Last year my roommate April and I set out to write a list of 101 things that we each wanted to accomplish in 2009. It’s hard to believe that today is already Day 365. SO much has happened this past year that I don’t even know where to begin, but I think it’s safe to say this was one of the most eventful years of my life so far.
Throughout the year I really enjoyed having my list to come back to when I was feeling bored, unproductive, or reflective. It was great to have a tangible set of things that I wanted to do that I could check off along the way. It’s why I created 101in365. I wanted to do it again, but even better this time around.
I rarely made a conscious effort to accomplish one of the items on the list. I generally just let life happen and along the way hope to tick off as many as I could. I’m disappointed that I couldn’t finish a few of them but overall I’m happy with what I was able to accomplish this year. So, without further ado, the list:
START: January 1, 2009
END: December 31, 2009
Master something I've never tried. - This is a tough one to determine completeness. I definitely learned that I need to make these goals more specific. I've done a lot of things I hadn't tried before over the course of the year, but did I master any of them? Some more than others. For example, I'm excellent at dealing with my bills and things now, but I wouldn't say that's something to check off. Not like becoming a black belt having never done martial arts before. Let's call this one a push.
Ride a Segway. - This one wasn't for lack of trying. I've looked into Segway tours pretty much everywhere I've gone just to try it out but they're always so darned expensive and not really worth the cost. Adding this one to next year's list.
Road trip from Northern CA to Southern CA.
Tour Europe. - DEFINITELY accomplished this one. And it was the best decision I've ever made. I would do it again in a heartbeat. (See travel.jennvargas.com)
Travel to a country I've never been (Canada doesn't count). - I consider this one kind of cheating since I'd never been to any of the countries I visited in Europe, but yes, this one gets the check mark.
Try real sushi - like raw fish sushi, not crab/shrimp/veggie sushi. - I'm not sure whether to check this one off. I've had raw fish, but I don't know if it would be considered sushi. Raw fish is still a huge step for me considering seafood is probably one of my least favorite things, so I'll call this a win.
See at least one Broadway show that I haven't already seen.
Visit 3 states I've never visited.
Visit a place where I don't speak the local language. - Another one that I can group in with the cheating list. I didn't speak the local language in most of the places I visited in Europe.
Watch the sun set over the Pacific.
Avoid senioritis at all costs. - I worked my rear end off for my final semester. I think it had to do with taking classes that I actually liked.
Become a morning person again. Up at 8 or 9AM, none of this 11AM nonsense. - I have to say that this one didn't actually happen until after college, but I definitely wake up early now.
Go to the top of the Clocktower for a chimes concert. - This is the one I'm most disappointed about not accomplishing. I even had a chance when I went back to Cornell in October, but I didn't have the time to go. I WILL get to the top of that clocktower.
Have lunch with a friend at least once/week. - Did this during school and arguably still since I have lunch with my coworkers.
Read at least 3 school/major-related books. (3/3) - I really should have written down the names of the books but I know Here Comes Everybody was one of them.
Try to complete as many things possible on the â€œ161 things to do before you graduate Cornell list -- in one day. - Did pretty well with this one. Can't remember how many I ticked off, but it was a decent number.
Go to sleep before 11PM twice/month. - Sadly I go to sleep before 11 more than twice/month these days. I usually fall asleep around 10:30 watching TV and then doze on and off until I actually go to sleep in my bed. This whole getting up early thing is a killer.
Hand off the Photo Department to Matt in a state that I can be proud of. - I like to think that I did a pretty solid job with the Photo Department during my time as Photo Editor and I think Matt got to start his term on a strong foundation. (02.28.2009)
Cook at least twice/week. (You'd be amazed at how many meals of chips and salsa or hummus and crackers one can eat in a week.) - I was doing really well with this one during school but then once I moved I lost it. I have been traveling too much lately to keep food around but that's definitely one of my goals for 2010.
Go back to Pinkberry. - Went with Meghan and Matt during winter break. Now that I'm in San Francisco again it's not nearly as novel but I still love this stuff! (01.13.09 [photo])
Go back to Serendipity 3 (thanks Lissy!)
Go on a picnic. - Another cheating one since most of my food consumption while traveling was picnic style.
Have more dinner parties. - Another where I did well during school but lost momentum after graduation.
Learn to cook empanadas. - I KIND of learned, but I need to get my hands on the recipe.
Learn to like wine. - I no longer have a complete aversion to it so I call this a win. There are some wines I enjoy - mostly whites - but I'm slowing acquiring a taste.
Make chocolate covered fruits (strawberries in particular). - I bought one of those microwave melt chocolate things and dipped strawberries in them every day for like 2 weeks. That was fantastic. (02.18.2009)
Make my own pizza from scratch. - I've yet to make my own dough so I consider this incomplete. I do make my own pizza, though. Wraps make excellent bases.
One last Cooking Extravaganza.
Order out at most once/week, but as infrequently as possible. - I set a rule for myself: eating out more than once a week is OK when it's with friends. Every once in a while I stop by the Taqueria on my way home from the train station, but on average I don't pick up dinner on the way home more than once a week.
Try a new recipe at least once/week.
Call a friend, no matter how busy I am, once a week to see how they're doing.
Catch up with at least 4 old friends who have drifted away. - I'm really excited about this one. I got to reconnect with a lot of people over the course of this year and I'm so glad to be back in touch with them.
Hang out with Bayonne friends at least once before moving to CA. - more than once! Ioanna and Jimelle came to visit me at the shore and I also went up to Bayonne for the night just before I left for my going away party. I have to hang out with those guys more often.
Have Sunday Brunch with friends at least once/month. - This has become Saturday brunch but is still an almost weekly ritual.
Keep in touch with old friends: distance and time are not excuses.
Meet up with Natalie at least once (it's been over 3 years!). - Natalie came to visit me at Cornell. (2/22/2009)
See Erin at least twice. - Sadly we only got to see each other once this year and that wasn't in the happiest of circumstances. Hopefully Erin will be able to come visit San Francisco in 2010.
Snail mail is fun: send holiday/birthday cards. - I was SO CLOSE to finishing this one. In fact, the cards are all written, sealed, and addressed in my backpack right now. Life kind of got in the way and I never got to the post office to get stamps. Sad.
Spend more time hanging out with Margot. - Yep. We hung out a bunch. Now she's in Ithaca and I'm in SF so that's tough, but I did see her when I went to visit!
Visit Shannon in Portland. - Another that I'm really disappointed I didn't get to do.
Be less wasteful. - With all of the moving I did this year I was definitely very wasteful. I did have a garage sale and donate the things I didn't want any more, but with all of the packing materials and boxes, etc., this definitely wasn't a "green" year for me.
Blog at least once/week. - I did so well with this until I moved out to SF. With the lack of school and travels I've yet to find my new blogging mojo.
Don't be a lazy typist. Use capitals and punctuation where necessary, but not unnecessarily. - I'd say I definitely got better at not typing like a high school student. Still a long way to go, especially in terms of accuracy.
Don't sit at the computer for long periods of time. - HAHAH yeah. Right. Like this one is going to happen.
Don't slouch, especially when I'm sitting at the computer for long periods of time. - I've definitely improved in this area though. Now if only I could get my hands on a Herman Miller.
Go an entire month without caffeine. (I don't drink coffee or soda, but I do drink a lot of iced tea.) - This one wasn't very difficult considering I don't really drink a lot of caffeine in the first place. I basically just had to cut out iced tea.
Go outside at least once/day. Pajama days are better when they're infrequent. - Not quite there yet, but making progress. I don't have much of a choice now that I have Penny.
Make my bed every day for a month (bonus points if I can keep it up for longer!) - I tried. I just don't get what the big deal is. I'm just going to unmake it in a few hours anyway.
Pick 1 day of the week and limit myself to email and classwork-related internet use. No twitter, flickr, facebook, RSS, or other time traps. More on that later.
Use the word "I" less often. It's not all about me. - Made a conscious effort with this one over the course of the year. Tough to measure if I've actually managed to complete this one but let's call it done.
Water is my friend. Drink it. - Water is good.
Wear my hair down at least once/week or get it cut shorter. - It still surprises me that I've actually managed to do this one. I used to HATE wearing my hear down, and to be honest it still bugs the crap out of me, but I do it.
Write more. You know, like with a pen. And while I'm at it, fix my handwriting. - I promise I tried, but my handwriting is atrocious.
Having a Job:
Aim for 30-under-30. - Nothing to report. Boo.
Find an apartment in San Francisco that I love. - Yep.
Keep up with new CSS things. - Made up a couple projects over the course of the year just so I could play around with the CSS3 things. Still a few more things that I'd like to try, but at least I don't feel completely out of touch.
Learn my way around RoR.
Have at least $3000 in savings account at the end of the year. - Yeah. Not so much. If I didn't go to Europe it probably would have been a different story, but it was money well spent.
Have no credit card debt by the end of the year. - I follow the gospel of I Will Teach You To Be Rich
Finance a good portion of my trip to Europe by selling things I don't use anymore. - Yep.
Learn how to do my taxes. - Postponing this one until next year. Graduation, moving to a new state, and all that other stuff make this one a year for an accountant.
Make good progress on paying back my college loans. - Grade period just ended. Now I just have a process in place, the progress part won't be noticeable until next year some time. Hopefully.
Don't keep junk. I only need so many free pens.
Get my bank accounts in order and track where I'm spending too much money (yay Mint.com).
Keep my desk neat. Piles are the enemy.
Keep my room clean/organized/neat for an entire month. - This one is easy now that my bedroom is literally just a bed and a side table. My whole apartment is generally very neat though.
Throw away/sell/donate at least one thing I've been keeping "just in case" each week.
Organize my out-of-control music collection.
Plan aforementioned trip to Europe. - See travel.jennvargas.com.
Reduce my RSS subscriptions to <100 quality reads. - I think I'm around the same number I was last year. Some of the old standbys are there but more photography and less Engadget type echo-chamber-y sites.
Be in more photos rather than just taking them all the time. - Did well with this one, especially toward the end of senior year.
Find and organize non-digital photos from childhood. - Made good progress by digitizing a lot of the photos I found in the process of cleaning out my room for the move.
Finish my Project 365. - Matt and I agreed to end it sometime over the course of the summer. It made photography too much of a chore.
Print and frame at least 5 of my photos. What's the point if they're just sitting on my hard drive?I printed a lot of photos, but never framed any of them.
Try to make at least 1 HDR. - Tried and failed. I don't particularly like HDRs.
Sell a photo. (I've sold a bunch of photo shoots already, but no photos that I've already shot)
Shoot and develop at least 8 rolls of film. - Far surpassed this one doing my Psych of Visual Comm final project
Build a snow man. - Just last week, in fact!
Buy a pair of awesome black heels.
Buy a really cool vintage camera. - Bought a bunch of them but still want more.
Complete the NYTimes Crossword Puzzle at least once/week (bonus for Sunday!)
Get the Sims 3, but curb my addiction. (read: practice self-control). - Got it, played with it, over it.
Go ice skating.
Go on a date (perhaps combine with #23?).- FAIL.
Learn 50 ASL signs that I don't already know.
Lose 15 lbs. - Backpacking for 6 weeks helps.
Make decent progress on watching CSI from start to finish.
Make a "soundtrack of the year" with 20 of the songs that I loved in 2009.
Read at least 1 book by Jane Austen.
Read at least 3 non-school/non-major-related books. - Definitely read more than 3.
Re-learn Spanish. - Going to Spain really helped but I have a long way to go before I'm anywhere near fluency again.
Re-locate my imagination. - Still not where I'd like to be.
See at least 25 movies from the AFI Top 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list - SO CLOSE! (21/25)
Sell something on eBay or craigslist.
Sell something on Etsy.
Try a sport other than volleyball, soccer or softball. - Unless paragliding counts?
Watch all of the Star Wars movies (I haven't seen any!).
All I can say is thank god I don’t have to do that manually next year. 46 completed. Less than half, but definitely the better half. Almost done with my list for 2010. These things are tough! Check it out on 101in365: 101in365.com/jenn.