Incomplete

As I mentioned yesterday, I completed 35 of the items on my 101 in 1001 days to-do list. Rather than give you a long list of excuses for each of the 66 items that I did not complete, here’s a general summary of lessons learned.

International Travel: While I would still love to see the great big world, none of the trips on my last happened. This suggests to me that perhaps this is not a major goal that I’m dying to achieve. I’m on the road for 12- 18 weeks a year for work living out of hotels, and 2 weeks to visit my family. The remaining weeks, I am awfully fond of my own bed. I’ve moved this to the “one day when life slows down” column.

Major Purchases: I did not buy a car, a bike, a Vespa, engraved stationery, a sewing machine, or a house. I find the stuff that I already own a little overwhelming, to be honest. Aside from my book-buying addiction, I just don’t need or want to spend my money on stuff. Also, until I pay down my student loans a little more, I’d like to hold off on the big buys and focus on saving.

-General Artsy/ Crafty/ Homemaker-y Stuff: While specific projects on the list didn’t get completed, I have added more making into my daily life. Sitting at a desk all day and filling spreadsheets pays the bills nicely, but it does not make me feel content. Making something does- a blanket, a poem, a story, a web-page, a loaf of banana bread, whatever. I am no Martha Stewart. I don’t care if any of it turns out perfectly or photographs well. I just enjoy the making part. And when I don’t make anything for a while, I become unbearable to be around and miserable.

Tedium: I did not get much done in the way of logistics: insurance photos, driver’s license, updated filings, etc. I hate that sort of stuff. I told myself at some point that I’m also not very good at it. Which, upon reflection, is silly. I spend all day dealing with bureaucracy and red tape. I just don’t like it. That doesn’t mean that I can get out of it. I’m trying to add one tedious thing to my list per week and get them done, whether I want to or not. It’s called being a grown-up. Nobody cares if I don’t want to.

Seeing which goals that I bothered to complete along the way taught me a lot about myself and my priorities. As Gretchen over at The Happiness Project had to accept when she set out to find out what makes her happy:

…in many ways, I wish I were different. One of my Secrets of Adulthood is “You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.” I have a lot of notions about what I wish I liked to do, of the subjects and occupations that I wish interested me. But it doesn’t matter what I wish I were like. I am Gretchen.

I would like to be the sort of person who wants to jet off to foreign lands with just a backpack. I am not. I like comfort and home and being around my friends on a regular basis.

I would like to be the sort of person who cares about being in amazing physical shape with abs of steel. I am not. I like to take long walks and go dancing and keep all of my parts in working order, but if I have to spend two hours a day running to nowhere on a treadmill, or sticking to someone else’s sweat on a weight bench, I would rather keep my flab. I’ve worn the same range of two clothing sizes since college. It’s just not important to me to be flawless. I like my flaws. And when I date, I actually like other people’s flaws best- they feel like endearing secrets.

I would like to want to go to concerts for bands I’ve never heard of. I would like to be the sort of woman who never leaves the house in anything but 3″ platform heels and perfectly coordinated ensembles. I would like to prefer artsy foreign films to Doctor Who and Teen Mom. I would like to be the sort of person who enjoys camping and long rugged hikes and is brown from the sun year-round. I’m just not. And no amount of wanting to be is going to make those things happen. I’ve tried. They just aren’t what I want to do.

I can’t say right now whether I’ll start another 101 in 1001 list soon. Just sitting down to make the list seems overwhelming right now. But if I do, you’ll be the first to know.

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4 Comments

Filed under Building a Better Me, Lists

4 responses to “Incomplete

  1. Dan

    I cannot wait to start my own 101 in 1001! You make a lot of valid points. I know I’d like to be the type of person who ate cinnamon buns, but you and I both know I have problems doing that.

  2. I am totally with you (and Gretchen).
    I wish I was so many different things.
    I found myself nodding with your complete list , I wish I was all those things too.
    But I’m just me.
    Sometimes it’s hard to not be saddened by that. I often need to remind myself that I am not an awful person to be, even if I am not outdoorsy or put together or a published author or a fill in today’s blank.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly rediscovering and surprising myself.

  3. I just completed 34/101 things but I’m half way through and should have completed more. You are sooo right, it’s definetely a learning experience as to the things that really matter the most and the person you wish you were vs. the person you are.

  4. Col

    Giving myself a list of things to do generally tends to make me procrastinate more as I tend to feel like I have homework, so it seems to me you’ve made significant headway in accomplishing things you’d like to do!

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