Take prenatal yoga classes.
- Exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.
Learn more about Jewish culture.
- Take a romantic vacation.
- Create a fridge organization system.
- Create a cupboard organization system.
Get a mattress cover and mattress pad. Create a book wall for the nursery.
- Paint with acrylic paints.
- Paint with gouache paints.
Eat funfetti cake on your birthday. Have a candlelit dinner at home. Have breakfast in bed.
- Help write a script.
- Make a zine.
Send letters to Amy. Learn how to let people help me.
- Work your way up to meditating for 30 minutes.
- Create a recipe book.
- Make homemade dog treats.
Introduce yourself to your new neighbors.
- Go a week without Netflix.
- Go dancing.
- Make a pizza from scratch.
Make bread from scratch. Find the perfect gray cardigan.
- Sage cleanse your house.
- Take a kickboxing class.
- Get 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.
Text five people something encouraging.
- Buy an expensive clothing item you really love.
- Write a love letter to yourself.
- Make an affirmations zine so you have them all in one place.
Try doing a spending log for a month. Have a dining room tableand eat at it regularly.
- Make your own pickles.
- Eat smores for breakfast.
Own all the Harry Potter movies on DVD. Get paperback versions of all the Harry Potter books. Get the illustrated Harry Potter books. Bake banana bread for someone. Visit a museum.
- Finish this list.
I’ve been doing lists of 101 Things for over a decade. If you want to see other lists or learn about how it started, begin here.
End-Of-Year Thoughts & Update
I completed 40 out of 101 things! Definitely not my best year of checking things off the list, but NOT BAD AT ALL for the year I had a baby. I did some really brave things this year, like getting into a pool and swimming while I was pregnant and eating oysters. I dove deep into my Harry Potter love, and had a wonderful time hosting the winter holidays at our house. I’ve always wanted to do that, for as long as I can remember. And although I didn’t apply to grad school, I did sign up for a writing certificate program at Portland’s logo Independent Publishing Resource Center. This felt like a big and important commitment to my writing, and I’m so glad I pushed myself to do it.