Category Archives: 100 things

Back to the future part 2

Continued from part 1, in which I write about the origins of this blog in 2011.

After blogging every day in 2011 and then limping through 2012, I tried to reignite the blog in 2013 because I did enjoy blogging and interacting with the people who read it and took the time to leave comments. So I was keen to get back into blogging more regularly. I realised that daily blogging wasn’t for me so I set myself a goal to blog at least three times a week in 2013. I intended to set some regular things to blog about to make it a bit easier. For example, Monday was going to be the day I was going to write about my journey to quitting sugar, and as the year went on, to improving my diet in general. Sunday was going to be scrapbooking/memory keeping post day.

And I had this list of 100 things to do in 2013 that I was going to review at the end of each month.

I also thought it would be fun to participate in weekly blog linkups like “Wordless Wednesday”, “Thankful Thursday” and “FFS Friday” that I’d seen on various blogs around the place. I don’t recall that lasting very long either.

Later in 2013, I started a 12 of 12 project, which was to take 12 photos of your life on the 12th day of every month.

A random 12 of 12 photo from 12 August 2013

I blogged about trips away, unusual things and challenges I was doing, more scrapbook layouts and random issues like dealing with imperfection (that was a good one). I ran a semi-regular feature for a while called Find Me Friday, where I would post a photo of part of a building in Hobart that I would challenge my readers to identify. I also did a 30 days of lists challenge, which foreshadowed a much bigger project I’d take on a few years later. The blog was still alive, but it wasn’t a regular part of my life any more. And I never did those 100 things in 2013. Or in 2014. Or in 2015 . . .

You can read about where my thinking was around this time, my initial idea for the blog and then the revamped one, here, which is on Blogger, the original platform I used. I moved over to WordPress in September 2013, which is why the formatting of the early posts on here is all over the shop.

In 2016, after having read the book Do Share Inspire: The year I changed my life through TED talks by Kylie Dunn (my post here), in which she pent a year applying the ideas from some of the TED talks she had listened to over recent years through a series of 30-day activities, I decided to start my own series of 30-day challenges that I’d blog about. These included going alcohol-free for 30 days, drawing every day, doing something that scared me every day, and doing cryptic crosswords every day for 30 days.

This was around the time I renamed the blog to stepping on the cracks. As I explained in this post.

“The 30-days project” doesn’t have much of a ring to it. So thinking about some activities I did and some a-ha moments I had at a retreat a couple of weeks ago, I came up with the title “stepping on the cracks”. I realised that whenever I try to draw something, it tends to be straight lines, and that I colour within within the lines and that this art could be seen as a reflection of my personality. I once, when asked to do a doodle drawing, observed the following:

The idea was to draw a shape and split it into sections and doodle or make our mark. I noticed everyone else did round shapes – spirals, circles, ovals, abstracts. I did a triangle. Perhaps that says a lot about me – straight lines and angles. Left brain rules. It also included the words “Don’t step on the cracks” and “Stay within the lines”.

I think I was very dryly reflecting on myself with those two phrases rather than seriously instructing myself to comply with those rules. Anyway, very long story short, being straightlinesgirl is all perfectly OK and isn’t something I need to “fix” BUT there’s nothing stopping me drawing curves or swirls or colouring outside the lines or making a mess. So I think what the project is all about is being who I am, but not letting that prevent me from doing anything else – and seeing what happens when I step on the cracks and colour outside the lines.

This project kind of worked and kind of didn’t.

Some of the challenges were ideally suited to a 30-day format: 30 days of no alcohol, for example. This was because I had a clear idea in my head of what I’d be doing (or not doing in this case) over the 30 days, and my progress was easy to track. I either had 30 days free of alcohol or I didn’t.

Some of the other challenges were more vague and I didn’t have much of an idea what I needed to do over the 30 days. 30 days of clarity, for example. WTF?! I didn’t have a plan or anything to measure my progress by in those ones. And I think I took way too much on for the time I actually had to work on these things. As a result, things were very stop-start over this time and I didn’t stick with several of the challenges I had initially intended to do. So that part of the project was less successful.

After that project ground to a halt, I tried a few other things over the next year or two, including using the blog as accountability for making healthy habit changes by making commitments to a healthier lifestyle and posting weekly updates, but even that didn’t last very long. I also wrote about taking part in Care Australia’s Walk In Her Shoes challenge for a couple of years.

Walk in Her Shoes 2016

Finally, at the end of 2018, I decided to take on the 19 for 2019 challenge, which was a list of 19 things I wanted to accomplish in 2019. (Not 100, which I’d aimed for in 2013). I got the idea from Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft’s Happier podcast, as they were doing 18 for 2018. Finally, some success! I had an achievable list of 19 things to do, of which I did 14 and I updated the blog a lot more consistently, which kept me on track with the list. I carried it over into 20 for 2020 (and now 21 for 2021) and over time have gradually expanded it to include keeping up to date on habits I want to develop and little things I want to improve.

I’m feeling comfortable with where it’s at now and I have a nice little routine for writing the posts each week and keeping track of everything I’ve done.

It’s been an interesting process to look back on where I was ten years ago and to see how, in relation to some things, not much has changed at all. I thought I’d share my favourite post from each month over the next few weeks, to commemorate the tenth anniversary, beginning with this one

  • 8 January 2011: Tweetup, in which I overcome my fear of meeting people and bravely turn up to a BBQ with People From Twitter Who I Don’t Actually Know In Real Life.

Now on my blog’s tenth anniversary, I’ve been starting to wonder whether its format and title is really what it’s all about or if it needs a bit of a reboot, given the last reboot was in 2016. In particular, acknowledging that there’s nothing stopping me drawing curves or swirls or colouring outside the lines or making a mess but that, when I think about it, I don’t actually want to make that type of art.

There’s a lot going on in my head at the moment!

100 things in 2018

In 2013, inspired by another blogger, I made a list of 100 things I wanted to do that year. I posted the list on a page on my blog and periodically updated it and crossed things off I’d achieved. By the end of 2013, there were a lot of things I’d got nowhere near doing, so I left the list there for 2014. And 2015 . . . And 2016 . . . And never mind . . .

I eventually took it down because, instead of making plans to go out and do those things, it just reminded me of all the things I hadn’t done. (It still exists on my old blogging platform, however.)

This year, with renewed enthusiasm, I made a new list of 100 things to do. Some of them, like book a skin check, were still hanging round from the 2013 list. Some were quite simple. Make a donation, get yellow sunglasses and update my phone’s software. Some were books I wanted to read (I made a list of those on the blog and have been updating it here). Some were long-term. Finish a couple of courses I had signed up for, walk to the top of kunanyi. Some were daily habits. Walk 12,000 steps. Make a black and white photo every day and post it on Instagram.

Rather than announce this to the world and put it back on my blog, I made a spreadsheet to keep track of everything (this shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows me) and started checking things off the list. That lasted a while until life got in the way and I kind of forgot about the list. I mean, 12 months later, the bag of coins I wanted to put in the bank is still sitting on top of my dresser and I have not made an appointment for a skin check. However, while the book on fermenting has sat on my bookshelf untouched all year and my sewing machine is still in its cupboard unrepaired, I do have a new computer, a camera bag and a tripod, and I joined a yoga class, have regular lunches with my mum and my sister, and went to a mixed media class.

20180324 Mixed media 2 IG

I did the class . . . I may not have finished the project

Overall, excluding the daily habits I had included on the list, which I can’t check off until I have completed the final task on 31 December, I finished 37 of the 100 things.

In hindsight, 100 things is too many things to keep track of. There are way too many big projects on the list for me to reasonably have had a chance of completing within 12 months and some of them are ongoing things that don’t really have a point at which I can say I’ve completed it. So I’m not surprised at the low number.

On the other hand, I did 37 things I might not have done if I hadn’t thought about them and written them down. So it’s not a complete disaster!

It was around about this time last year I heard Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft talk about their 18 for 2018 lists in the Happier podcast.  This is a much shorter, snappier list. Eighteen things they wanted to get done in 2018. I’ve pretty much stopped listening to podcasts now so I don’t know how they went with their lists (a quick search of Gretchen’s website tells me she did, indeed complete her list), but I’ve decided to adopt this idea for 2019 for myself. I don’t know if Gretchen and Liz are revisiting the idea for 2019, but I’m going to make a list of 19 things I absolutely want to complete next year. Nineteen seems like a realistic target (especially since I completed 37 things this year) because some of those will be projects that will require a large commitment.

I will put this list somewhere I can see it and review it regularly.

I’ll think about what I want to put on the list over the next few days. I have some ideas already but I want to make sure I only include things I definitely want to do in 2019 and that I can commit to doing, so it will take a while to get that right. I don’t want to include anything that’s a daily habit I want to adopt or anything that might start to look like a new year’s resolution. I want actual things I want to do and that have a definite point at which they are completed. Definitely nothing like “get more sleep” or “drink less beer” (ha). Perhaps I’ll share it on here when I’m done as another way of staying accountable.

So, while I’m doing that, I’d love you tell me whether you have ever done a list like this and, if so, how you went?

the year is 1/3 over

It’s the end of April. Well actually we’re almost a week into May, but I’ve been so frantically busy at work I hadn’t noticed. So it’s still the end of April as far as I’m concerned.

This means it’s time for my end of month review of my 100 things to do in 2013

I think I missed the March update, so that means there should be heaps I’ve done since the last update, right?

Not necessarily, but still, I’ve made some progress and I’m happy.

1. Improve my eating habits to make at least 90% of my diet free of processed food

I think I’m getting there. Cutting out food (or “edible foodlike substances”) with added sugar has eliminated much of the processed food. I still have a long way to go though.

2. Reach my target weight (lose about the same again as I lost in 2012)

I’m getting closer. The best sign is that I can now fit into the post-huge-weight-loss-before-I-got-pregnant-and-stacked-it-all-back-on-again jeans and have discarded a lot of clothes that have started to hang off me. I’m far from being my ideal size, but I’m no longer 20 kg overweight.

11. Finish the DVD from our 2011 holiday for Juniordwarf

If my computer hadn’t decided to spit the dummy and make every attempt to edit a movie into the most agonisingly painfully slow process, I would have done this by now. I need to fix up a couple of minor glitches, but apart from that it’s done. 

19. Blog at least three times a week

Um, no.

23. Get back into yoga

This is happening most mornings. And Juniordwarf is joining me.

26. Buy decent walking shoes

Done.

27. Go to a National Park I’ve never been to

We went to the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park on our way to the West Coast. If you want to be really pedantic, I have been there before. We stopped off at the picnic area for a short break on our holiday about 10 years ago.  But we didn’t actually look around or anything, so in my mind (and it’s my blog, so my rules) that doesn’t count. So this trip was the first time I’ve actually been there.

53. Get a notice board for the kitchen

I ordered it last week.

56. Order the new blind for the dining room

We decided we didn’t need this. 

62. Go to MONA

Done! 

76. Change my hair colour

I went darker for a while. It looked shit and made me look washed out. I’m glad it was semi-permanent and has gone now.

85. Avoid footy tipping 

I’m not in any tipping competition, and Fridays are a lot less stressful now.

96. Keep better track of my spending & the household budget 

I have a spreadsheet. I use it regularly. It is quite a thing to behold.

98. Stop using the couch as storage 

I’m getting better at this. 

So things are slowly happening. It’s nice to be able to cross things off the list.

 

adventures in antiques #1

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There are at least eight shops that I can think of that I would need to visit to achieve this. In theory this shouldn’t be too difficult. I could probably go to them all in one day, but they would be pretty rushed visits and I don’t think that’s what I had in mind when I wrote the list in January.
The way I’m going on getting through my list, going to one shop will be a challenge. However, I’ve come up with a plan. I thought of it after our visit to the Copping Museum last Sunday. 
The iconic sign at the front of the museum
I said to Juniordwarf that it was just like one of our local antique shops that we sometimes go into (for completely non-antique reasons, so these visits don’t count as part of the task). He agreed.
I took a few pictures of things that caught my eye in the museum, and I thought it might be fun to go to a different shop each week, take some pictures of things that I like and post them on here, as a gallery of stuff that interested me on the day. Not promotion or advertising or anything like that, just stuff I see in the shops that I like. If the owner of the shop is happy to let me do this.
So in anticipation of taking on this project some time soon, here is my selection of things in the Copping Museum that jumped out at me, aka Adventures in Antiques Part 1.

Steel beer cans

Imagine one of these in your kitchen

Love the old radios

Stack of car rego plates

Another radio. Well before my time.

I wonder whose number was 84

My parents always had a bottle of this at home. Rarely opened.

Reminded me of my Dad

Juniordwarf loved this selection of “babies”

Old school music

Try explaining this to a 6 year old

february catch up

Item number 19 on my 100 things to do in 2013: Blog at least three times a week.
Number of posts in February: five.
That doesn’t quite add up, does it?
I’ve started writing several posts and either never finished them, or decided I didn’t want to publish them after all. Or I’ve thought, why would anyone want to read that, and given up.
Not really what I had in mind when I wrote the list and decided I wanted to blog more often.
Now it’s the start of a new month.  It’s time to review the past month and (possibly) get inspired to blog again.
So what’s happened?
Project Life
I’m pretty much up to date with this and just have a few more photos to print for February, and then I should have a few layouts to share. I also managed to finish not one, but two layouts in the “in progress” album. Progress indeed.
Food
These are the posts I’ve been struggling with. I really don’t know what to write without looking like I’m trying to justify myself or defend what I’m doing. 
That looks so stupid now that I’ve written it down. I don’t have to justify making healthy changes to my life. Quitting sugar is the way I decided to start. There are a lot of opinions about whether sugar is really so bad. I don’t know the answer to this one. 
Anyway, the quit sugar thing has really turned into quitting a lot of the processed food with added sugar, which is what I’ve been trying to do (see Item 1 on the list). So I haven’t followed the Quit Sugar program completely. I’m still eating small amounts of fruit (which the program says to cut out, and reintroduce later on when you’ve broken the sugar addiction if you want to).
Apart from that I’ve been sugar-free, other than a couple of meals that other people have cooked that have had an ingredient that contains sugar, for six weeks now. I’ve politely refused desserts, have been into coffee shops and ignored the cakes and haven’t so much as even looked at the 85% chocolate in my fridge. (It’s there for me to test whether having not eaten sugar for an extended time changes the taste of that type of chocolate – whether it actually will taste sweet to me.) And I haven’t really felt like I’m missing out or depriving myself.
One thing I’ve noticed is that my coffee has started to taste quite sweet now from the lactose in the milk. I’ve never had sugar in coffee, so this is quite a strange sensation. 
I’m happy with how things are going at the moment, and I’m continuing to read about food and trying (most of the time) to make the best choices for me. 
Exercise
As soon as I read that exercise can make you fat I gave up exercise.
Well not really, since to give up something, you actually have to be doing it first.
Ha.
But seriously, I have been doing some form of exercise most days, even if it’s just walking to work. At the start of the year my goal was to be walking 15,000 steps a day and to get back into yoga. It’s still my intention to do both of those things.
I bought a yoga DVD a couple of weeks ago and have been getting up earlier most mornings to do one of the routines. Juniordwarf has been joining me, which is fun. 
Next Month
I do want to blog more often. At least, more than five times in the month.
Related: does anyone have any regular link-ups that they participate in that are fun? I did Wordless Wednesday once and then promptly forgot about it . . . 

100 things – January review

I’ve decided to do a monthly review post of where I’m up to with my 100 things to do in 2013 list. 
This way the list doesn’t just become something I write at the start of the year and shove in the back of a folder never to be seen again.
As well as this, I’ve put a page on the top of the blog that I’m updating occasionally. 
Many of the things are ongoing tasks or projects (or new habits that I want to get into), so there isn’t a lot I can actually cross off the list.
However, I can report that I have crossed off Number 33 (read Sweet Poison) and Number 97 (take down the not-an-Xmas tree). 
I really love crossing things off a list. It’s very satisfying.

organising the 100 things

A few days after I wrote my list of 100 things to do in 2013 I went back over it to work out exactly how and when I’m going to do all those things.

It occurred to me that I could look at the list in several different ways.

There were lots of things that related to improving my health, and lots about getting organised and staying on top of things. There were things I could group as (for lack of a better term) sorting my head out, others about keeping records of my life, exploring my world, creating, gardening, doing stuff with my family . . . and the categories go on.

Some of the things I want to do are one-off jobs. Do them and they are crossed off the list. Others are habits I want to get into over the year and others are multi-step projects.

So I spent a bit of time this week sorting the list. Because, despite outward appearances, I like things to be in order and logically sequenced. It doesn’t mean I do them. It’s most likely a procrastination tool that stops me getting things done. But that’s another story.

Anyway, I thought that a lot of what I want to do could be worked into a resolution (or commitment) chart, which I first came across when I read Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project.

I picked out a couple of things that I wanted to start doing every day (the “habits” from the list) and have made an all new chart for 2013 in an attempt to keep on top of things. The idea is that once I’ve started to make the first couple of things into habits that I actually do, I’ll gradually add in some more things from the list so that by the end of the year I will have all the new habits I want to develop. Or at least some of them.

It’s a bit more structured than what I’m used to, especially for my personal life. But I’ve felt very unsettled ever since we started the moving house journey back in July, and I feel like I need some structure so that I can get back some control over my life.

And, just so this isn’t an entirely photo-free post, last night I started work on my One Little Word project. I cut, I stamped, I washi taped and I bradded (if that’s an actual word). I also managed to drip my stamp cleaner fluid into one of my ink pads, which I don’t think is particularly good for the ink pad.

Also, this is what happens when you give your six-year-old your phone.