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Not exactly 101 things.

2008-03-05 - 4:12 p.m.

Zoot recently posted a list of 101 things sheíd like to do in 1001 days. This got me thinking: would I make and post such a list? I think the answer is no, and I think there are a bunch of reasons for that.

In the first place, Iím too chicken. For those that know me, this may sound odd since I donít exactly have the reputation of being a shrinking violet. Iím more known for being a ďtake the bull by the hornsĒ kind of gal, and even one of the speeches at my wedding (given by Jís wonderful uncle, no less) described me as having ďballsĒ. But to commit to a lengthy list of specific actions in a public forum? That seems like setting myself up for failure (and I donít like to fail), becauseÖ

In the second place, some of the major stuff I want to do, some of the ďsome dayĒ items on my list (a couple that have been there for years) just donít feel like theyíre completely within my control. I really do feel like a lot of my actions have to be, well, if not dictated, then strongly influenced by circumstance. This is a realistic look at my life:
I have a husband and small daughter, and another baby on the way. Iím not single with nobodyís welfare to concern myself with but my own. Two major changes Iíd like to make in my life seem almost unattainable simply because of this. To commit to doing them at all, let alone within a specific timeframe seems totally unrealistic. And one of them I can guarantee would not be done in 1001 days. ďBefore I turn 45Ē might be more realistic.

The Biscuitís ever-more-imminent arrival only underscores the lack of control I feel Iíve got over some aspects of my life. Itís hard to imagine even boldly declaring that Iíll take daily walks when the weather warms up because I literally cannot get my head around what exactly itíll be like to have a newborn, plus a toddler. I canít know what thatíll be like until it actually happens. Hopefully at that point Iíll be all ďwhat was I so worried about?Ē But every single person whoís had two kids has told me how hard it is for the first little while, and I have no reason not to believe them. Daily walks? It sounds like Iíll be doing well to get my teeth brushed once in every 24-hour period.

And, while Iím aware itís totally trivial to even be concerned about such things, I canít even cross off selling my photography at Art in the Park this year, or running my yearly 10K against my father, because the timing has worked out such that this pregnancy will be on the verge of full-term for the latter, and Iíll have just have had my c-section for the former (and may still even be in the hospital at that point, thatís how close the timing will be).

So, instead of writing a list like Zootís Ė bold and lengthy Ė here instead is an alternate, more humble, shorter kind of list, with much more nebulous timeframes:

Things Shawna would like to do sometime. Maybe within the next few months, maybe within, oh, 20 yearsÖ

1. live somewhere that has a climate I love
2. find a job that Iím excited about
3. build another house
4. then probably another one
5. beat my father at our yearly 10K (i.e. without him falling down and effectively taking himself out)
6. eat a healthier diet (notably, less sugar and more fruits and veggies)
7. feed my family a healthier diet (notably, rely less on cheese and carbs)
8. sell my photos at an art show
9. decorate my house already, with a tasteful, cohesive look (sheesh, I canít believe how long this is taking me)
10. learn to be more patient (I will need this, big time, with two kids in the house)
11. make freezer jam
12. try not to let clutter get the better of me
13. go through that ton of boxes in the basement that hold God-knows-what and get rid of anything that I donít really want to keep
14. post more pictures of Grommet on my flickr account (I have monthly pics up to 17 months, so Iím behind, oh, about 8 months worth right now)
15. bake a cake or cupcakes, and ice them
16. try to help my mom figure out what to do when this job sheís on right now ends
17. take Grommet and Biscuit to places I went to and loved as a child: hiking on Mt. Washington, NH; camping along the east coast; Disney World
18. be kinder and more thoughtful towards my sister in-law (and probably my sister too, for that matter)
19. go to Montreal at least a couple of times to visit my grandmother this summer
20. learn to weld
21. finish and submit at least one of the couple of pieces of short fiction Iíve started and have hanging around
22. try not to gain more weight with this pregnancy than I did with the last (35 lbs)
23. drink more water
24. take a girlís trip (hopefully with my friend Jo) on which I spend some time learning stuff, and some time just hanging out
25. start my own business
26. get vaccinated against hepatitis
27. take Grommet and Biscuit on the sort of vacation I would have loved as a child but we didnít have the money or my parents didnít have the inclination: something like a week at a dude ranch
28. go hiking with my dad again
29. take at least one good Belly photo before this pregnancy is over
30. print and frame some photos to hang around the house
31. take a course in stone masonry
32. take any sort of building course in Costa Rica

So, thatís it for now. I hope to revisit this - maybe organize and add to it - sometime over the next few weeks. Any ideas I could steal add?

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