Here we are, at the end of my year’s attempt to do cool things with myself before my thirtieth birthday. Reflecting on my list, I can say . . . well . . . I did far better with some than others. To that end I have decided to grant myself a small extension, until the end of December, to see if I can’t squeeze in the ones I’ve missed so far. I might yet read the rest of Shakespeare’s plays — cook Pad Thai properly (I did try to make it from scratch, but unsuccessfully) — learn three more cocktails along with the Gin and Tonic and Gimlet I have mastered — finish the remaining dozen books on one bookcase (Anna Karenina, Treasure Island, The Tale of Genji, three in foreign languages — Glennkill in German, I Verga in Italian, Manon Lescaut in French –I am unlikely to get to, The Heptameron of Marguerite of Navarre, The Crying of Lot 39, Shadows in Paradise, a couple of others) —
I might yet memorise a few more poems.
But I have made pasta from scratch; played my flute in public; walked across the pedestrian-permitted bridge; walked out of Halifax and back into it; figured out twelve ways to do my hair, even if not all of them are that interesting; made bagels from scratch; gone stargazing on the North Shore of PEI; written nearly every day for an hour; read my writing aloud in public; auditioned for and sung in a choir; read some of the Divine Comedy in Italian (about half of Inferno before I ran out of time); improved my Latin a small amount; and a couple other partial efforts that I might finish in the next month; at least learned how to do the squats and push-ups even if I’m nowhere near 100 of each.
I like setting myself goals and working hard to achieve them, but I’m not enough of a perfectionist not to feel that this list, even if incomplete, did not fulfill its desired function. It has made me push myself to do things that I wanted to do but just never quite got around to doing. That is something worth noting.
I have also learned — once again — how important it is to not leave everything till the last minute, and also, that life really easily gets in the way of things that are only moderately important. The really important thing for me this year was writing every day, and I did that. Apparently also the cooking-related items, except for phyllo pastry. The ones less close to my heart’s desire were overtaken by circumstances. That’s always a good lesson to be reminded of.
But you know what? This partially finished list of things done in the past year makes me look on turning thirty as a thing of excitement, to be anticipated happily, and on being in my thirties as a wonderful next step. I am a stronger and happier person for this last year, for doing the things I have done, for not settling too much.
I will have some exciting news shortly about my plans for the next year. Stay tuned!