The Tunnel

Once again it is time to revise review and rededicate. February is an off month in my opinion. While it can be the shortest month of the year (even in a leap year) it often feels like the longest one of the year. The novelty of winter is long gone, spring is still off on the horizon and the grey oh the grey and occasional sludge… they continue. I also think that something about this month can create a palpable sense of unease, that thing you cant put your finger on but that has you in a funk (of whatever sort) nonetheless. But while I cant control the month, I can try to frame my perspective better. And when I chose to look for the positive I realised that over the past 4-5 years February has been a momentous and in some instances very happy month for me. In the 3 of the past 4 years I have started anew in my career, directions that have lead me to here, twice those shifts have been full of glee induced hope. That alone has defined many of my experiences and brought new people into my life. So I have a choice… I can focus on the dark or look towards the light. I choose the light. I choose to think of February is a bit like me… petite, packed full of punch and worth the weight/wait. May not have gotten through everything I would have liked or really ticked off to much additional on the list, but I do think I am moving closer to living my life in a manner that will help me to feel more organic again. So all is on track in my book.

Purchase (10/101)

  1. Treat myself to a massage or a facial once a year
  2. Buy a Lomo camera
  3. Buy one piece of art
  4. Buy fresh flowers for my room once a month for a year (bugger with the short month my Sunday bodega flowers fell into March- sigh)
  5. Buy a new “professional” set of luggage
  6. Buy one piece of investment furniture
  7. Get a subscription to National Geographic Traveller, New Yorker, Economist
  8. Buy an antique map of Paris and frame it
  9. Buy a new DSLR upgrade
  10. Find and buy one pair of killer jeans

Health (15/101)

  1. Run/Participate in a 5k, 10k, and half marathon
  2. Participate in an olympic distance triathalon
  3. 30 day trial… bikram yoga 3 times a week
  4. Visit a nutritionist/naturopath
  5. Do a master body cleansing/fast/colonic

Travel (31/101)

  1. Rent a beach house for a getaway
  2. Go surfing in Costa Rica or Hawaii
  3. Visit 3 national parks (i.e. Antelope Canyon, Grand Canyon, Muir Woods, Yosemite, Moab, The Arches, Grand Tetons)
  4. Take a working vacation at a winery in the south of France
  5. Play in the tulips in Netherlands and Skagit Valey
  6. Visit 10 friends
  7. Rent a convertible and go on a road trip
  8. Do an Ashram in India or Bali
  9. Camp out in Wadi Rum
  10. Climb up Macchu Picchu
  11. Visit a buddhist temple
  12. Watch an opera at La Scala and a ballet at Opera Garnier
  13. See the northern lights in Iceland
  14. Go to Ireland
  15. Go on a crazy Thelma Louise girls trip
  16. Stay in a luxurious 5 star hotel

Finance (42/101)

  1. Work to better credit score (by 50-100 points)
  2. Contribute at least 50% of max out to my Roth IRA annually (approx. $2000-2500) (I have the money set aside but it willbe contributed on April 1st)
  3. Create, maintain and track my budget for one year (budget for this past month was kind of all over the place… need to settle the accounts down now that I have a paycheck again, and will be able to submit for all my reimbursements next month)
  4. Pay off all credit cards and maintain zero balances (all but one credit card have zero balances, paid off the line of credit, though small balance was put back on it)
  5. Save $5 for 1001 days (So far so good- created a separate account to manage/track it as well)
  6. Do my taxes annually (2007 done, to be revised once more next month and sent in on the 1st of April)
  7. Invest in retirement and net worth (10% of income)
  8. Pay off 50% of remaining student loans (approx. $10,000)
  9. Invest in socially responsible mutual funds (5% of income) (Revising this goal to 2% when I did the numbers and started looking into it… this looked more reasonable)
  10. Get a major credit card: use and pay of in full monthly
  11. Save $10000 towards a major investment (purchase of property etc)

Learning (53/101)

  1. Take a photography course on light and flash
  2. Learn how to fly the trapeze
  3. Take an intensive Spanish language course in Spain
  4. Get my a scuba diving certification
  5. Learn how to drive a Vespa
  6. Take a wine tasting course
  7. Learn how to dye yarn
  8. Learn more about buddhism
  9. Research travel photography and writing (Took a less than stellar travel photography course and went to a speaking engagement on aid agencies and photojournalism that was much more stellar :))
  10. Take skiing lessons in the alps
  11. Learn 5 Photoshop tricks

Reading (59/101)

  1. Go to 3 book readings
  2. Read 6 classics and 5 works pre- 1950
  3. Read a banned book, a booker book, a pulitzer prize book
  4. Read the Tao Te Ching
  5. Read 3 biographies per year (Almost done with one on Dorothy Parker)
  6. Enter all my books into Library Thing (All books on my NYC bookshelves are in :))

Creativity (69/101)

  1. Design my blog (Working on finalising the banner font as I type)
  2. Do a photographic travel/documentary project
  3. Knit three sweaters for myself (Finished the first sleeve, ordered the rest of the yarn and started the second sleeve)
  4. Document all my yarn stash
  5. Print 10 of my photos for framing and hanging
  6. Keep a film and book list
  7. Sell 5 photos
  8. Participate in Sunday scribbles
  9. Go to the cinema once a month
  10. Make a quotes book

Gastronomy (74/101)

  1. Go berry picking
  2. Eat at 12 new restaurants- one three star
  3. Try one new recipe a month
  4. Throw a dinner party for 8 friends
  5. Try 6 new foods and 6 foods I “dont like”

Career (77/101)

  1. Take GRE Course and Exam (1350 score goal)
  2. Apply to 10 PhD programmes
  3. Work on creating a career path

Do (101/101)

  1. Go galopping on a horse out in the free range
  2. Participate in some volunteer/public service project (maybe dealing with sexual health or at a soup kitchen)
  3. Go canoeing in Central Park
  4. Watch one classic movie per month
  5. Go to a live music festival
  6. Go to Shakespeare in the Park
  7. Meditate for 5 minutes 3 times a week
  8. Purge my wardrobe (of at least 30%)
  9. Attend a meditation retreat (5+ days)
  10. Go snowshoeing
  11. Get rid of 101 things
  12. Consolidate and reduce my storage needs and use
  13. Go to the HCB museum in Paris
  14. Reduce my carbon footprint (by 10-20%)
  15. Donate “one meal out” per month to a Food Bank
  16. Spend 5 minutes daily in total silence and inactivity for a month
  17. Visit my grandmother and father’s graves and take flowers
  18. Go to an outdoor movie
  19. Live in a new city in 1001 days
  20. Hang my mirror, shelves and frames
  21. Trace my Irish geneology
  22. See a broadway play
  23. Preserve my family photos
  24. Go to a museum once every other month (I went and spent a day last weekend at the Metropolitan Museum… well worth it!)