Ahhh a new year. Another birthday has come and gone. A list of 35 things to accomplish within this year is compiled…wow. This is going to be a fantastic year… This list of 35 things has been on my mind for at least a year. I read the book “29 Gifts” by Cami Walker that Circus C gave to me last spring. In this book Cami gives away 29 gifts in 29 days. The premise was fairly simple: by giving away one thing every day, while being mindful and authentic, you focus on what you have to offer others. This, in turn, creates more abundance in your own life. What a SIMPLE CONCEPT! What if everyone was practicing this in their own lives? Do you think there would be a difference in this world of ours?! Which brings me to the second influence for my list.
“I Am” a film by Tom Shadyac. It is now available on DVD and you should probably watch it. I have already blogged about this – but a quick summary found in the opening to the film had the wheels turning in my mind…
“What is wrong with this world? And what can I do about it? How much is enough and what do we need to lead a purposeful life?”
Tom Shadyac, “I Am”
That was enough to get me started. As my 35th birthday approached I knew I wanted give. Give to others in small ways, do little things and see what happens. What am I expecting at the end of this? It is simple: to brighten someone’s day, bring smiles, share laughs, and simply this: live life and do good things for others.
The morning of my birthday was finally here. I made up some whipped banana oatmeal, complete with a candle, duh! Though I was bleary eyed (had been operating on vacation mode for a week) I made my way to school for the first day back of teaching. And do you know what happened? This:
My students made this! Do you realize how hard it is, at times, to get a group of high school kids moving and grooving before 8 a.m.? And…voila…the day after vacation…they came in all smiles. They are THE best!!!!! I was floating through the day. I soared (with very few complaints) through a training session. I was treated to a wonderful and memorable dinner with Sweet Z. I felt very, very spoiled. There were beautiful gifts, a cranberry orange pecan cake shared with my Mom and many, many laughs.
Without further ado…it is time to start crossing some things off of this little list o’ mine. The rules: I have one year to complete the tasks. This is real life. Let’s go!
Write a guest blog on a fellow food blogger’s website (I have written a few posts for www.nh.com blog)
2. Buy 2 strangers a cup of coffee
Travel to 3 states in a 24 hour period
4. Send 4 bouquets of flowers to ____ just because.
Learn 5 constellations & find them through the telescopes at the Dartmouth Observatory (I have learned 5 constellations but have not found them through a telescope yet)
6. Send 6 letters or postcards to friends – just because
Drop 7 ‘lucky’ quarters for 7 lucky people to find
8. Try 8 recipes from the Moosewood cookbook
Host 9 dinner parties – with 9 different themes
10. Visit 10 wineries – complete with tastings (Have been to Charlotte Winery thus far…)
Try 11 different gelato flavors
Bake 12 cupcakes and share them with friends – just because
Hike 13 miles.
High five 14 people in one day (My students…following a great concert!)
Tip a waiter $15 above average
Create a video (viral?) and hope for 16 hits (TWO videos, 294 views and counting! NQG the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UslWYpnK1Bw&feature=plcp AND 2012 Newport Folk Festival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsJvsA52QPE&feature=plcp
17. Stay up for 17 hours – watch the stars, sip bourbon, and watch the sunrise
Wave to 18 people (This is really just a way of life in NH/ VT)
Stop, listen to Adele’s “19” album, make a copy and send it to a friend (Umm…my taste for Adele has shifted…what to do?! I say No. 19 goes into the discard pile)
Donate 20 things
21. Watch 21 movies made before the 21st Century
22. Write out 22 quotes and leave them in
random places (library, bookstore, homes of friends) (I share an inspirational/ motivational quote nearly every day on Facebook…does this count?)
Pick up 23 pieces of trash from the side of the road
Go 24 hours without a cell phone, computer or t.v.
25. Give $25 towards a friend / musician towards a ‘kickstarter’ type of campaign
26. Learn 26 words of a foreign language
Wear skirts…27 times! (Thanks to the great weather this summer!)
28. Make a list of 28 accomplishments in my life so far
Compliment someone everyday in February (29 days)
Drive 30 miles from home. Discover. Explore. (Galway Kinnell poetry reading!)
31. Take 31 minutes a day for me:
meditate/ relaxation techniques (Does sleep count? This is very hard to do)
Take a cooking class (I have taken 3…and must take more!)
Pick fresh berries this summer – make jam! (http://notquitegourmet.com/2012/07/05/strawberries-strawberries/)
Put change in an expired meter
35. Document (in photos) all of the wonderful and amazing life experiences in my 35th year…and make a calendar!