Friday, May 9, 2008

30 Before 30

From The Happiness Project I came across this list of 40 things a woman wanted to do before she turned 40. I was inspired to do my own list: “30 Before 30.” My 27th birthday is in about two weeks so that gives me three years to tackle my list:

1) Finish my PhD.

2) Climb Longs Peak.

3) Finish knitting the red and orange scarf that is now in its fourth year of knitting.

4) Do a yoga teacher training course.

5) Travel to Brazil to see friends there.

6) Travel to any of the following with SV: Paris, Seattle or Iceland.

7) Go on a trip with my parents – maybe Alaska?

8) Paint a picture a year (at least).

9) Stay out of debt.

10) Start a retirement fund.

11) Publish 3 first-authored papers.

12) Take ballet.

13) Go to a slow food event in Edmonton with DM.

14) Sea kayaking around Vancouver Island and seeing RY.

15) Scrapbook more.

16) Visit Aunt L. a few times.

17) Have a dedicated yoga practice for one year. (hopefully, more!)

18) Have a dedicated meditation practice for 6 months.

19) Run the Bolder Boulder one time

20) Go to Ojo Caliente with friends. Yay!

21) Finish baby blanket for KVL.

22) Knit something for RY.

23) Knit hat and cowl for myself.

24) Have love endeavor(s)!

25) Paint and organize a space in the lab for my office. Something very cool. Very chic. Very organized; very me.

26) Get to know my parents more.

27) Play my violin more. Or at all. Have AM tune it first…

28) Find the 10 best breakfast places in Edmonton.

29) Write an article for the NYTimes.

30) Learn to make excellent chicken enchiladas – locate that recipe I used in New Haven

I realize some of these are pretty ambitious (mainly #29 and #3). The rest however, are realistic. Additionally, each of these touch on themes, people and the minutiae of my life that make me happy!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mellow like a cello

As there is a constant undercurrent of happiness lately, I am finding it difficult to focus on happiness and write anything substantive. With regard to happiness that is. Hopefully my writing elsewhere remains substantive!

Simple pleasures fill the space.

Laughing with friends on the phone, around the kitchen table or while walking when a thought makes me smile is a key ingredient of happiness, a byproduct of happiness, or both.

Savoring a cup of coffee (just the one as opposed to several!) in the filtered light of a coffee shop is a rediscovered pleasure. I am working on reducing my caffeine intake as much as possible. Just two weeks ago I would have anywhere from 4 to 7 caffeinated hot drinks a day (coffee or tea). Now, I am down to two hot beverages a day. I must say that last week was not easy. A few afternoons I had terrible headaches. One day in particular I was rather cranky and moody (I was also in the world’s largest mall that day; that could have been a contributing factor). The real joy comes with fully enjoying my one cup of coffee sitting quietly thinking of the possibilities of the new day rather than gulping my one cup down as I sort myself out to face the day. The intention accompanying the consumption makes the difference.

Finally, an envelope with two CDs was in the post this weekend (Thanks SMV!). One was Nina Simone with the track “Sinnerman” (oh so good!) and the other was Alice Smith. I cannot recommend Alice Smith highly enough. If you like beats and melodies that are organic and fluid, and lyrics that invoke smiles of recognition, this CD (titled “For Dreamers, Lovers & Me) is a must-have.

Oh, no more blogging on Thursdays for me, however sweet of a nod to Steinbeck I think it is…This will be more catch-as-catch-can but hopefully once a week.