…because I needed another challenge

Well, I’ve officially been wandering around in this person suit for 39 years.

39 nine is kind of a dumb number, as far as significant birthdays go, but 40 had a certain weight to it – socially if nothing else.  Therefore I’ve decided to undertake what I hope will be a fun project – 40 Things to Do by my 40th Birthday, or to use the groovy parlance of today’s hip modern youth, #40by40.

I worked on the list for quite a while, and I’ve designated a notebook for it (naturally).  It’s just a regular old Moleskine Cahier notebook I covered with decorative paper and drew a title on with my white gel pen.  I seem to be going with a celestial sort of theme for 2017 for some reason, and I had a scrap of paper a friend sent me long long ago, so it became the cover.

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The plan is this:

Each time I complete a task, I’ll create a page (or half page) for it and write, draw, or paste in mementos from the experience.  It won’t have to go in order from 1-40, as I can just record the number of whatever page the task falls on.  That way I’ll have a memento of what I hope will be a much, much better year not just for me but for the entire damn planet.

I also plan to post here on the blog about each task so you can follow along if you like – hell, come up with your own list for 2017 (of whatever number you deem appropriate for you) and tell me all about it on Instagram.

I tried to make the list using only doable items that are finite in nature – nothing like “meditate every day” or “eat more vegetables.”  I wanted the list items to stretch my comfort zone a bit but still be things I’d enjoy doing or at least benefit from in some way.  I also instituted a few rules:

1 – I can change an item if the one I had becomes impossible.  For example, if a restaurant I want to visit closes down, I can take it off the list, but I have to replace it with something comparable.

2 – I get two freebies I can chuck for any reason at all including realizing six months from now that I don’t want to do that thing anymore, but I have to replace them as well.

3 – I have to blog about and make a notebook page for each item.

Here we go:

40by401

40by402

 

40 Things to Do By My 40th Birthday

  1. Finish Shadow Rising
  2. Do Vegan MoFo
  3. Volunteer at VegFest 2017
  4. Go see a play
  5. Have a badass Halloween costume
  6. Get another tattoo
  7. Start a new novel
  8. See some live music
  9. Dye my hair a crazy color
  10. Take a class
  11. Do a fun manicure
  12. Shop at Rabbit Food Grocery
  13. Eat at Counter Culture
  14. Go to Capital City Bakery
  15. Find a home for The Coat
  16. Throw a theme party
  17. Make seitan from scratch
  18. Go watch the bats
  19. Paint a picture
  20. Make something with aquafaba
  21. Make a new vegan friend
  22. Go to two Alamo Drafthouse events
  23. Put out a new ebook
  24. Pet a cow
  25. Try a new recipe every month
  26. Read 10 novels
  27. Get Stella’s bump fixed
  28. Save up $500
  29. Figure out my tax stuff
  30. Hold a group ritual
  31. Do a swap with someone
  32. Try a new cuisine
  33. Do a research project
  34. Discover a new musical artist
  35. Find the right day bag
  36. Finish Song & Cipher
  37. Illustrate a quote a la Vicki P
  38. Listen to the Hamilton soundtrack
  39. Do some sort of 30 day challenge
  40. Donate at least $50 a month

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The Thursday List for 10/13/16

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I finally had a few minutes to sit down and make a list! It’s not terribly pretty but it’s a start.  I didn’t have any sort of coloring toys with me so I had to stick with black and white.

I’ve been under such tremendous stress lately I decided to start off with a basic “things I love” list. Enjoy!

(Incidentally I’m using up pages in my 30 Lists journal that I didn’t fill, which is why today’s is labeled 26.)

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30 Lists Thursday

Well, this’ll be the last post of this round of 30 Days of Lists – I feel bad that I only managed to do a few of them, but this month kind of exploded on me.

I think I’m going to continue to post fun lists like this on Thursdays, though – I’ll just do random ones.  There are lots of sources for lists on the internet, including a gaggle of them on Pinterest.  I might just do one or two a week and take a bit more time on them – I kind of half-assed most of these poor guys.

Anyway, here we are:

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30 Lists Thursday: *runs around with hair on fire*

Well, I managed to do three whole lists this week.  *laugh*

Basically I’ve decided I’ll just do the ones I think sound fun whenever I have time to work on them – doing a few here and there has been good for my sanity, but there’s no way in hell I’ll be able to complete all 30 this time.  Oh well!  Enjoy the ones I got to!

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(The coloring on 21 was much prettier in real life – for some reason it photographed all streaky and weird.)

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I really liked how this one came out, other than the dreadful mistake I made drawing the pitcher’s shape – I was having a really shaky day, hand-wise, and my pen kept jittering across the page.

You might have noticed that my art tends to have kind of heavy black outlines – that’s why. I have essential tremor in my hands that was made WAY worse by the lithium I used to take; it’s died down a lot since I went off the med, but I’ve always had a tremor and always will.  It gets worse when I’m tired, stressed, overcaffeinated, or in pain of some sort, and there are certain angles I can’t maintain while drawing (especially since I’m left-handed and smudge things like whoa) so I have to compensate for the shakes with heavier outlines.  Just so’s ya know.

Next week this time I’ll be in the downhill run both for moving house *and* being unemployed.  God willing and the creek don’t rise, as of October 3 I’ll return to the land of the wage-earners, and won’t have to panic about money every day.

Sylvan’s Pro Tip for Creatives:

Quit your day job if you want, but you might want to get another one…not because you won’t succeed as a writer/artist/what have you, but because NOBODY needs the constant anxiety of not being able to pay the bills.  Turning your labor-of-love into your meal ticket can sap your creativity and in fact make you come to hate it.  Don’t let anyone give you shit about “risk” or “faith in your gift” or whatever – it’s easy for middle-class white ladies with savings accounts and a second wage earner in the house to talk about ditching their jobs to make ribbon roses full time, but those of us living paycheck to paycheck know that one bad month on Etsy could mean dodging the Mastercard people for six months and feeding the kids Poverty Stew.**

My advice is multiple income streams: Find several ways to bring in pieces of your monetary need so that no one thing is your only paycheck.  That way you can have a part-time day job, or a less-high-paying one that doesn’t make you miserable, if you can find one, but still allow time for your real work.

Here endeth the lecture.

**Every family has some version of this, right?  Something ultra cheap made of horrifying or questionable ingredients that tended to show up the last week of the month?  In my family it was called Mulligan Stew and it was basically Spam and Ranch Style Beans.   Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious (to kid me, anyway), but that’s not a recipe you come up with when you’re shopping at the Whole Foods.  Just out of curiosity, did your family have some sort of Poverty Stew?  Comment below to share.

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