Friday, September 3, 2010

on: 25.


It’s been crazy year. In December, I got mono and read Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” and started thinking about the story I was telling with my life. In January, I set out to do 24 things before I turned 25, some big and some small. I didn’t do all of them, but I did a lot of them. But reflecting back on this year, it’s been one of the best and most exciting of my life. And 23 was really dang good, too. Now, I’m looking ahead to my 26th year on this earth. Having recently been faced with turns I didn’t expect my story to take- nothing major, just little things that remind me I’m not in charge of my life- I am amazed at the grace of God: of His faithfulness to keep promises, to keep me, and to take me on adventures I never could have imagined, when I only let Him lead. So now, the last year of my life in a few lists:

24 things before 25
1. Read at least one book for pleasure per month. (check!)
2. Visit the Nelson-Atkins. (FAIL- I mean, come on! How easy would that have been??)
3. Paint/draw one piece per month. (Nope.)
4. Take more pictures. (check!)
5. Cook once a week/eat at home more. (check!)
6. Spend time with Jesus before I spend time with others. (Errr, sort of.)
7. Write more letters. Send more cards. (check!)
8. Decorate my office with things I love. (check!)
9. Clean and organize my home office space. (check!)
10. Repair/reupholster some of the furniture I fished out of people’s garbage. (Errr, no.)
11. Have someone over for dinner once a month. (check!)
12. Make one new friend per month. (Halfway. A few new friends! Deepened some other friendships. So, I’m going to call it a SUCCESS!)
13. Sew something on my sewing machine. (check! Cloth napkins. Bingo.)
14. Go to Chicago! Finally! (check! Well, I’m going this weekend, but I’m still counting it.)
15. Take more pictures of Loren and I. (Vomit, I know, but (check!)
16. Practice my Spanish. (Pfffff. This might be on my list every year for the rest of my life.)
17. Trace my family history. (Nope.)
18. One walk per week. (No, but I did take a lot more walks, so improvement!)
19. Ride my bike to class, often. (check!)
20. Make a collage of my pictures from Korea. (check!)
21. Go camping. (No. :( )
22. Grow things. (check! Herbs, tomatoes, green peas, peppers, onions, red potatoes, zinnias, tulips, daisies, peonies and kale. I’m on my way!)
23. Make more gifts. (No. But I did give more gifts, and I consider that a WIN.)
24. Go to the beach. Any beach. (check! Alaska. But it’s still the Ocean, people.)

So, here I have 24 things that I wanted to do in eight months. I did 14 of them full-on. I did another four in part. That’s 75 percent. I did 75 percent of the things that I thought would be dang cool to do in just eight months. That’s awesome. I’m going to write a new list for this year. I highly recommend it to anyone. In addition to this list, I made a conscious effort to take more adventures this year. I only get to be young once, after all, and it sure felt like I was letting the ‘old’ set in far too quickly: I had a 40 hour a week job and everything about my life sounded remarkably average. There’s nothing wrong with average. There’s real beauty in average, and I appreciate that beauty. But I’m not satisfied with average just yet. Travel is a great way to interrupt average. As Alain de Botton said, “The reason to travel: there are inner transitions we can’t properly cement without a change of locations.” So I traveled.

1. North Carolina (well, right before my birthday, but it still counts.)
2. Seoul, South Korea
3. Lots of St. Louis and Columbia, MO
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Detroit, MI
6. New York City
7. Alaska
8. Chicago

So this year, make a list with me, maybe? And let’s go some places definitely. Let’s interrupt average every now and then.