It’s a wrap on “41 before 42”

By Monday, May 9, 2016 0 , , Permalink 0

Credit Aaron Anderson Photography

I’ve been procrastinating on this post. Partly because I’ve been working a lot (a good thing for a freelancer!), and partly because I feel like I didn’t tick off as much as I had hoped to this year.

But if I’m honest with myself, I did so much more for the first time that wasn’t even on my radar that I can’t really be frustrated.

As with last year, and likely every year I keep this going, I learned more about what I’m really interested in, and what I’m not. What I wanted to make time for, and what I didn’t. What I do regret having not completed — and that just because this particular timeline met its deadline, doesn’t mean the pursuit has to end.

Thanks to all of you who keep on following along. I do love sharing this journey, and encouraging others to get out there and try something new!

Below is my “report” (fully completed items have a line through them, some notes on the others) — and soon I’ll post my “42 before 43” list. Best.

• 41 Before 42 • 

  1. Choreograph a country line dance (and see if Barb will teach it at Cowboys) — I’ve picked the song I want to use and started choreographing. This will stay on my list.
  2. Plant and grow garlic
  3. Watch every episode of MASH — My parents bought us the entire collection for Christmas so we’re moving faster now that we don’t have to wait for the library. We’re almost done with the fifth season. This will stay on my list.
  4. Try aerial yoga and/or aerial silks
  5. Plan my next trip to France (perhaps running a retreat at Little French Retreat)
  6. Attend a Switchbacks match — Ugh. Missed out because I wasn’t paying attention to the calendar. Definitely this summer!
  7. Try kayaking
  8. Learn barista basics
  9. Plant flower bulbs this fall
  10. Take a birding and/or bird banding class — Pitched a story on this, so hoping for it still to happen as a part of that research.
  11. Continue to reduce my wardrobe, a la Project 333
  12. Take French language lessons — Using Duolingo, but still would like to take some formal one-on-one classes.
  13. Read at least 75 books (Hey! I hit 81! Gonna up the number again for next year.)
  14. Take classes on how to use the manual functions on my DSLR camera — I did get some tips from a photographer friend, but honestly I’m looking at purchasing a new, much smaller and lighter camera to use on my travels so I’m less interested in this.
  15. Have at least one item of clothing tailored to fit
  16. Learn to bake croissants
  17. Get will and living will in order
  18. Have a bouquet of flowers in the house, fresh once a month
  19. Attend a fest in Telluride — I had this on the calendar and then we had some family issues that meant I had to cancel.
  20. Take performance driving lessons
  21. Add a piece of original art to my collection from an artist I have not yet met
  22. Stay up once all night until sunrise
  23. Perform at a poetry slam/open mic
  24. Learn to bake French macarons
  25. Attend the Santa Fe Opera — Going, again, on the not-gonna-happen list. Missed the summer season. This year!
  26. Be involved with a stage show in some way
  27. Bake a pie, with homemade crust, from scratch
  28. Visit at least one new-to-me museum — Thanks to my travels, hit more than a dozen!
  29. Watch one new-to-me movie and one classic film a month — Watched many more movies this year than I have in a long time so I consider this a success.
  30. Play Settlers of Catan — Found friends who have the game and want to play.
  31. Stay at the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray
  32. Take an oracle card-making class
  33. Research and read more about walking the Camino de Santiago
  34. Travel (again) with a girlfriend
  35. Fly a kite
  36. Send postcards to friends once a month just because
  37. Try fly fishing
  38. Visit Shambhala Mountain Center
  39. Do a Georgia O’Keeffe tour around New Mexico (Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, etc.) — No tour yet, but I did get back to the O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, and saw a great O’Keeffe exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art.
  40. Do a not-just-head-shot photo shoot — See photo above! I participated in a locals’ photography project by Aaron Anderson. It was pretty dang cool. Mainly because he’s pretty dang cool.
  41. Get off my ass already and pitch the nun story to Oprah Magazine — Have decided NOT to pitch it to O, but am continuing to research options. And I did write another monastery piece for 5280.

The “Miscellaneous Stuff I Did that Wasn’t on the List” List

Tried archery for the first time. Played paintball. Rode a horse. Stayed at a dude ranch. Learned to stand-up paddle board. Learned to shoot air rifle with an Olympic hopeful. Hiked a chunk of the Appalachian Trail. Learned to make tortillas. Took a wildflower identification class. Sat a few rows away from George R.R. Martin as he honored Gena Rowlands at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Acquired a ukelele for Christmas and have started online lessons. Took a Fosse-style dance class. Indoor rock climbing — top-rope and bouldering — a few times a week. Learning, slowly, to walk a slackline. Taught my first two yoga/writing workshops. Earned my Relax & Renew restorative yoga certification from Judith Hanson Lasater. Started working on a documentary (and helped run a successful crowdfunding campaign). Finally had a slice of pecan pie at Front Range BBQ (and it was good). Started using Trello (which I, um, love). Met President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and America Ferrera. Took a couples’ trip to California wine country and rode in a bright yellow Camaro. Learned to make sauerkraut and cheese while visiting Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the first time. Travelled for the first time to Crested Butte; Roanoke, Virginia; Santa Barbara, California; Scottsdale, Arizona (where I learned to Arizona two-step); Portland, Maine; Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada; and Door County, Wisconsin.

Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, May 8, 2016 0 , Permalink 0

BlogSanFranHomesLg

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.


From The Waves, by Virginia Woolf:

How much better is silence;

the coffee cup, the table.

 

How much better to sit by myself

like the solitary sea-bird

that opens its wings on the stake.

 

Let me sit here for ever with bare things,

this coffee cup,

this knife, this fork,

things in themselves,

myself being myself.

Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, April 17, 2016 0 , Permalink 1

We all die, live now, street art photo by Kirsten Akens

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.


A conversation between dancers/choreographers Martha Graham and Agnes de Mille, found in the 1991 biography Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham.

Agnes de Mille writes:

I confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith that I could be.

 

Martha said to me, very quietly: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent.”

 

“But,” I said, “when I see my work I take for granted what other people value in it. I see only its ineptitude, inorganic flaws, and crudities. I am not pleased or satisfied.”

 

“No artist is pleased.”

 

“But then there is no satisfaction?”

 

“No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried out passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”