Tuesday, November 23, 2010

List Update -- 49 Reasons to Be Thankful on this Thanksgiving

Incredibly, it's been almost a year since I embarked on this project.  The plan had been to start on January 1, 2010 and do a New Thing a week for a total of 52 New Things.  But as we all know, life is never quite that tidy, so I started early and have plans to go late. The list actually began on my birthday, December 10, of 2009, because that's when my friend and former student Julia, taught me how to make a blog, which served the double purpose of being New Thing #1 and being the way I've kept track of the year. And Leah and Siham, co-originators of the list idea, proposed that the "official" end of the year be the last weekend in February. That's the anniversary of our Bar Harbor trip where we climbed Cadillac Mountain to watch the earliest sunrise on the East Coast and burn our list of bad things from 2009  (and here are Leah and Siham finishing the list before we burned it).
We also decided that, once we hit the February date, we'll start a new year of more new things, mixed together with repeats of things we loved from this year.  For me that will mean 12 new things ( 1 per month), 12 things from the first list that I keep going with, and two things off the "Life List". 

So, what I have below is the list of all the New Things that have already happened, plus the list of things that hopefully still will.

New Things I've done in 2010 (all of them are linked to the pages where they are "written up"):

1. Start a blog

2. Go to Nepal
 3. Try rock climbing 

4. Try ice climbing

5. Try snow shoe hiking

6. Learn to make fresh mozzarella

7. Go cross country skiing

8. Take a Penguin Plunge

9. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center

10. Hike Camel's Hump in all four seasons (winter spring summer fall)

11. Try skate skiing

12. See a Bar Harbor sunrise

13. Try snowboarding

14. Do a winter sport at night

15. Cook an Indian meal

16. Go downhill skiing

17. Participate in a contra dance

18. Visit the Vermont Veterans Militia Museum

19. Learn to change a bike tire

20. Learn to make a chocolate souffle

21. Visit the Washington Monument at night 

22. Take a ballet class

23. Eat a Vermonster

24. Go bird watching

25. Spend an afternoon watching car racing

26. Learn to change a car tire

27. Visit the Dominican Republic

28. Visit the Basque Block

29. Try glass blowing

30. Visit Jordan

31. Visit Jerusalem

32. Give a talk in Uganda

33. Visit Egypt

34. See a band at Nectar's and eat at Pizza on Earth

35. Go to the Rokeby Museum

36. Try haggis.

37. Go sea kayaking

38. Go punting on the Cam

39.  Visit Sweden

40.  Visit Denmark 

41. Go to Montreal for Roger's Cup and Poutine

42.  Try paddle surfing

43.  Go rock climbing OUTSIDE

44.  Bike to Hero's Welcome

45.  Go to a roller derby

46.  Take a ride in a hot air balloon

47.  Visit the Walter Reed Museum

48.  Stay up all night in the City That Never Sleeps

49.  Go to Quebec City

And here are a bunch of New Things that I'm hoping to get in during the next few months (not necessarily in this order and not necessarily a complete list):
  • Learn to knit a pair of mittens -- I was well on my way on this one, and did a whole mitten but then forgot how to do the thumbs.  But happily, I'm headed back to Tacoma to consult with my Knitting Coach (aka my sister Katrinka) for Christmas, so should be able to finish this one handily (couldn't resist saying that).
  • Eat a meal at Sloan -- Did you know that Saint Michael's College has a sit-down restaurant of sorts?  My students inform that it exists on North Campus, and so I am going with AIDS activist extraordinaire Emily and whoever else wants to before the semester ends.
  • Get a tattoo -- I am increasingly thinking that this has "birthday activity" written all over it, so I think I'll be permanently inked with a 52 before the year is done. I know that Julia is just itching to do this one together if she can swing it.
  • Sail to Alaska on a container ship -- Siham, Leah and I were already planning on going to Alaska (only state I've never visited) for spring break.  But when my brother in law Brian suggested this means of transport we just knew we had to do it.  Could there possibly be a cooler idea?  Didn't think so.
  • Go dog sledding -- While we were in Quebec City last weekend we found out that there are a whole bunch of places that take newbies out to try it.  What better reason to go back this winter?
  • Do nothing.  Was going to do this on Thanksgiving Day, but instead am going to take Chris up on his gracious invitation to spend that at his mom's house in southern Vermont.  But I will definitely find another day to officially do nothing (or something close to it).
  • Jump and spin on skates -- this one has fallen by the wayside in a terrible fashion, but I'm going to pick it back up again and get going in December. Happily, Ali just got a new job at the skating rink in Milton, and I am going to be seeing if she's up for some skating together.
  • Learn to make yogurt -- decided I needed to do this when Chris and I were in New York City for the Up-All-Night trip.  We started it off at a Greek restaurant and I realized that I simply must learn to make my own yogurt.
  • Learn to make croissants -- still need to take Dean up on his offer to teach me.  It appears that it will be a several-day lesson, but even more reason to learn something complicated.
  • Learn home maintenance -- this is one of the things I've been worst about this year.  Of the things that intimidate me -- athletics, art and anything mechanical -- I think I've done okay on the athletic stuff and even delved into the artistic slightly (well, ballet at least),  But except for Nigel's tire lessons, I'm way behind on this one, and thankfully Chris has offered to tutor me.
  • Learn to say I love you in 52 languages.  I won't quite hit it, but I have to say I've collected quite a diverse list of languages with my four phrases (I love you, May I have two beers please?, hello and good-by) over the course of this year.  I'll definitely keep at it as long as I can.
  • Have an astronomy lesson. Still going to take my colleague John up on his offer to show me and whoever else wants to some of the planets and constellations in the sky.
So, that's the update, as of late November, 2010.  I think around the New Year I'm going to do another update that lists my picks for next year's 12 new things and 12 continuations, as well as the two things I'll be working on off the life list (one of which, writing a book with students and former students, is already begun).  I also want to do a top ten list of the New Things from the first year.  So, if you have suggestions and comments, about what's already happened or about cool new things to try in 2011, please drop a comment to let me know!

I didn't realize that I'd be sending this out a few days before Thanksgiving, but the timing seems very appropriate.  It's been an amazing year, full of new experiences, new and old friends, and all kinds of life lessons. I'm especially grateful to all my family and friends who have taken the time out of their own busy lives to be a part of this project -- from making suggestions to climbing mountains (and walls!) to travelling the world together. At the end of the day, I think the only things that matter aren't actually things  (as in possessions, anyway)-- they're experiences and relationships, and I've been abundantly blessed in the last year with both.


  1. Trish, thanks for recapping...it was great tto read up on some of the posts (that I have somehow missed, despite my regular readings). Your next few adventures sound great!

  2. So I was just re-reading this and was going to post anyways..but, I come back to Vermont way earlier than everyone else next semester due to Student Teaching and will most likely be around in most of the evenings and the few weekends by myself... so we should plan to do something then!

    And I was reading the last of your things of what you want to do and I would totally be down for the lesson on Astronomy... I'm OBSESSED with Stars!

    We shall plan! hope you are having a fabulous Thanksgiving!