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100 Things, 2017: April Update

25/100 – Thing 59 – get a Tarot reading for my birthday, 4/6/17
I bought myself a reading on etsy and I am SO happy with it. Grace did an amazing job, even with just 9 cards for my overview for the next year. Here’s her store link: TarotTuesday.

26/100 – Thing 42 – get cupcakes from Flour and Sun Bakery for my birthday, 4/9/17
We went the day before my birthday and I got a yummy cupcake: “Chocolate Raspberry Dream– Chocolate cake, creamy raspberry filling topped with chocolate buttercream and a drizzle of raspberry” (photo credit: https://www.instagram.com/flourandsun/)

27/100 – Thing 57 – take Charlotte outside in the grass on a sunny day for some grounding, 4/9/17
What a gorgeous day! We got barefoot in the grass, did downward dog, and some good arms-out-to-the-sides spinning.

28/100 – Thing 33 – go on a walk with Mark, 4/14/17
Another gorgeous day. We walked to a park with Charlotte, about a half mile, and back home. We stayed at the park for about an hour or so. Char got a little burned, so next time we definitely need to remember the sunscreen.


29/100 – Thing 29 – go on a photowalk, 4/30/17
It’s exactly what it sounds like – go on a walk and take lots of photos. Charlotte and I walked around the grounds of our apartment complex and did some “exploring,” so I took a bunch of photos and posted them to Facebook. Here’s one that Charlotte picked for this post, and one that I chose.

Queen of the Stump… with a silly look on her face.

 

Loving all the dandelions, but we can’t wait for them to change over so we can make some wishes!

Other Things I’ve started: Writing a blog post every month (Thing 97). Do Morning Pages for 60 straight days (Thing 14) – I didn’t write on Easter; I started again the next day, wrote a few days, then stopped. I will start again later in the year. Read Jane Eyre (Thing 77) – I’m listening to the free librivox recording read by Elizabeth Klett and following along on my Kindle. I finished April at about 70% after starting March 11. Take Charlotte to a Renegades game (Thing 50) – I have tickets to a game in August. See a play (Thing 39) – I keep forgetting about this, but my mother-in-law got us tickets to the dinner theater, so we will be seeing a musical in May.

Things Done Each Month:
January – 8
February – 10
March – 6
April – 5

If you click on the progress bar in the right side of the page, you can see the complete updated list, even before my monthly update posts at the end of the month.

100 Things, 2017: March Update

19/100 – Thing 21 – laugh genuinely and hysterically, 3/7/17
Charlotte was being so funny, I could not stop laughing. Of course now I can’t remember what exactly it was about but at the time I did think, “ooh! I can cross this off my list!”

20/100 – Thing 79 – read the Lauren Oliver Delirium trilogy, finished 3/10/17
I believe I started in January, and finished March 10. I actually read all 5 accompanying short stories that Oliver wrote as well. I enjoyed these books, but not as much as the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. I was satisfied with the way the series ended, even though a lot of people don’t like how it’s left open in many ways. I think there’s enough conclusion there.

21/100 – Thing 87 – bake apple pie with Charlotte, 3/14/17
We baked an apple pie for Pi Day!

22/100 – Thing 32 – celebrate Pink and Black Day, 3/25/17
This is a holiday I created in college. It’s really easy to celebrate, you just have to wear pink and black. Silver has been an unofficial color of the day as well right from the start. I don’t usually remember Pink and Black Day until after it’s past, so I am proud of myself for remembering this year. I even made chocolate chop brownies to help celebrate!

23/100 – Thing 68 – create art with Charlotte, 3/26/17
We finger painted together. I made a butterfly, which she painted over a little. We also learned about making secondary colors by mixing primary colors together.

24/100 – Thing 10 – watch “Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders”, 3/27/17
I watched this video on the train in the morning. It was interesting because of course I want there to be more women leaders in the world, in business and in society, but I don’t want to be one of them. So maybe I’m exactly who she’s talking about, women who don’t have aspirations to be tops in the field. But regardless of what I want for myself, I want to teach my daughter that she can aim for the highest position in whatever she chooses to do with her life. So I’ll probably rewatch this one.

Other Things I’ve started: Writing a blog post every month (Thing 97). Do Morning Pages for 60 straight days (Thing 14) – I started March 7, so if I do sixty straight days then my last day will be May 5. I have a couple days where I started but didn’t finish, but I’m counting it as long as I didn’t completely skip the day, regardless of if it was written in the morning or later in the day. Read Jane Eyre (Thing 77) – I started listening to the free librivox recording read by Elizabeth Klett. Take Charlotte to a Renegades game (Thing 50) – I bought us tickets to the Princess Party game.

Things Done Each Month:
January – 8
February – 10
March – 6

If you click on the progress bar in the right side of the page, you can see the complete updated list, even before my monthly update posts at the end of the month.

100 Things update 1

Last month I posted my list of 100 Things to Do in 2016, and I’ve been crossing off items as I do them. But I want to keep track of what I’m doing too, not just the fact that they’ve been checked off. Every few weeks I plan on doing an update like this so I can elaborate a little bit.

1/100 – Thing 45 – Go on a walk with Mark, 1/2/16
We walked around the huge mall in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania for about an hour and a half. We had Charlotte with us in her stroller, and we didn’t stop in many stores. It was our last day, having gone out December 27 so he could have surgery on his neck at the Laser Spine Institute (an organization we HIGHLY recommend). His surgery was on December 30, and he was supposed to do some walking as part of his recovery.

2/100 – Thing 50 – Listen to a chakra meditation, 1/3/16
I like to listen to meditations as I’m winding down for bedtime. I listened to the free one I linked to in my previous post. It was okay, but I like Gina Rafkind’s Chakra Rainbows meditation better.

3/100 – Thing 54 – Take on the 52 Lists Project, 1/5/16
I decided that “take on” means to attempt/start and not to complete, so I checked this off my list once I had started making the list for Week 1. “List your goals and dreams for this year” was easy, after filling in my 2016 Shining Year workbook from Leonie Dawson.

4/100 – Thing 31 – Create a mandala, 1/5/16
I used Photoshop to create a mandala coloring page. I used a tutorial I found online to get the foundation, then had fun playing around. I worked on one section, which I then copied onto new layers and rotated to fill in the rest of the circle. If you haven’t seen it, check out my post about it and you can download it!

5/100 – Thing 64 – Create a sacred space in my home, 1/7/16
I have been collecting things for years, and I used to have a sacred space but at some point I took it down and never got around to redoing it. So I finally did a new sacred space on my desk. I threw out a stereo I had since college but hadn’t used in years because the CD player broke, and now I have my sacred space there. My favorite part of this space is that I have elemental guardians – gnome from Connemara Marble in Ireland (earth), butterfly fairy Strangeling (air), dragon from TY (fire), and a mermaid from a dollar store (water).

sacred space jan 2016

6/100 – Thing 87 – Get new sheets, 1/10/16
Since it says GET and not BUY, I’m counting it complete because Mark ordered sheets from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

7/100 – Thing 16 – Do a jigsaw puzzle, 1/11/16
I have a puzzle that is an ice cream cone and part of the box had ripped, so I wasn’t sure if I had all the pieces… turns out I do. Of course, instead of counting 500 the true way to make sure all the pieces are there is to DO the puzzle.

In addition to these completed Things, I have a few I’m working on. Hopefully I’ll be posting another update by the end of the month.

FREE Mandala coloring page that I made

Tonight I created my own mandala using Photoshop, so exciting!!! It’s the 4th item on my 100 Things To Do in 2016 list that I can check off as DONE and today is only the 5th of the year, that’s pretty good. ❤ I used the custom shapes tool and some free downloaded custom shapes (from here), duplicated layers, and flipped/rotated as necessary to create the circles of repeated shapes. If you would like to download the image or PDF below, please do.

mandala

right click image to save JPG

mandala (right click to save PDF)

I’d rather see the world from another angle…

This line from a Jewel song is playing over and over in my head, and it’s got me thinking about how when I allowed myself to say “I am an artist,” I started seeing myself from another angle.

When you look at me, you probably wouldn’t see an artist. I’m not the starving artist, sitting in rags on a New York City sidewalk and scratching in a sketchbook all day. I’m not the bright up-and-coming star artist who is nervously showing in a gallery for the first time. I’m not the famous in her own time artist whose works are selling at art auctions around the world, and I’m certainly not the posthumously famous artist. I’m not dead yet.

When you think of an artist you probably think of someone who creates something visual. Since I was a little girl, I have secretly wanted to be an Artist-with-a-capital-A — by which I meant a person who makes a living creating art, such as painting. But as much as I enjoy creating tactile things, I feel much more in my element when I am writing. Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” It’s so true. Writers know that changing one word can change the meaning of a whole piece. And I love laboring over a piece of writing, whether it is a poem, a novel, or a blog post, and working on it until it appears to have come out effortlessly, as if I were channeling an otherworldly being.

I love writing tools. The stationery aisle at Staples makes me weak in the knees. I enjoy testing out different pens to see how they write. I love the possibilities of a blank sheet of paper, even better if it’s lined. I love that a Word document can go on and on and on, as long as I keep typing. I love taking part in NaNoWriMo, even if I have yet to revise anything to the point that it can be published. I will get there some day, I am certain. Because though I am not published, I am a writer.

And I am an artist. I paint pictures with words, using a pen or keyboard as my brush. I know why it’s better to say, “She stomped her foot and pouted,” rather than, “She was so mad.” I know that when your high school teacher says that it’s raining in the story to underscore the sad tone, it’s NOT just coincidence, despite your insistence that “the author didn’t mean that, it just happened that way” (yes, he did; and no, it didn’t). I love that I can hide clues in the text that foreshadow something, but you don’t realize that they are clues until you’ve finished and have to reread the book or story to understand it in a new light. I know the power of a well placed comma or ellipsis…

I AM AN ARTIST and that makes me happy. Because after all… isn’t that what I’ve always wanted to be?

(…and I know that it’s called an ellipsis and not “dot dot dot.”)