38 has been an important number in my life for a long time. It's sort of a long story, and not really worth going into detail about, but long story short--- among some of my friends, the number 38 has become a good luck symbol of sorts. So, for many years I always thought that the year that I was 38 would be filled with good things. And now that I am going through a divorce... well, I really need to believe that good things will happen to me this year....
A few months ago I decided that instead of doing a bucket list of things to do before I turn 40, like a lot of folks do, I decided to make a bucket list of 38 new and awesome things that I want to do while I am 38. So, for several months I have been thinking... thinking about what I want to do, thinking about what is actually realistic given my current situation, and thinking about what things would truly make me happy and bring balance to this new life of mine. And I came up with a list that I am pretty happy with. A few things on my list are a wee bit crazy, but I am also starting a new chapter of my life, and I think that deserves a few (happy) changes to mark that. A few things are slightly more mundane, because not every day can be filled with crazy adventures....
So today, the day that begins my year of being 38, I would love to share my bucket list with you. Because for one, why not? and for another, I hope it will hold me a little bit accountable. What's a bucket list if you don't try and do it, right? I plan on updating my list as I complete my challenges. And I would love any advice you may have!
My 38 While 38 Bucket List:
Done! I finally have an octopus tattoo. And, to make it even better, it was done by a friend, so it is extra special. Octopus are amazing creatures, incredibly smart and adaptable. And they symbolize a whole lot of cool stuff, like regrowth and renewal.
Done! Although there are two different hikes up there and I only did the shorter one. The longer one involves crawling on your belly a few times.... I would actually like to try and do it some day, but I am a bit claustrophobic and think I need to work up to it.
I did it! My friend and I ran the Run Like Hell 10k in Portland in October. We did the 5k back in 2014, so we knew it was a fun run. Each year there is a theme, and everyone dresses up. This year was "Under the Big Top". You can sort of see our tiny top hats in the photo.... we also wore tutus and striped knee highs.
I injured my foot about 2.5 weeks before the run, and was told to stay off it as much as possible. I wasn't sure that I would be able to run, but I healed enough in time to do it- thankfully, as I was really looking forward to this run. However, coming off of an injury, I took it very slow-- and since I hadn't run at all in over 2 weeks, I was still very sore for two days afterwards.
Done! They are amazing! You can see full details in this post. But, just because they are so beautiful, I will dazzle you right now.
5. Sew myself a dress. I have actually sewn dresses for myself, but they were smock-like dresses from my very hippie days. I want to sew myself a nice fitted dress, maybe even with a zipper. Oooh-la-la.
6. Learn to Play Chess. Again, I used to know how to play chess, when I was like 7, but can't remember. I think it's just something that one should know? Plus, I think Finn would love it and I want to teach him.
7. Learn to identify the native plants in my Oregon Native Plant Guide. I already know some, but as a plant lover, I think I should know them all.
I made one for myself for my birthday! I guess it was a hit as the kids have been asking me to make another. I used this recipe.
9. Draw portraits of my kids. I took a drawing class once, in college. I haven't done much drawing since, but I wanted to give it another shot. And what better to draw than the two cutest things on the planet!
Done! It was great, The war parts were long and tedious, but the peace parts were one of the best love stories of all times. I have no clue why it took me so long to get through that, but I am glad to have read it.
I did it! I yarn bombed my plum tree. I love it, but my neighbors may think I am crazy. I think I will add more little sweaters over time. Fun!
12. Knit two pillow covers. My couch could use a couple more pillows and my house needs some more creative flair!
The kids and I spent 3 nights camping in Olympic National Park. It was amazing. We only saw the western part of the park... the park is so big that a visit to the northeastern section would have added about 6 hours onto our driving time, so I decided we would save that for next summer. I was blown away by the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula though. Here is one of my favorite pictures, but I will soon do a post for this trip....
I got it down! Next, on to handstands......
Done! I even watched the movie that came a couple of years after the t.v. show ended, Fire Walk With Me. The series was great, and weird... typical David Lynch. And I just heard a rumor that they might be bringing Twin Peaks back for a new round.....
Next up is this cucumber margarita....a delicious variation on an old favorite of mine... To make cucumber-infused tequila, simply slice cucumbers and put in a jar. Cover completely with tequila (no cucs poking out!), cover with a lid, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Using chili-salt on the rim upgrades this to a pretty awesome cocktail.
Next is this red beet rye cocktail. This one is unlike anything I have ever tasted. It is spicy, earthy and vinegary all at once. It took me a few sips to decide if I liked it or not, but in the end, I decided it was a keeper. Be forewarned that this one needs some prep time... you have to make the shrub a few days in advance!
17. Learn 10 constellations. I already know a few basic ones, but want to learn 10 new ones. The sky and solar system are fascinating, in a weird and crazy way, and I think I should get to know it a little bit better.
I did it! I took Tracey's advice and submited through gurushots.com, which was super easy and low pressure. I am hoping to continue to submit to guru on a regular basis.... and maybe also try and find some other, possible local contests to submit to as well.
Done! It was great. I actually enjoyed it so much that I signed up for the second course for winter term. And the thirds course for spring term!!
Done! I saw Spirit Family Reunion at the Doug Fir Lounge. They were amazing! So much energy, and well... spirit! They are foot-stomping indie-americana-bluegrass, and so much fun. If they come near you, go check them out.
Other new bands I have seen this 39th year of my life include: Cedar Teeth, Bob Moses, Macy Gray,
21. Make my kids photo albums from their baby years. Ugh. I am sort of dreading this one, but I really want to make it happen. I have thousands of photos from my kids younger years. And they are all on external hard drives and no one ever looks at them. So, I want to make an online photo book that I can get printed for each of my kids with the best pictures and memories of their first few years of life. If it goes well, maybe I will try and keep up with them as they grow.....
22. Keep a gratitude journal, for real this time. I have always failed at this. This time my goal is to just write at least once a week instead of every night. I think, for me, that is more manageable.
23. Submit a short story. Somewhere. About something. Clearly I haven't thought about this one much yet.
OK, so the day was still not clear, but I could actually see the lake this time. Even on a cloudy day, the views are spectacular.
I think that watching the sun rise over Black Rock City with my best friend in the world should count for this one.
26. Learn Fleetwood Mac's Landslide and the Wood Brothers Luckiest Man on guitar. I play my guitar only randomly and never get better. It's time to step it up. Or at least be able to play a couple of songs really well.
Done! I found an octopus print on etsy and I am in love.
This was easy, and also very gratifying. I got Phoebe to dance with me, on one of our first heavy fall rains. It was still warm enough outside to be a pleasant experience, and it was a definite mood booster. This will be on my list of things to do more often!
OK, so this one I sort of did..... I gave only hand-made items to everyone on my list, except for my kids. However, my kids are getting more than a handful of store-bought gifts this Christmas. I did make stuff for both of them (more for Phoebe), but Finn is just at an age where he doesn't really want anything that I can make for him. He wants Legos and books and laser tag sets. And, these kids have been through a lot this past year....
Below are some of the things that I made. The stuffed animal sleeping bag idea came from this blog, and I loosely followed her instructions (note: I did NOT make the doll or sloth stuffie pictured below!). The super-hero playmat was based upon an amalgamation of ideas that I saw on pinterest. And yeah, my kids got a bunch of stuff that I didn't make too. But at least I kept t hand made for everyone else. I'll consider it a goal mostly accomplished.
It is amazing! I was with my kids, so we didn't get too close. My photos can't do this justice....
Done! I brought my mom along as team support when she was visiting in September!
The 99W Drive-In in Newberg, Oregon (about 45 minutes away from us) played Hotel Transylvania 2 in October. The kids were eager to see it, and it actually got dark early enough that it was reasonable to go. I let the kids sit in the front seats, and, well... they thought they were pretty cool.
The kids and I pulled invasive weeds for No Ivy Day in Portland. Our site didn't actually have much ivy, but it did have lots of deadly nightshade. It was quick and easy to pull which made it a good activity for the kids....
Until someone kicked a hornets nest and made them angry and a few people were stung. The kids and I were fine, but it did make the kids a bit anxious and ready to go home.
It was really awesome to take them to volunteer with other people-- we have done volunteer work as a family before, but never in a group with strangers. Both of my kids were chatting adults up and making new friends.
And even though they were very ready to leave and be away from the hornets, I think that they were also proud for having done something important. I am hoping to make this more of a regular routine around here!
In November, the kids and I signed up for another volunteer project bagging up clothes for children in need. It wasn't the most exciting work, and my kids were super-whiney the entire time. It made me realize that this sort of work needs to become a regular part of their routine..... More updates to come, I think.
In January, we did some invasive weed removal with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council.
In April, Phoebe and I did some Earth Day trash removal at Kelly Point Park.
Done. Except the photos came out terrible. Way too much contrast. Hoping I can give this one a re-do before I turn 39....
OK, re-do is done! Here it is:
35. Read 38 books. Something on this list had to have 38 in it!
- Trigger Warning, Neil Gaimann
- In the Unlikely Event, Judy Blume
- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
- Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin
- The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rates of Nimh by Robert O'Brien
- The Twits by Roald Dahl
- Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
- Hands-Free Life: Nine Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford
- The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson
- Crossed by Ally Condie
- The Witches by Roald Dahl
- Reached by Ally Condie
- Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
- Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
- The Secret Life of Trees: How They Live and Why They Matter by Colin Tudge
- Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee
- The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
- The Human Age by Diane Ackerman
- The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North
- The Global Warming Reader edited by Bill McKibbon
- The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
- Wonder by RJ Palacio
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
- The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
- You Are A Badass: How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life by Jen Sincero
- The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
OK, it's back on. Phoebe and I went to the record store and came home with David Bowie's Diamond Dogs and Madonna's Like A Virgin. Both classics, and both used.
OK, as of February 4th, I did it. I ran a 9 minute mile. Still working on this one though, because I want to be able to run three miles at that pace!
As of June 28th, I am able to do 2 9 minute miles in a row... getting closer.
Done! The hike was sweet, and Hobbit Beach was breathtaking!
And there you have it. My wild (and not so wild) adventures of the next year. Here's to life, love and happiness... and 38 times around the sun! Pin It Now!