birthday resolutions

In just about a month, I will turn 26.

The first quarter century has been full to the brim of plans and dreams, struggles and successes. I studied hard for not one degree, but two. I’ve worked challenging and rewarding non-profit jobs that have led me to an amazing career and an office with my name on the door. I managed to create and keep up more than a couple meaningful and invaluable relationships in this big city. And I married the gentlest, bravest, goofiest guy I know. It feels like we’ve climbed valleys and mountains since our wedding day – battling financial setbacks one after another – finding joy in the mundane – asking, and praying, for help – wondering when we’ll feel “grown-up” – learning how to trust and love each other day in and day out.

And I feel more like myself than I have, well, in years.

I am finally seeing _steady_ in my future, but my natural urge is to ask God: what’s next? What big project, what big change, what big transition will I begin next?

So I created this blog to document this 26th year, a seemingly uneventful year by most standards : no new job, no more wedding to plan, no babies yet (knock on wood), no house to buy or rehab, no grad school graduation or enrollment. **

Yet I have this list. Of 26 things to do in my 26th year. It may be trite, too ambitious, too much information #sorryimnotsorry, or perhaps impossible. But by the end of it, I hope to emerge a changed person with a bigger faith and a stronger will. Perhaps a little bruised if I fail, perhaps a little taller because I tried.

Without further ado, here is the aforementioned list:

  1. Write weekly thank-you and just-because notes.
  2. Read 26 books.
  3. Limit screen-time each day, post-work.
  4. Learn how to swim. Yep. You read that right!
  5. Run 26 miles… consecutively.
  6. Go to physical therapy to survive running 26 miles.
  7. Observe and teach a class at work.
  8. Create and maintain a blog.
  9. Pass the LSW (License of Social Work) exam.
  10. Practice being a neighbor : invite a stranger over for dinner : volunteer for a local organization more than once.
  11. Save $$ for a road trip.
  12. Go to individual and couples therapy.
  13. Pay off lots o’ debt.
  14. Learn to bike in the city.
  15. Try sugar-free, dairy-free, and/or gluten-free diets for at least 30 days.
  16. Learn to can.
  17. Babysit friends’ and families’ kids for free. Often.
  18. Romance Mark. Take him on dates. Sacrifice your spending money on his favorite booze. Love that guy. (Okay this is more than one!)
  19. Wear make-up only when necessary.
  20. Go green(er)! Stop using paper towels. Recycle more. Make your own cleaning supplies.
  21. Create and use a cleaning schedule.
  22. Set apart daily time for prayer, scripture, and meditation.
  23. Join a CSA.
  24. Spend a weekend vo-cationing at a monastery.
  25. Publish a research article with colleagues.
  26. Go to a live taping of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me!

The plan is to blog about each of these at least once, in no particular order, and keep you up to date on their progress.

Your encouragement, wisdom, and camaraderie are most welcome! My hope is that this space becomes less about me and more about the God, the movements, and the people that inspire and guide me along the way.

Much love,


**Disclaimer: this isn’t taking into account the wonderfully amazing things Mark will be accomplishing and beginning this year. I can’t tell you how excited I am to share in his journey of free-lancing and new PJ work, post his December 2013 graduation. What a talented guy! Check out his website, admire his work, and hire him, for goodness’ sake.


4 thoughts on “birthday resolutions

  1. I love this! It is so good to read (hear) your voice and energy about the year an adventures ahead. 🙂 I would love to support/participate in #’s 16, 24 and 26!

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