31-for-31 – A Recap

A year ago, I decided to start challenging myself with a list of goals – some lofty, some fun, some just random – in honour of my age. Now on the eve of my birthday again, it’s time to check in and see the final tally.

How’d I do?

Ooot and Aboot

1.  Travel to a new country (as in new-to-me, not a newly FORMED country) – Nope
2. Check out an awesome music festivalI saw Tom Petty, and Dylan in November. I think I’ll give myself a pass due to those two.
3. Apply for a British passport – Maybe next year? Still mulling this one
4. Hike in the Rockies – Done! – Consolation Lake hike
5. Reach Air Canada Altitude status – I won’t even come close. And short of taking super-pricey weekend trips to Paris, not sure I’ll ever be able to see this happen. 
6. Investigate garden allotmentsI’m on the waiting list!
7. Explore my own city
8. Go to the middle of nowhere and watch a meteor shower Thank you, camping

Total: 5/8

Health

9. Go to yoga weekly Two to three times a week. Showing my hips a little love. 
10. Run a 10K race in under 1:05Done! Sporting Life 10K at 1:02:13, such an awesome race
11. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night…consistentlyFor the most part, yes. This is an ongoing life goal.
12. Take Meatless Mondays a step further and make mine vegan or gluten-free – Kind of a brutal challenge. I love you, cheese and carbs.  
13. Conquer my fear of heights and go rock climbingI decided to modify this, because I am insanely afraid of rock climbing and falling to my death/being publicly humiliated/both, so instead challenged myself to try different fitness classes. I nearly knocked myself out by throwing and not successfully catching a ViPR, and honestly nearly died from exhaustion from a TRX class. Still can’t move my arms. 
14. Hold a plank for two minutesDone June 18th! Now working on my forearm plank time as a new goal.

Total: 6/6 woo!

Arts and Crafts

15. Watch Good Will HuntingDone! Thanks Target for having cheap, cheap movies. Now I understand the popularity of “How do you like them apples?” and also, it’s a great movie.
16. Get a membership for the Bloor Cinema and check out some docsDone! I’ve now seen three. Loving this addition to my life. 
17. Learn all the lyrics to “I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller” – This song is surprisingly difficult. I’ll keep trying!
18. Do something crafty once a monthI’ve sewn bunting, made Steve’s birthday present, made a guestbook tree for my parents’ anniversary, drawn, made birthday cards and will be making centerpieces for this weekend’s Thanksgiving dinner as well as some crafty goodness for Victoria’s wedding. I think this is one of my favourite tasks. 
19. Listen to the entire Rolling Stones catalogue in chronological order in one weekendDone! This was a beast of a weekend. I felt like my life oscillated between feeling as though I was in a Wes Anderson film…to a Scorsese one. Also man there were some dud albums.
20. Take a photography classDone! May 1st. Intro to DSLR at Henry’s Camera, now to put my lesson into practice more often.

Total: 5/6. Damn you, Skee-Lo.

Money, Money, Money

21. Meet with a financial planner and determine an investment strategy – Done, somewhat. This will likely return in some way for 32-for-32.
22. Set up a weekly and monthly budget. And use it.Ditto for above.

Total: 2/2. Alright alright alright

Personal and Professional Growth

23. Get my French to a basic conversational level (I’m very good at ordering wine…) – Nope.
24. Volunteer
25. Learn Photoshop
26. Overcome my fear of needles and donate blood – Done! It was terrifying. But rewarding. 

Total: 3/4. C’est dommage.

Sam Time

27. Have a digital detox weekend and disconnect from social media and the internetDone, July 25-28th. It coincided with a trip to BC which helped tremendously, but once the anxiety over not knowing what was happening faded it was very refreshing to just enjoy where I was, read more and not worry about what was going on elsewhere. I think I’ll do this regularly as a reset of sorts. 
28. Make time to write at least once a weekA lot of scribbles, not a lot of progress. This will return.
29. Get published – Nope!
30. Read five books that I really should have read by now but haven’t Yes! The Picture of Dorian Grey, Breakfast of Champions, The English Patient, The Old Man and the Sea, and The Rosie Project. My criteria for books I should read varies.  

Total: 3/5

31. Most importantly, on February 26, 2015, look back on 31 and realize it was an awesome year, and resist the urge to end up face-down in a cake. – Done.

GRAND TOTAL: 25/31. Okay, but not great. I’ll do better, next time.

It’s been a slice, 31. I’ll be spending my 32nd birthday driving the Icefields Parkway to Jasper with Steve for an unplugged weekend. Not a terrible way to spend a day, and start a year I’m pretty pumped about.

Taking suggestions for my 32-for-32 list! Any ideas?

31-for-31: Six-ish Month Check-In

It’s been six-ish months since I made an overly ambitious list to accomplish during my 31st year. I felt the need to check in and make some adjustments.

Ooot and Aboot

1.  Travel to a new country (as in new-to-me, not a newly FORMED country)
2. Check out an awesome music festivalI saw Tom Petty, and will finally see Dylan in November. I think I’ll give myself a pass due to those two.
3. Apply for a British passport
4. Hike in the Rockies – Done! – Consolation Lake hike
5. Reach Air Canada Altitude status – I won’t even come close. This will have to wait for next year!
6. Investigate garden allotmentsTurns out the wait list for these starts on the first working day  in February, so this will be a goal for next year!
7. Explore my own city
8. Go to the middle of nowhere and watch a meteor shower Thank you, camping

Health

9. Go to yoga weekly  – Three times a week. Showing my hips a little love. 
10. Run a 10K race in under 1:05Done! Sporting Life 10K at 1:02:13, such an awesome race
11. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night…consistently
12. Take Meatless Mondays a step further and make mine vegan or gluten-free
13. Conquer my fear of heights and go rock climbing
14. Hold a plank for two minutesDone June 18th! Now working on my forearm plank time as a new goal

Arts and Crafts

15. Watch Good Will HuntingDone! Thanks Target for having cheap, cheap movies. Now I understand the popularity of “How do you like them apples?” and also, it’s a great movie.
16. Get a membership for the Bloor Cinema and check out some docs
17. Learn all the lyrics to “I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller” – This should be in the next month, almost there!
18. Do something crafty once a monthI’ve sewn bunting, made Steve’s birthday present, made a guestbook tree for my parents’ anniversary, drawn, made birthday cards and will be making centerpieces for this weekend’s Thanksgiving dinner as well as some crafty goodness for Victoria’s wedding. I think this is one of my favourite tasks. 
19. Listen to the entire Rolling Stones catalogue in chronological order in one weekendDone! This was a beast of a weekend. I felt like my life oscillated between feeling as though I was in a Wes Anderson film…to a Scorsese one. Also man there were some dud albums.
20. Take a photography classDone! May 1st. Intro to DSLR at Henry’s Camera, now to put my lesson into practice more often.

Money, Money, Money

21. Meet with a financial planner and determine an investment strategy
22. Set up a weekly and monthly budget. And use it.

Personal and Professional Growth

23. Get my French to a basic conversational level (I’m very good at ordering wine…)
24. Volunteer
25. Learn Photoshop
26. Overcome my fear of needles and donate blood – Done! It was terrifying. But rewarding. 

Sam Time

27. Have a digital detox weekend and disconnect from social media and the internetDone, July 25-28th. It coincided with a trip to BC which helped tremendously, but once the anxiety over not knowing what was happening faded it was very refreshing to just enjoy where I was, read more and not worry about what was going on elsewhere. I think I’ll do this regularly as a reset of sorts. 
28. Make time to write at least once a week
29. Get published
30. Read five books that I really should have read by now but haven’t

31. Most importantly, on February 26, 2015, look back on 31 and realize it was an awesome year, and resist the urge to end up face-down in a cake.

Yikes. 9 out of 30. Need to get moving! (Update as of November 24 – 12 out of 30!) (Update as of January 15 – 16 out of 30!)
Who wants to help with any of these?

Hiking to Consolation Lakes

Trail sign at beginning

I really love mountains. I get squirrely, excited, jazzed about life when I see them. So it made sense that when crafting my 31-for-31 list this year, hiking in the Rockies would be on there because in addition to mountains, I also really enjoy hiking. There’s something about walking through peace and quiet in nature that restores your soul. Or at least mine. Until I inevitably trip.

It seemed, however, like this goal wouldn’t happen – valid reasons kept cropping up to keep me away from setting out on a hike, and I began to think I’d have to put this on the back-burner. Until it seemed almost possible for the end of July. Timing was good, Steve was recovering from knee surgery at a super-human rate, the weather would be perfect. Wildfires almost derailed plans, but thankfully they shifted and air quality was breathable. Rockies hike, ahoy!

We picked Consolation Lakes because reviews listed it as short, flat and totally manageable for small children. We do not have small children, but between my clumsiness and Steve’s recovery, we needed something that would require less effort and provide killer views. This fit the bill, so with a lunch packed we set out to the trail.

Consolation Lakes is one of the trails that starts off of Moraine Lake, so you begin the hike with that gorgeous backdrop and all the tourists you could ever dream of. Many of them were on the path when we started which made me nervous because none were wearing appropriate footwear (or anything appropriate, really. Please, please leave heels at home. They do not belong anywhere in this vicinity). They quickly veered off to a vantage point (again heels! What is wrong with people?) and we set off on the smooth, flat trail.

Except it wasn’t all that flat.

Rocks on trail

Steve was beyond a trooper for the first 15 minutes or so. The rocks, for the most part, are large enough to support weight without wobbling, and a dirt trail with a slow incline greets you at the end. While the trail only has a small elevation gain (about 215 ft), hiking at the higher altitude really knocked me out. Also, I was simultaneously stuffing a peanut butter and banana sandwich into my face which likely didn’t help. I’m all class.

As you proceed along the trail and get used to the thinner air, you’ll be treated to the sounds of quietly murmuring Babel Creek to your left and the smells and sounds of a thick forest all around you. For the last half kilometre the trail opens up and you walk through a beautiful meadow lush with wildflowers during the summer months, until you’re greeted with this:

Consolation LakesConsolation Lakes

Sparkling lake, a glacier and killer views. Totally worth the wobbly rocks at the beginning!

All in, the hike was about six kilometres round-trip and took us less than two hours. As a head’s up, read the signs at the beginning instead of just casually glancing at them – there are currently regulations in place that require a group size of four people or more on the trail due to grizzlies (there is a hefty fine if you’re caught in a smaller group, oops). You’ll no doubt encounter many hikers (in our case, about eight Germans) who will be disappointed if you haven’t spotted any. Pro tip: you don’t want to spot a grizzly. It may not end well. Just enjoy the hike for its beauty!

31-for-31

I recently turned 31.

To begin with, it went a lot better than when I turned 30. There was no crazy restrictive dairy-free/gluten-free/enjoyment-free diet ruining my existence. I had already dipped my toes into the new decade and survived.  I didn’t end up face-down into a cake I couldn’t eat. Progress!

To continue with my graceful transition into my 30s, I decided to set some fun (and some rather boring but practical) goals for the next 355-ish days. Some pertain to travel, some pertain to getting off the couch more but all are things that will help make 31 a pretty great year! Hat tip to Steve because I shamelessly stole this idea from him.

So, here we go!

Ooot and Aboot

1.  Travel to a new country (as in new-to-me, not a newly FORMED country)
2. Check out an awesome music festival
3. Apply for a British passport
4. Hike in the Rockies
5. Reach Air Canada Altitude status
6. Investigate garden allotments
7. Explore my own city
8. Go to the middle of nowhere and watch a meteor shower

Health

9. Go to yoga weekly
10. Run a 10K race in under 1:05
11. Get at least seven hours of sleep a night…consistently
12. Take Meatless Mondays a step further and make mine vegan AND gluten-free
13. Conquer my fear of heights and go rock climbing
14. Hold a plank for two minutes

Arts and Crafts

15. Watch Good Will Hunting
16. Get a membership for the Bloor Cinema and check out some docs
17. Learn all the lyrics to “I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller”
18. Do something crafty once a month
19. Listen to the entire Rolling Stones catalogue in chronological order in one weekend
20. Take a photography class

Money, Money, Money

21. Meet with a financial planner and determine an investment strategy
22. Set up a weekly and monthly budget. And use it.

Personal and Professional Growth

23. Get my French to a basic conversational level (I’m very good at ordering wine…)
24. Volunteer
25. Learn Photoshop
26. Overcome my fear of needles and donate blood

Sam Time

27. Have a digital detox weekend and disconnect from social media and the internet
28. Make time to write at least once a week
29. Get published
30. Read five books that I really should have read by now but haven’t

31. Most importantly, on February 26, 2015, look back on 31 and realize it was an awesome year, and resist the urge to end up face-down in a cake.

So…now you know some of my goals. I’ll update periodically when I accomplish things – and if you’re interested in joining in on any of them, I’m game!