101 Things I’m Doing in 2023

This is the latest I’ve ever posted my list. I wasn’t ready to pick a word at the end of the year. I hadn’t made any space to think about it—I’ve taken on two clients and two jobs and Ori is in preschool now and my health stuff and and and. The truth is, I stopped writing for a while, after writing every day for the better part of a year, and when I don’t write, I don’t know myself.

A week ago, I thought my word was hibernate. If I was being optimistic, I thought rest. But I felt unsettled about it.

I’m getting better at waiting. At sitting with discomfort. At not having control over the thing. Over all the things. This past year of grasping and holding and trying to control all the things around me has left me feeling old and depleted. I want more for myself.

So for my birthday, I set up vacation responders for all my jobs. I booked two nights at a cabin on Soapstone Creek. I brought my notebook and my dog and my tired little heart. I put my phone away. I slept without Ori cuddled up next to me for the first time in months. I woke up with the sun and took a hot shower. The second I stepped into the shower, my word for this year popped into my head like it had been waiting all along.


This year, I would like to feel free. Free to rest. Free to let go. Free to be undecided. Free to garden, to write, to dream. Free from control and grasping. Free from identity. Free to decide. Free to exist as I am: all my pieces, all my parts. To sink my hands into moss. To put my feet up. To put on music and cry. To dance on the table. To nap on the couch. To not have a plan. To make a plan.

For the first time in my life, I am not struggling on to the next thing. I feel anchorless, my life stretching on and on before me with no ambitions or goals or things to aspire to. I am free to rest, to enjoy. It is bewildering and scary and unknown. I’m not sure how to do it. But I want to figure it out.

Here’s where I’m starting:

  1. Take a second pass at Soft Spot. [2021]
  2. Finish, edit, and query The Printmaker.
  3. Resurface Miles of Sparks.
  4. Update personal website with artwork and recent writing. [2021]
  5. Go on a camping trip. [2019]
  6. Travel to a state I’ve never been to. 
  7. Make concord grape jam.
  8. Prune the plum tree branch.
  9. Build a Little Free library. With a poem box.
  10. Squirrel-proof the garden and plant vegetables again.
  11. Finish sunroom remodel.
  12. Start basement remodel.
  13. Clean out garage and make into workshop.
  14. Read and do Walking in This World by Julia Cameron.
  15. Buy more art.
  16. Find a bed frame I really love.
  17. Fall in love.
  18. Have time for a morning practice that includes yoga and meditation. 
  19. Consistently sleep eight hours.
  20. Get a bike. 
  21. Get a bike trailer or seat for Ori.
  22. Replace ceiling fan in living room.
  23. Submit to Mothertongue.
  24. Make a galette with yard berries.
  25. Visit all of Portland’s used bookstores.
  26. Refinish a piece of furniture.
  27. Have favorite denim shirt repaired.
  28. Finish flower pressing book from two summers ago.
  29. Apply to grad school.
  30. Knit a blanket.
  31. Soak in a hot spring.
  32. Learn how to quilt. 
  33. Get a pair of nice hiking boots.
  34. See a play, opera, or other theatrical production. [2016]
  35. Visit the Atlantic Ocean. [2016]
  36. Go on a writing retreat. [2017]
  37. Drive a motorcycle. [2017]
  38. Visit Mount Hood. [2018]
  39. Visit Mount Saint Helens. [2018]
  40. Teach a writing workshop. [2018]
  41. Participate in a writing workshop. 
  42. Go for a long solo hike. [2019]
  43. Go dancing. [2019]
  44. Take a 24-hour digital detox. No screens. [2020]
  45. Make a zine. [2020]
  46. Replace plates and bowls with handmade ones. [2020]
  47. See a movie alone. [2020]
  48. Visit a synagogue. [2020]
  49. Go kayaking. [2020]
  50. Visit family in Denver. [2020]
  51. Visit an art museum. [2020]
  52. Take Ori to a children’s museum. [2020]
  53. Get car mats and seat covers. [2020]
  54. Do a family photo shoot. [2020]
  55. Leave a 100% tip. [2020]
  56. Make a family tree for Ori. [2020]
  57. Repair favorite quilt. [2021]
  58. Do a cross stitch project.
  59. Finish a book arts project. [2021]
  60. Send a holiday card that arrives before the holidays. [2021]
  61. Finish putting together emergency kits. [2021]
  62. Try punch needling. [2021]
  63. Have coffee or tea on the couch with a friend. [2021]
  64. Print photos. [2021]
  65. Send 10 thank you cards or letters to people I’m grateful for. [2021]
  66. Attend a story time with Ori. [2021]
  67. Have headshots taken. [2021]
  68. Do annual collecting through notebooks.
  69. Play cards. [2021]
  70. Get a power washer and power wash everything.
  71. Pick a color for the outside of the house.
  72. Have a great kiss.
  73. Have incredible sex.
  74. Plan a real vacation somewhere I want to explore.
  75. Renew passport.
  76. Have a patio dinner party.
  77. Go kayaking.
  78. Go horseback riding again.
  79. Go skinny dipping. (2015)
  80.  Do a crossword.
  81. Play checkers.
  82. Read work at an open mic night.
  83. Return to Soapstone.
  84. Go to the beach and lay in the sun.
  85.  Nap and lounge all day.
  86. Draw with your eyes closed.
  87. Go to the Rebuilding Center.
  88. Grow wildflowers.
  89. Plant something new in the yard.
  90. Get a wooden darning needle.
  91. Get new glasses.
  92. Find the perfect pair of underwear.
  93. Find the perfect flannel, floral sheets.
  94. Find the perfect suitcase.
  95. Get new blinds.
  96. Finish upstairs bathroom remodel.
  97.  Do the January Cure (whenever).
  98. Make soup, share with others.
  99. Do something really brave.
  100. Work less. Play more.
  101. Finish this list.

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