Progress Report…

It is only 20 more days til I reach 50 years old! Still hard to believe that I’ve been on this earth for so long…and hard to believe there is such a short time left in this Personal Year of Jubilee.

portrait

a favorite photo from last May

I decided to take a look back–at the past year, at the plans I made for the year, and at my blog site. Here is a summary of what I have and haven’t done toward reaching the goals I set…

12 Monthly Focuses:

June: Cello — I practiced hard and realized I can still play a pretty mean cello. I also discovered a “Jazz Cellist” during the year. I wanna learn how to play like him! (And it’s a good thing I did some practicing to give me confidence—I’ve been asked to play duets with my violinist sister for my son’s wedding in October–EEK!)

July: 1000 Origami Cranes, October: Poetry, February: Daily Art Journal, and March: nightly Sunset Viewing — These really didn’t happen. I still like the idea of these things, I just never really got around to doing them. Maybe they will happen regularly at some future time…or maybe not.

August: Daily Photo Assignments — I really enjoyed these projects. And, yes, some of them were a stretch for me. I definitely want to do this occasionally in the future!

September: Prepare for Husband’s 50th Birthday — check! did a good job of this, if I say so myself 😉

November: Gratitude List, and April: walk 50 1 mile walks in honor of friends — I’m working at this. I have the list of people who have influenced my life, I have the list of lessons learned from them, and I’m gradually working at the 1 mile walks. It won’t happen in the 50 days leading up to my birthday, but I figure I can keep working at it until I finish the list, right?!

December: journal prompts to finish out the year, and January: personal scrapbook — I didn’t follow the plan I originally listed, but I did participate in making a Christmas Art Journal. I did most of the scrapbooking in October at a retreat with a friend. Both projects are well started…but I still need to finish them.

And here’s the update on my goal of 50 Activities for 50 Years:

Artistic: I got a tatoo just before the 4th anniversary of my son’s death in April (I’ll blog about this including photos soon), Anna and I have started a doll’s quilt with her doing most of the sewing, I have almost finished the animal coloring book (and will post scans, I promise!), and I am QUITE excited about a scheduled photo shoot while I’m in England in June. I also added: making a really cool heart to color as a gift for a friend

I sent a black & white line copy to my friend for her to enjoy coloring

, and signing up for LifeBook 2012 (an e-course with bi-weekly art projects).

Fitness: I would love to announce I have slam-dunked this category…but no, nothing has really changed! I have started walking more regularly. I have also started training to complete a mini-Triathlon sometime late summer or early fall. I guess that is a start…

Literary: I made my list of 50 books. I forgot all about Beowulf (gotta check the library this Wednesday). I’ve left a number of books in places for others to discover and take home. Memorizing poems? Nope, didn’t happen. But I have written a number of poems I’m quite pleased with! (see HERE and HERE for two I posted)

Entertainment: haven’t yet learned to play by ear—I think I’m switching that goal to learning Jazz Cello! And I haven’t watched many movies—those who know me, know I tend to get distracted and wander off! I did discover a new band that both Anna and I love—Pink Martini—in addition to going to a CD release concert by a wonderful singer-songwriter friend of ours, Alison Kitchen. Oh, and I discovered a wonderfully creative duo of Cello & Piano. Check out their videos HERE and HERE.

Other things: Never learned to milk a goat, train my dog for dog agility, or pick our own fruit. Did have a fun camp-out with Anna last June.

camping trip

Camping trip with Anna…and with my dog!

And I got a massage at the Scrapbook Retreat in October. (It was fine…but nothing I would spend money for in the future…) No paper quilt is in the works (although I still love the idea). I’m working on the walking project. And I’m QUITE EXCITED to be going to London England in late June to spend 2 weeks with my sister. YAY!

Weekly Plans? Not so much—again, these were great ideas, but most never happened—except for writing regularly on this blog. Now THAT is something I have enjoyed and plan to continue!

So…just 20 more days in the first half (or so) of my life. Then I move into the next phase. I’m looking forward to it…

Advertisements

Updates on Personal Challenges…

It’s hard for me to believe, but I am already one third of the way through my Personal Year of Jubilee! I thought you might like to have an update on how I am progressing on my personal challenges:

Checking off to-do items...

Click on the “12 monthly focuses” button on the top of this page to see what I have planned as monthly activities. I practiced cello 11 or 12 times during June. I seem to greatly enjoy myself once I actually sit down and get busy…but rarely take the time to do so. It was encouraging to find I could still play well–even with calluses on fingers gone and will muscles no longer accustomed to bowing. I didn’t manage to find all the wonderful origami paper we have stored (somewhere) so did not make any origami cranes in July. Guess this must not be as important to me as I thought!

I very much enjoyed the photography challenges I set for myself in August. You can see my plans by clicking the above “A Month of Daily Photo Assignments” button. I have “bolded” the challenges I worked on during the month. You can see the collection of photos on my Flickr account here Looking down the right side of the screen you can find the photos organized in sets according to the appropriate challenges. I plan to continue working on this challenge occasionally. I would like to complete all the various “assignments” I set for myself.

I have done some work on organizing some special projects for Randy’s 50th birthday (my challenge for September). I need to get busy to actually finish this up before his birthday comes and goes!

If you look at the “50 Activities for 50 Years” button above, I have dabbled with a few of these items. I have not yet gotten a tatoo–hopefully before my 50th birthday! I have enjoyed coloring in many of the intricate pages of the animal coloring book. I’ve camped out with Anna and enjoyed the stars (but was not actually sleeping under the stars). And I’ve sporadically worked on the weekly challenges: So far I have blogged twice weekly, although this is my first update on activities completed. I have walked some weeks, and have not walked for many more weeks. I have been saving money toward a trip to London next year, even if not at the hoped for rate. I have failed at doing ANY aerobic exercise…maybe next week? or the next one?? I am doing better at verbalizing compliments. And I have already started the scrapbook of ME (a challenge for early in 2012).

All in all, I’m happy with what I’m doing. Yes, there are lots of things I have NOT accomplished, but the purpose for all these lists was to keep me moving forward, and I’m certainly doing that.

 

Getting started…

Hopefully you have checked out the “page” which lists the monthly themes I’ve chosen to focus on during this “Year of Jubilee.” If so, you will have seen that I’m starting off the year by pulling my cello back out of storage. My goal is to be able to adequately play Bach’s first unaccompanied suite for cello by the end of the month.

I enjoyed getting my “old friend” out of the big, clunky black case last night. I looked over the cello, getting reacquainted after a number of years away. A few of the cracks that were mended years ago are slightly opening, so I filled the humidifier and slid it back into one of the f-holes on the front of the cello. (Humidifier sounds a lot fancier than the reality—a long rubber tube with holes in it and with a skinny sponge running down the center of it—to be soaked in water. For some reason, the humidifier has been in the cello for years and years, totally unused and unneeded in humid Ohio—but a lifesaver out here in arid New Mexico!)

I was pleasantly surprised to find that my fingers still remembered the music. It felt good to be playing again. We won’t talk about how quickly my bowing arm muscles tightened up…or about the missing calluses on my fingers that will keep practice time short for now…

I thought about making a short recording of this first practice time and posting it here…to show how much improvement there is by the end of a focused month of practice. But…I decided to spare myself the embarrassment and spare you the torture of wrong notes, wrong timing, and bad bowing. You will just have to trust me on this, my playing WILL be much improved by month’s end!

Is there something you enjoyed in the past that you could pull out, dust off, and once again enjoy? I’d love to hear about it!