Sunday, November 03, 2013

Roo's Life List

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
It is 10am on the last day of my holiday-at-home and I am only now sitting down to write my "49 before 50" list.
I have started it many times, here and there across the week, scribbling notes on knitting patterns and the corners of newspapers. No doubt it won't be finished today, but that's OK.  High on the list has to be to buy a notebook to contain all these thoughts before I lose them.

Cornus alba "Sibirica" at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
 Reviewing my scattered notes, I am struck by the underlying theme of achieving balance between my work and home personae.  On the one hand, I have written "Design a sock", while another note says "Update my CV".  At the moment, those directives are in opposition to one another.  I have shyed away from creating a "Linked In" profile for my day job identity because the person I would describe would not be "me".  And at the same time, I avoid joining F-book in case my knitterly self is discovered by work colleagues.
This is not healthy!  So for the time being my list says:  "Make connections".  And there I go again - writing in secret code even though I am my only audience!  Tsk.
Walk on a beach.
Keep a sketchbook. 
Finish my quilt.
I refuse to write "Get fit", but I will say "Perform 49 deliberate acts of exercise in the year".
Similarly "Eat healthy food" will be described as "Be vegan for 49 days in the year".
Both those goals are set low, in the hope that they become the start of a life-habit.
Because that's what this is about:  setting out as I mean to go on.  It's not about punishing myself or restricting myself, it's about exploring better ways to be me.
And having fun. Note to self:  life is not a life sentence.
I am going to make a new page on the blog where my list will live.  And I aim to write a weekly post on progress.
But right now, I am off to buy some funky stationery.  If ever there was a good excuse to purchase a beautiful journal and some purple ink, this is it! :)


Giselle said...

I feel that it is such a good idea to set goals (expectations!, ugh)low. You can always re-evaluate them upwards AND feel good about it. Not so much the other way round. It's too much pressure, I'm not doing that to myself any more. My next goal is: go back to yoga class. Just once. But I know it won't be this year, I am aiming for first quarter of 2014. That feels achievable.
Other than that my strategy is: pick up whatever looks like fun. Sewing, knitting, quilt-making or even reading and news watching. But only as long as any of these things are fun.
I think it is so much easier to have fun when planning to do things that are fun (whatever that might be for us). Sorry if that sounds too pat and obvious.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy the purple ink and journal!

christinelaennec said...

I look forward to reading your list! I hope the top thing on it will be: Be Happy and Enjoy Life.

Do show us your notebook and pen!

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

I also look forward to the list what a wonderful idea and I too like any reason to buy stationery :)

beate grigutsch said...

I think that is really good. even if you do not reach all the goals - writing about you learn definitely something about yourself .... and that is worth a lot.
looking forward..........

Karen Marie said...

Hi Roo! I love your list idea. I am nearly the same age as you (same year, same month) and I am going to steal your idea of 49 before 50. I'd really like to start a blog this year and post 49 times! That's only a little less than once a week! I'd also like to learn to knit. I have a cute sock pattern (that I may have found because of your blog or maybe not, I don't recall) but don't know how. Or how to convert that into 49. Maybe 49 15-minute segments of knitting. I love to sew but don't do it often enough. Maybe the same thing with sewing: 49 15-minute segments. Might work! Karen

jessica said...

Ooooooh - yes! I am a big fan of the right notebook kickstarting many a new venture :-). Hehe, and I wonder why moving always involves so many boxes of notebooks! (Just kidding. Only two. With things like towels mixed in to lighten the load).

Sounds like the beginnings of a lovely list. As Karen Marie points out, 49 converts to nearly 1/week, with a few breaks for holidays, life gets crazy, and such ;-). Could almost make for a nice ritual (if you don't find those kinds of things too stifling, I personally need a little structure) - "Ah, here's my weekly vegan day! Ah, here's my deliberate act of exercise for the week!" And then you get the fun of planning out what's going to go into the vegan day (new recipe? Old favorite? A standby quick-and-easy?) or what exercise you're going to do/try (Today feels like a ZOMBIE RUN day! Ooh, there's this yoga class/DVD/etc. I've been meaning to try!) Haha, can you tell I used to be a health coach? ;-).

Look forward to seeing how this goes! :-).

Ruth Wilson said...

I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Just a comment about LinkedIn - you can have a work "you" on there, which highlights your knowledge and capabilities and achievements in the workplace. That is one aspect of you. I think we all have many faces/wear different hats etc. I am quite happy with having a LinkedIn profile which makes no mention of my creative interests. Obviously you need to do what you feel happy with. I look forward to reading about the progress of your list!

ravelledsleeve said...

Funny, I was just thinking this evening that I will be 40 in six months' time and wondering if I should make a list of things to do before then. I look forward to seeing how you get on with yours!

MaryinTN said...

Great idea...I always approve of purple ink and any reason for a new journal is good. Found a similar notebook in my home office the other week and realized I started it 7 yrs ago at age 46. Life lists and reflection must be common around that time of life I suppose. Look forward to seeing your list and progress.

madeinoxford said...

I love the way you've phrased these, being specific and choosing manageable targets - I intend to take inspiration :)

Incidentally, do you know about Bureau Direct? They're a family firm, have a lovely website and some of the most unusual stationary I've seen. Also, if you subscribe to the newsletter, you get a discount code on the first Wednesday of the month. Which is in two days time... :D

auchenshugglegranny said...

roo I am coming toward the end of my 49th year and wish I had done this...I did however achieve quite a few things..moved house, ears pierced joined the trefoil Guild...for facebook..never use your real well for keeping those who would like to know but you dont want out..enjoy making the list

Nicki said...

Stationary and lists, two things that make me smile. Look forward to reading your list updates.

LinB said...

Oh, excellent resolves, all of them! As one who is six years past your upcoming milestone, I can most highly applaud your intent to write stuff down so you don't forget it. You are at an age at which your brain is approaching information saturation: that is, you'll have to start throwing out stale old information to make room for fresh new information. Unless you take conscious steps to record what is vital to you to know right now, your subconscious mind will make its own decisions about what to keep and what to throw away. Sometimes what your brain decides to throw away is important stuff, like your name, and how to drive home, and where you hid the chocolate so your housemates won't eat it all before you get a chance to indulge yourself. If you have a photographic memory -- as does my own ancient father -- ignore everything I just wrote, lol.

jessica said...

Oooooh yes I second the comment on fake name on FB (have tons of friends who did that - esp. those up for medical residency applications, didn't want snooping committee members to see their early 20s photos with cups of beer, LOL). And many of us have, uh, carefully curated faces that we present in the workplace ;-). My LinkedIn profile makes me sound really Type A, for example.