Thursday, September 29, 2011

35 by 35, part 1

I have this friend.  She's a go-getter working on her phD in ecology, driven by personal challenges and accomplishments.  She's a fan of the popular 30 by 30 lists common for motivated people in their 20s to try to fulfill 30 goals by the time they turn 30.  I have a few friends with these lists and I always scoffed at them. 

Why set a timeline for pursuing dreams?  Why is there so much pressure to get things done by the time we're 30?  Why do we feel the need to put the pressure on ourselves?

She said that as you get older and get through landmarks like getting a degree, traveling independently and settling into stability (all important), it can be easy to become apathetic and lazy.  This, for her, is a good way to stay engaged and keep focused. 

I've always believed in setting goals for myself.  I had to agree, there is something to giving yourself a deadline, or those very things can fall by the wayside.

So with much hesitation, I am trying to open myself to crossing some of those things-I-want-to-do-one-day off my list.  Thus begins my 35 by 35.

I'm going to start with some easy ones, just to make sure I get them done.  The first thing is learning to change the strings on my guitar.  That one broken E string has left my poor neglected guitar crammed in the corner of my room.

My fave site for guitar basics has been  This is a straightforward tutorial on changing strings- and they also have the most approachable guides to learning chords and basic tuning.

In a perfect world, the strings are coiled neatly around the peg.  Mine came out pretty sloppy, but hey, it's my first time.  (This is also why I would strongly recommend buying a very cheap guitar for your first one, so it can take some abuse until you get your bearings.)

Not the prettiest, but once I sat down, I did it!  It took about an hour, including a very tedious tuning session (as the strings stretched and settled into their new positions).  Now she's ready to jam again!

I'm glad my friend sold me on the idea, and what better opportunity to get some things done that I've been procrastinating on?  I don't have a full list compiled yet, but here is the start of my list:
-change guitar strings
-quit smoking
-camp by myself
-learn to sail
-finish my book (and self publish)
-kill a chicken (there will be lots of weird back-to-the-land goals)
-skin a rabbit
-see Pacific Northwest (I've never gone farther north than Arcada)
-learn to lead climb
-use a chainsaw
-learn to sew
-explore manual photography and take better photos
-travel to Africa
 -read Ulysses (and study it so I understand it)
-learn to butcher (break down a side, and become familiar with all the cuts)
-go salmon fishing

That's it for now, but that's enough to keep me busy for a while.  What's on your list?

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