Saturday, April 6, 2013

#1 - Take a spontaneous vacation

I am not a spontaneous person. I like to plan things out. Know what I am going to do. Know how I am going to do it. Vacations and road trips are usually planned weeks or months in advance. I like to make sure I give ample time to employers for time-off request, and to make sure that all arrangements are made. So when my friend, C, suggested that we go on a road trip to D.C. that weekend, and it already being Wednesday, I didn't know if I could pull it off. Personally, I mean... it was not enough time to plan or make sure that my time was approved... It was not enough time to do this my way...
But what is my way? I have passed up a lot of could-be-great experiences just because they did not fit in my time table. I think it was high time that I not let my "adultness" get in the way of some good ol' adventureing... I expect that to be a real word soon.
I still asked my boss for Friday off and I still checked with my sister to make sure we could stay with her... but that was all I was going to do. I have to say that it worked out wonderfully. Weather was great, company fantastic and the jokes rampant. This trip was all about people, memories, and just having fun!
I was completely shown-up in my spontaneity, though, when a friend decided that morning to fly down and join us... always gotta be one uppin' someone don't you, my "international friend of leisure...?!!?!?"
Now, I know that if you look at the list, then you will see that I said completely spontaneous. But what is a girl to do? I threw my back into anyway and I am going to count it... for this round... this might be a step in a more spontaneous direction.

Here's some pics:

Good times!

#17 - Paint a personal masterpiece - completed 2/2013

I have never been a painter. I have never really considered myself of the "artsy" mind. Sometimes, however, you just need to break out and do something different. So I decided to paint. It all started after a weekend of being locked in my house during a long and dreary blizzard. Most of the time we were all content to just chill in the house and watch movies all day and all night. After three days, though, a person gets antsy... So I had some paint and the materials... so why not?

Here is a sample of my work since:

I am by no means an artist... but I like them enough to hang them and take credit for them. Although, I will admit that there are a couple that I will always claim were painted by monkeys!

#12 - Have a snowball fight - Completed 10/2012

Growing up the "The Valley," which is the mass of cities that includes Phoenix and all of the surrounding suburbs in Arizona, I really did not see a lot of snow. Watching it on T.V. always seemed so romantic and I always thought that those kids were so lucky and I wanted to be them and play in the snow... and get snow days from school... so lucky!
Then I moved to Boston for grad school. Granted, I have seen snow since then and I it was a mesmerizing sight to watch it fall. However, as I entered my adult years, some of the charm of playing in the snow wore off and I was more content to watch it from a window, inside, somewhere warm.
This relationship with snow... a distant appreciation... continued through my residency in Boston, even as the city "blessed" me with enough snow to make up for its absence in my youth. As shown below:

It must be hard to imagine for many out there that I never actually had a snowball fight... not even though I was surrounded by enough ammo to make it epic... My adulthood poisoned me. But I finally needed to address this deprivation, or well, a friend believed it was about time. So after enjoying a nice little meal on a cold evening, we left the restaurant to discover that we were getting the first snowfall of the season. With that little fluff on the ground... I was ambushed... and it began. It did not last long and only a few snowballs were tossed about... but I DID have my first snowball fight! It is finished... I also made a little snowman to commemorate the occasion.

# 26 - If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? Yes! - Completed July, 2012

I am finally getting around to writing about a few of my experiences... here is one of the first...

I am definitly not a person who looks at a bridge and thinks, "hmmm, I wanna jump off that!" I would have to say that I lean more towards the side that will scold those who attempt. In fact, many of my friends were talking about jumping off of the John Weeks bridge, sometimes called the Harvard Foot Bridge, and about how awesome it was. They were also saying that they would never do it again. I took that as advice that I should NEVER do it. Ever.
Until one night I looked at this list. I realized that if I kept saying "no," I would never get #26 done, "doing something physically adventurous." So I told myself if the opportunity came again, I would most certainly say "YES!"
When I received a text one night, my resolve was put it to the test. I had just finished a long day at work and I was feeling as if I wanted to hide from the world. I got home, got in my jammies, and resigned myself to my bed for the remainder on the evening.
Then I got the text. I had told my friend, J, to text me the next time he was going to jump off the bridge,  as it was a common occurance for him. Of course, right when I got comfortable in my soft bed, was when he chose to go.
I looked at it, then put my phone down and told myself that would be a ridiculous thing to do and that I was going to bed. There was definitly an inner battle raging. Do I jump off a bridge, or stay in bed? Before I could stop myself, I picked up my phone I responded "yes."
Sure, even at this point I could have changed my mind and stayed right where I was, but now it would appear like I was backing out, which, of course, would have been the case, instead of looking like I was just busy ... I did not want to look scared!
So I got my swimsuit on, grabbed a towel and marched out of my house.
I was excited, until we got to the bridge.
As I climbed onto the edge of the bridge, pictures of horrible things started racing through my mind; ranging from a belly flop to landing on my kneck. None of the scenarios were actually plausible, the bridge was not THAT high... but they seemed so possible right in the moment.
At this point a crowd was forming, I decided that I just needed to get this over with and go.
Someone starting counting. I did not want to be still standing on that edge when the counting stopped. 5-4-3-2... 1.
It seemed farther once I was in the air. I was actually shocked when I hit the water. I screamed all the way down.
As we got out of the water, someone asked if anyone wanted to jump a second time. Heck yes! Mostly I wanted to prove that this was not a fluke and that I am that gutsy!
Since that night I have jumped several times and every time is just as exciting and horrible as the first.
One day I will have the footage of the video... proof of my adventure. And maybe even further in the future, I will jump off something just a little bit higher...
But that might need another bucket list.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

#29 - Longboarding = New Skill

I bought a new toy... a longboard. I do not know WHAT came over me and brought me to think that this was a good idea. I am not coordinated. I am not agile. How am I going to stay on this thing?!?!?!
I have already taken a go at it... I didn't make it out of my driveway... I had a big fall and bruised my butt... but I kept getting back on.
I watch people who can ride these things and I think that they must have been born with an extra something that gives them the skill to look cool. I watch them weave around.. or carve... as they call it... and for a minute I get all excited and think that I can TOTALLY do that... then I get on my board and well, balance is definitely an issue. At least I had the forethought to buy a helmet as well... somethings I can do right!
Updates to come... I WILL make it out of my driveway!!!! And I will NOT die!

#22 - My First Concert

I did it! I actually got the nerve to play my guitar in public. I found a nice, simple and slow song to play and sing called "Godspeed" by the Dixie Chicks. This song is very sweet and beautiful.
So who was my audience?
My ward had a little talent show and at first I was all in... but I wanted my friend, Calvin, to play the guitar for me. I was not yet comfortable playing on my own yet. Then... Calvin couldn't go... and I was ready to opt out. Even though I was really committed to complete this list, it seemed too soon and I hadn't practiced enough. So I stayed on the fence up until just before the show and I finally had to give a concrete answer. Was I going to perform... or not.
Okay, well y'all can tell that I did actually somehow muster up the nerve to go through with it. I made sure to start out by warning my crowd that they were the first ever to witness the miracle of me, playing the guitar...
I may have skipped a couple of hard chords... and modified the strumming... but I just made sure to sing my heart out, hoping that no one would notice the sub-par string plucking... I really LOVED it. I loved the softness of the music and the ability to express and share a part of myself as I played. But it is NOT EASY. I really do admire those who have the agility to play an instrument and sing at the same time and DO IT WELL! I am so grateful for the great audience, full of friends, who were supportive and made this a true accomplishment!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

# 22: Strummin' that Ol' Guitar

So I had my friend re-string that ol' guitar (say in a thick southern slur) and decided to get a start on this list of mine.
Learning how to play the guitar is NOT easy. Not like I thought that it was going to be. I decided to start off simple, or at least I thought, and I am trying to "re-learn" a song that I taught myself how to play about 15 years ago... yeah, I teach kids that old... It is almost as if I never picked up a guitar in my life. I mean what do I expect after a whole teen's life of neglect.
There are a few obstacles that I have to overcome, one being that I found out that any rhythm that I MAY have had in band when I was in Junior High... is gone...  and that singing WHILE playing an instrument thing is not as simple as Taylor Swift makes it look.
I find that I can only stand to play for about 10 minutes before I get frustrated and decide that I am the most talentless person in existence... sometimes this is followed by another 10 minutes of me guiltily glancing at my discarded guitar on the foot of my bed and then another 10 minutes of attempting a "G" chord which begins the cycle ALL over again... I might be bad at rhythm, but I am really good at cycles.
I have joined forces with the talented Mr. Calvino, who has agreed to become master teacher and give me a few pointers on the art of strumming... so that I can figure out what to do with the three chords that I have learned in a week. I AM the next Taylor Swift... well at least in my dreams!

See the list here:

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Loomin' Bloomin' 30!

You know that moment in your life, when you realize that the day that you always thought was FAR into the future is actually right in front of you and about to SLAP YOU IN THE FACE!!! That is how I feel about my 30th birthday. I remember when I turned 25 and I made a list of all the things that I wanted to do before my 30th birthday and I thought, well I have 5 years... this should be so easy! Well now here I am, 28, and now 30 is just around the corner and that list that I made... I don't even know where it is...!
Even though I feel that over the past 28 years I have accomplished a lot; Learned who I am, had adventures, and I have done things that I ever thought possible.... I still feel that there are still many things that I want to do before I turn the NEW 20
I'm single... I've got the drive... not really the time, but who cares... 
Starting a list like this at 28 adds a little bit of a challenge. I checked out a few of those lists out there, and there were a lot of different things that I could have on this list... however, many I have already done... or they included alcohol... No need for any of that here! 
So,  I had to think bigger and better... but also realistically, I mean, I have to crack these things out in just 18 months. 
So I did it, I made the list and I am going to knock everyone of them off  in 1 year and 6 months... that means that I have to accomplish at least 2 a month... and in an economically sound way. This is going to be interesting!
So here is where this blog comes in... I hereby recommission this blog (that I really haven't posted anything since 2010...) to record my experiences on polishing off the tasks on this milestone-bucket list.

So here is my list.

30 Before 30:
1) Take a spontaneous vacation - I mean REALLY spontaneous... like a call in sick, jump in my car (or on a plane) and just GO! All y'all may think that planning to do something spontaneous isn't possible... just watch me!

2) Loose 60 pounds - there always has to be a weight loss goal in these lists... right?

3) Finish a Bucket list- Boston.

4) Reduce Credit Card debt by one third!

5) Start living on a budget - better late than NEVER... see #4!

6) Take a trip completely on my own - This is not a go visit friends trip and the traveling is just on my own... I mean go somewhere where I do not know a soul and just spend time by myself... maybe make new friends!

7) Get a pet - PUPPIES!

8) Learn French and have a conversation with someone COMPLETELY in French... it may just be a short convo... but I will try!

9) Perform 30 acts of Service

10) Stay up ALL night and watch the sunrise - I tried this a couple times... But Imma whimp!

11) Grow and eat my own veggies

12) Have a snow ball fight - Living in AZ this was really not an option and since moving to Boston I just want to stay out of it... I need to enjoy it ... but I will have to wait till next winter!

13) Go whale watching

14) Sing in a Karaoke bar

15) Shoot a gun... not at someone... but at something :D

16) Gallop a horse - I have been on a horse... but I want a gallop through an open field, wind in my hair kind of experience!

17) Paint a personal masterpiece and hang it in my home - I would try and sell it... but I am sure it will end up being a piece that only I could enjoy!

18) Write a children's book, send it to a publisher and frame the rejection letter!

19) Get another stamp on my passport

20) See a wild, exotic animal in its natural habitat - more than just a quale or coyote... or deer... maybe a moose would work...

21) Treat my parents to a nice meal - I mean how many have they treated me to... I can at least do it ONCE!

22) Learn 5 songs on the guitar and perform them for someone - private concert anyone?!?!?!

23) Audition for a play or movie - some sort of production...

24) Build my own website

25) Drive a really nice wickedly expensive car

26) Do something physically adventurous... I may regret this one!

27) Run a half-marathon - a real one... I want a number!

28) Eat an exotic - adventurous food... I don't know... maybe scorpion?!?!?!

29) Learn a new skill -- it has to be new and skillful.

30) Take a chance -- this one is very open-ended... I will see where it leads.