Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thing Thirty: To infinity and beyond

Today is my birthday. This is Thing Thirty, and it's the most important one.

In reality, it's just a generalization of all the other Things that I've enumerated: eat new things, learn new languages, go new places. Create. Learn. Push.

And that's Thing Thirty: to just keep pushing. Keep trying. Don't get complacent, don't get in a rut. Try new things. That's how to stay young.

Thing Twenty-Nine: Far Afield

I want to make something that isn't my usual thing. I make a lot of fabric stuff - knitting, sewn dresses, needlefelted stuff.

But I think I want to make something different. I want to make something wooden or metal or ceramic. I want to solder or weld or saw or hammer or...whatever. Make a nice piece of furniture, maybe. Or a tiara.

Thing Twenty-Eight: Food, Glorious Food

So this one is actually me taking my life into my hands, to a certain extent.

I mean...taking my life into my hands in the most innocuous, boring way possible.

I find myself falling into the same food ruts. I eat a lot of pasta. I eat a lot of fish, and salad, and sharp cheese. I need to diversify. I especially want to try to eat more fruits.

The only problem with that, though, is that I am allergic to a lot of fruits. Bananas can actually kill me. Coconut, mangos, papayas, and melons all make me break out in hives. Kiwis make my lips blow up like I'm Angelina Jolie. So I'm going to have to be very, very careful.

But I think it's both possible and reasonable to try one dish or type of food that I have never tried before per week. I mean...I've never had dragonfruit, or gooseberries, or sardines. And as long as I have my epipen with me (and don't try plantains, which I have ALSO never had, but which are much too close to bananas to chance), I think I should be fine.

Thing Twenty-Seven: Comes Back Threefold

Most of these have been about doing something to improve myself. Learning things, going places, that kind of thing.

But there are other people in the world, too. People who need help.

I have, for a long time, donated money to impoverished classrooms at http://www.donorschoose.org/. I like the way I am able to choose projects that I personally think are important (often the arts, but sometimes math or science or whatever if I think the actual project is cool), and then funnel the (very small) amount of money I am able to spare toward them.

But I have something other than money. I have time. I have compassion. I have skills. I can make things. And I think it's time to find a place to donate some of my self and not just some of my wallet.

Thing Twenty-Six: On the Road

So I said that I would take more advantage of the city that I'm near (Philadelphia, presently), and, even though I missed the Van Gogh exhibit (it was sold out!), I will.

But I also think it's important to keep broadening my horizons. And I worry that I'm getting...repetitive. I've been to Chicago dozens of times, and also lived there. I go to Boston and New York essentially monthly. I've been to London four times, including a several-month stint as a nanny. I'm considering going to Zurich for the second time.

But there are so many OTHER places out there. I haven't been to Sweden, or Spain, or Greece. I haven't been to Hawaii, or Alaska (or Nebraska or South Dakota, but...they are also not very high on the list of places I WANT to go).

It's just so EASY to go to the places I've already been. I have friends in Chicago and Boston and DC and Zurich. London is so natural to me, it feels like a cruel trick that I am not a native Londoner. But then, theoretically, I could feel that way somewhere else, but because I haven't been there yet, I don't know it.

So I'm going to try to go to one big new place this year. Just to try it out.

Thing Twenty-Five: Mighty Casey Has Struck Out

I want to go to batting cages and hit a baseball successfully. I don't want to do this for any particular reason, I have absolutely no intention of ever playing baseball or softball or even whiffle ball at a barbecue. I don't even particularly like watching baseball. I mean, I like watching Chase Utley run around in those little pants, and if I have tickets to an actual game, I go and have a good time, but I'm not tuning in on TV or anything. I just...want to have done it, I think.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thing Twenty-Four: It's a Rich Man's World

This one's another boring one, but I am definitely not going to fall off in my posting, because I still have to get five more of these up before tomorrow.

I need to figure out some kind of budget, and then stick to it. This is fairly hard, because my financial situation is very much a feast-or-famine situation, where I either have, like, $2000 dollars in my bank account, or $50, which makes dealing with discretionary spending really difficult.

So what I think I'm going to have to do, at least until I have a steadier source of income, is figure out my minimum monthly expenses (car insurance, student loans, etc), add in a couple of hundred bucks for things like gas and toothpaste and the occasional movie or bottle of wine, and then just make sure I make at least THAT much every month. Then if I make MORE, I can spend it on things like shoes or nights out or even, if I'm feeling really responsible, put it into savings! Like a grown up!