From New Years Resolutions

Dear Universe

Last week I threw down my epic DONE list. This is most def a practice I wanna keep on keeping on at the end/beginning of a year. Not a report card from each year’s resolution throw down, but just a moment of reflection and celebration, making much ado about crossed off things. To start this tradition and the year off with a #bang #kaPOW, I threw down 51 things on my epic DONE list to reflection/celebration my 51 trips around the sun.

I wasn’t going to do 51 things on my epic TO DO list of this happy New Year’s Resolutions (or Intentions or Goals or Whatever term floats your boat and/or doesn’t get your goat). I was going to narrow it down to 17 cuz that’s what the poet inside of me wanted to do. But the #fomo-aholic in me obvi wanted to cast wider. Luckily #fomo me also waxes poetic. Instead of narrowing down my dreams, when I started throwing them down, I noticed they kinda fell into 3 categories: Places I wanna go, things I wanna do, and the person I wanna be. So I decided to do 3 lists of 17. And then I did the math and LMFAO off at the #divineirony.

So without further ado . . . my 51 things . . .

To Go

  1. Plan and save for and save the date for my Buen Camino/Don Quixote pilgrimage in Spain
  2. Albuquerque Balloon Fest
  3. This winter a winter get-away; by next winter a winter home-away-from-home
  4. Have an affair with my creativity #everydamnday but also a writer’s retreat
  5. Check out a drum circle
  6. Nowhere Else Festival
  7. Take the scenic route whenever possible
  8. The the stairs whenever possible (and especially if I ever get back to the Eiffel Tower and the stairs are open for biz)
  9. Girls Night Out
  10. Catch all the sunsets I can
  11. Say YES to adventure
  12. Talk to strangers
  13. On the Road with Grace project (Cincy, Colorado, DC…)
  14. Metavivor Die-in protest on Capitol Hill
  15. Next time I’m in DC, to run the 6-mile running tour that my friend Barbie #RIP #fuckcancer told me about that we wanted to run together #WWBD?
  16. Ride my orange is the new bike on the Loveland bike trail #crosstraining
  17. Step up to the microphone (speaking, storytelling events, open mic, poetry slams, etc)

To Do

  1. Finish #shittyfirstdraft of my Route 66 book
  2. Enter my route 66 pix in more photo contests/art shows and have another solo exhibit
  3. Take Jeremy Cowart’s photography and lightroom/photoshop courses from his See University
  4. Finish editing pix/setting up Smug Mug
  5. Record #SHAKEN so Taran can someday hear it in my own voice
  6. Alice in Wonderland writing workshop
  7. Learn to make an origami crane
  8. Learn Qi Gong and/or Tai Chi
  9. Run 500 miles
  10. Do a Tri
  11. Learn to play my uke and my red guitar
  12. Publish a book of my poetry
  13. Flesh out St. Udio’s dream
  14. Build my tribe and love them hard
  15. Make candles out of glass bottles I’ve been learning to cut #upcycle
  16. Learn to etch rocks with my dremel engraver
  17. Work on my Mail Chimp/Postables and make my own thank you/thinking of you note cards, #postcardsfromtheroad, etc send more snail mail

To Be

  1. Bringing good energy with me wherever I am #goodjoujou
  2. Fit (Hit the mat/road/gym #everydamnday) (Runkeeper app, Moonjoggers #chasethesun challenge, Yes Fit app)
  3. Heavily meditated (Insight Timer app)
  4. Eat and drink mindfully (My Fitness Pal app)
  5. Hydrated (iHydrate app and water bottle)
  6. Chill on the carbs, superchill on the glutens
  7. Fit back in my fave pair of blue jeans (My Fitness Pal app)
  8. Organized (Evernote app)
  9. Intentional (my carpe the fuck out of the diem worksheet)
  10. Lost in a good book but also writing one #everydamnday
  11. Reading poetry but also writing it #becausetheworldneedsmorepoetry
  12. Curious #followthewhiterabbit
  13. Creative #thewarofart #makeartnotwar
  14. Seeking/building community
  15. Cancer free and celebrating my 9 year cancerversary on Aug. 20
  16. Not Dizzy
  17. Leaving a beauty mark that I was here #belove #theartofkindness

What are your resolves, the intentions you’ve set, the goals you are aiming for, the dreams you are dreaming for 2017? I’d love for you to share them with me so we can cheer each other on!

Here’s mine in a picture. My 2017 vision board, that I worked on during January which I spent with my sweet Redheads and sweetest #taranthewonderbaby! in Colorado. It’s hard to tell from the picture that the base of my vision board is a clock. Which I promptly threw away the batteries and set to 6 o’clock. (Bonus points for anyone who gets that reference!) Anyway, it’s a cool retro superBIG and clunky clock I picked up at a Thrift store cuz I wanted a legit frame for my vision board and also #upcycling things is super fun. I have my vision board hanging out right in front of of my writing desk in my office aka the #rabbitroom so I can keep the intentions I have set and the dreams I’m dreaming for this year always before me. I also have it set as the wallpaper on both my phone and compy. Staying in the game is the hardest part, yeah? How do you stay in the game and manifest your intentions?

Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith. ~ 2 Timothy 4:7

 

Check(ed) 1-2-3…

This is not a test. This is not about a cute little penguin eating an ice cream cone either. Although since his name is Frank, I’ll follow suit…cuz let’s be frank… If it were a test, I gimme an A. (I thought about giving myself an A+ but that would be boring and leave no room for improvement.) But like I said it’s not a test. This is life. My life…so far.

This is that time of year where we’ve all been throwing down our New Year’s Resolutions/Intentions/Hopes/Dreams/Goals/ToDo’s/Much Ado’s/Whatever you wanna call it, it’s chill just like that scoop of pink bubblegum ice cream Frank’s #nomnom-ing on. I took my own sweet time and worked on mine during January, via a vision board project with my daughter while I spent her birthday month with her in #taranthewonderbabyland aka Denver.

This is not that post. Stay tuned for that post.

This is the prequel to that post. If you know me at all, you know I love me a To Do list like nobody’s biz.

But one of the things I love most about To Do lists, is they help me get shit done cuz I get superkaPOWer motivated checking things off. That Been there, Done that feeling… #amiright?! It got me thinking that maybe a little pause, and dare I say a little celebration, is in order. In honor of the Done list. Which I feel is a more fitting ceremony than merely crumpling up said list and tossing it in the nearest trash can.

So here’s to the Done list that I’ve been there done that these 51 trips around the sun.

In no particular order, here’s a quarter of a century of some of my fave things (in the history of the 51 times I’ve surfed the sun) that I’ve crossed off my To Do list…

  1. Wrote a book
  2. Ran a 10-hour endurance run and netted 35 miles
  3. Ran the #Route66 marathon and world’s shortest ultra
  4. Road-tripped Route 66
  5. Road-tripped California Highway 1 in a convertible
  6. Road-tripped from Vegas to Grand Canyon in a convertible, saw the Grand Canyon, ran the Grand Canyon half marathon trail run
  7. Watched a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park while listening to U2’s Joshua Tree album. TWICE
  8. Met my creativity guru Liz Gilbert TWICE and she remembered me, also she commented that I write like a dream on my FB
  9. Met my writing gurus Anne Lamott and Jasper Fforde TWICE
  10. Met my photography guru Jeremy Cowart TWICE
  11. Did a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, ran the breathtaking Jerusalem ½ marathon, was Kosher for 3 weeks while spending time with my beloved Achoti
  12. Drove down to the Keys and had a Cuban sandwich and some Cuban coffee
  13. Stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
  14. Checked in to Hotel California. Heard the mission bell ring. Didn’t check out
  15. Created my #postcardsfromtheroad #Route66 photo exhibit, one of my pics made it into an #americanroadtrip art show at a gallery in NYC, won photographer of the year at ADC’s ACA academy awards for artists, had my first solo exhibit at the 86
  16. Raised my sweet Redheads, homeschooled them for 16 years #bestjobEVER
  17. I am Gigi #hearmeroar #bestjobEVER
  18. Produced SCAR Cincy exhibit, SCAR exhibition consultant, created scar blog, produced SCAR BAMA at Freedom Center
  19. Produced Angelo Merendino’s exhibit in Cincy
  20. Grace project roadtrip sidekick and assistant
  21. Dante pilgrimage and tour in Florence
  22. Saw Rafa play on clay (in Rome sweet Rome)
  23. Ran my own half marathon from Missouri through Kansas to Oklahoma on july 4, 2014 during my route 66 road trip
  24. Ran from Illinois to Missouri across the chain of rocks bridge TWICE
  25. Painted desert
  26. Took down 24 chemo cocktails and (so far so good, 8 years later #yearoftheoctupus) kicked cancer’s ass
  27. Won city districts with my tennis team with me on court 1 my first season back after cancer
  28. Got a volleyball scholarship to college
  29. Got up on stage and told a story at Bespoken Live (a moth-like storytelling event) (3 X so far)
  30. Hiked Ocho Rios in Jamaica
  31. Participated in peaceful protests on Capital Hill
  32. Got tats (12) (so far)
  33. Been COMPLETELY bald down to all but a couple eyelashes
  34. Saw Niagara Falls
  35. Drank a shot out of a test tube at Frankenstein’s Pub in Edinburgh
  36. Bought a copy of The Little Prince from a cashier who was brushing her teeth at Shakespeare’s & Co. in Paris
  37. Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam
  38. Read the Beatitudes on the Mount of Olives. Broke bread and spilled wine there with my friend and fellow pilgrim on my journey to the Holy Land and back. We walked the Via Dolorosa together.
  39. Train-tripped through the Alps from Munich to Rome
  40. Followed in Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday footsteps, vespa-ing about Rome (until the “Vespa Incident” in which the brake didn’t break and I did a Wiley Coyote into a wall and broke my face)
  41. Got red clay on my tennis shoes at Roland Garros in Paris
  42. Snorkeled in Cozumel
  43. Saw Wicked on and off broadway
  44. Walked into THE Cheers Bar and everybody yelled JOULES!
  45. Did a Mayan mud hut sweat lodge ritual aka Temazcal and had the most incredible Mayan massage IN THE WORLD aka Kukulkan in Cancun
  46. Road-tripped up the coast of Scotland
  47. Hiked Hadrian’s Wall
  48. Created my own Not-a-Chemo-Cocktail (for my book release party)
  49. Drank a ½ pint in THE Rabbit Room of THE Bird & Baby aka Eagle and Child Pub, where the Inklings used to hang out
  50. Saw THE wardrobe (at Wheaton University)
  51. Liverpool. Magical Mystery Tour. Hard Day’s Night Hotel. Cavern Club. Amanda and I closed down the club, singing and dancing our hearts out with the Beatles cover band.

I know I probs missed a few epic moments but I tried not to overthink it too much and just go with the flow of my own little brainstorm. #postcardfromtheroad #memorylane #epicmoments #done

What’s on your DONE list?

Please Sir May I Have Some More?

Please Sir

More. That’s my word for 2016. When I got cancer, one of my docs gave me one of the best pieces of advice anybody’s ever given me. He told me a story about how when his mother got cancer when he was a boy, that her dream was to live to see her kids graduate high school. She got her dream come true. A happy ending. But an ending. Unfortunately, she passed away shortly after. The thing my doc said that struck me so, then, and has stuck hard and fast with me these #lucky7 years, since I was standing in his mama’s shoes, was very simply: Ask for more.

Last year’s word was Jubilee. Super apropos, since I hit the big 5-O in September. Looking back and reading the leaves of my 2015 calendar, my year of Jubilee lived up to its name. And then some more. It was most def a celebrationFULL year. Renewal. Remission. Good fortune. Here’s my 2015 recap. Some of the highlights. My top 15, obvi, cuz 2015:

  1. Milestones: 50th birthday. My year of Jubilee. 7 year cancerversary. 28th anniversary. RUTS-my first endurance run-I ran for 10 hours and clocked 35 miles and realized I am ultra runner. Route 66 Marathon-my first marathon/ultra marathon race.
  2. All things new. Love Shack. New digs/diving board for this next #emptynest chapter of our lives. New church. Fittingly it’s called Crossroads. Not that there was anything wrong with the old one. But after accidentally becoming the cancer chick there I decided I needed to bust out of just playing that role. Cuz it is who I am, but not all of who I am. New branding/web site. Thanks to Blustery Day Design! I freaking love it and can’t recommend them highly enough! New office. The first real live office I’ve ever had! I’m so superkaPower stoked to create stuff in this new space! #roomofmyown Im calling it The Rabbit Hole.
  3. Boyz graduated college. No more college tuition. RAISE! All 3 Redheads happy in their lives, with good jobs.
  4. Finding out I’m gonna be a Gigi!
  5. Went back to Kripalu, as Jen’s assistant. Noticed shift had happened. Yes &…
  6. Participated in a local storytelling event here in Cincy, kinda like The Moth. Click HERE to check it out. Participated in the Route 66 Marathon bloggers panel at the expo. Got to talk about #SHAKEN on Fox 19 Think Pink. Ford Warriors in Pink listed SHAKEN NOT STIRRED…A CHEMO COCKTAIL in their list of recommended reads! Click HERE for that way cool link. I got to write a cool article to honor my friend Vanesa for Sohza magazine.
  7. One of my Route 66 pix made it into an “American Road Trip” exhibit in Brooklyn. Click HERE for the deets.
  8. Elizabeth Gilbert commented on one of my posts on my FB wall that I “write like a dream”! #swoon
  9. Grace Project midwest and east coast road-trips. Too many highlights. I could write a book. Athena Division. Die-in on Capitol Hill. New Riff benefit. Cancer Support Community events. Charleston Exhibit. Christ Hospital event. 200 photo shoots. 1/4 of the way there. Milestones. literal and metaphorical. Meaning. Momentum.
  10. Had the pleasure of hosting my friend Amy Ferris in town for an amazing writing workshop and Grace Project benefit.
  11. Going to Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference with my sweet Mikeyy. Mikeyy’s movie making it into Cincy Film Fest. Click HERE for the link to check out his movie. #proudmama
  12. Deepak Oprah 21 day Meditation Experiences. Gratitude. Abundance. Belief. So good! #thingsthatmakeyousayohm
  13. Operation FORE! Damn golf ball OUT. And it wasn’t cancer! Yay and thank God!
  14. Finally being able to help my mom get her teeth fixed.
  15. Family vacation on Folly. For Christmas, our anniversary, New Year’s Even, and my sister’s wedding.

As I prayed and meditated about this year’s word, that story kept raising it’s hand like it’s name was Horshack or something. At first MORE sounded like such a greedy word to throw down, after a year of Jubilee and so much celebration. But the MORE it said “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!” I have come to see MORE as raw, authentic, childlike expression of gratitude. So a deep sense of gratitude is where I’m coming from as I share my sweet 16 resolutions/goals/intentions for 2016:

  1. More books. Write shitty first draft of WHY DID THE TURTLE CROSS THE ROAD? by June, in time for…
  2. More roles. I get to become a Gigi!
  3. More miles. forward motion. fitness. Log 1000 miles for Moon Joggers. Run 5K 5 days a week. Cross-train swim/bike/row 2 days. 10 minute mile. 2 hour half. Do a tri. Bike Loveland trail.
  4. More #Shaken it up. Record SHAKEN NOT STIRRED. Upload it, and Wind in My Hair to iTunes.
  5. More snappy. Route 66 Pix photo exhibit. Brooklyn “American Road Trip” show January 20.
  6. More things to learn: to play my red guitar and uke, Chi Gong or Tai Chi, origami crane, photoshop and more photography skills, drum circle, Periscope.
  7. More snail mail: Send more #postcardfromtheroad, more thank you/thinking of you notes.
  8. More girlfriend time. Girls night out once a month. Get to know our new neighbors. Hang out at the pool this summer.
  9. More creativity. Write every damn day. blog more. vlog more. write more poetry. write Alice in Wonderland writing workshop. Periscope. Take more pictures. more #postcardfromtheroad. Set up Etsy or other shop.
  10. More yes &…
  11. More yoga and meditation. Begin every day with meditation and intention setting. #yogaeverydamnday. Check in b4 bed.
  12. More organization. Unpack last damn box in my office. Finish creating space to create in. Go paperless as possible with Evernote. File the important papers. Org Pix. Get my Email chimp up and running. Update snail mail addys. Social media.
  13. More self-care. schedule my projects and myself into the calendar. Eat & drink mindfully. Juice more. Hydrate more. Breathe more. Meditate more. Read more. More Acupuncture/Massage/Float therapy.
  14. More time in my old fave blues. Lose 16.
  15. More travel. More Denver to hold my sweet grandbaby. More Grace road trips. Buen Camino? Spend as much of winter as possible somewhere warm. Spring break writing retreat to focus on book.
  16. More wheels. New car. Maybe a dog for a sidekick?

And just cuz, here’s a few lines from my ultimate Bucket List of hopes and dreams and prayers:

  1. See U2 in concert.
  2. Meet Taylor Swift.
  3. Find a cute little apartment in Denver so I can base their sometimes to spend time with my sweet grand baby.
  4. Route 66 book/photo exhibit tour.
  5. Live in warmer climate.
  6. Buen Camino. Be in Spain for Miguel Cervantes birthday. Read Don Quixote in Spain.
  7. Get paid to travel and pay my way doing what I love and loving what I do.
  8. Fly first class.
  9. Grace Project funding. May it be able to fund Isis so she can do it full time, and to pay my way.
  10. Grow my tribe.
  11. See the Jesus in Rio.
  12. Albuquerque balloon fest.
  13. Hike Appalachian trail.
  14. Write Homeschool Happy Hour.
  15. Publish book of haiku and photography.
  16. … (I always like to end my #bucketlist with an ellipsis, in case my chemo brain forgot something cool. #neverendingbucketlist)

So what about you? What’s your word for sweet ’16 and/or what’s on your “To Do” and bucket lists? I’d love to hear from you and will pinky swear to cheer you on if you honor me with your word/lists. Feel free to comment below with your lists or links to your New Year’s Resolution blog posts, or to contact me via email.