Birthday, Challenges, and the Next Adventure...

I have a secret to share.
Well, perhaps it's not so secret.
Being out of school is lovely!

This morning, I have lazed around, making smoothies for breakfast, washing dishes, creating graphics in Photoshop, and will soon jaunt off to the studio to make jewelry for the upcoming OCAC Jewelry Sale, which, incidentally starts on my birthday....

And speaking of that birthday, this year I turn 30! The big Three-Oh. A few weeks ago, I felt that flutter in my stomach, the nervousness, the voices of society telling me where I should be a this moment in my life.
Well, I shut them up. And yesterday, I began to feel ready. Ready for change, ready for turning leaves, ready for the next adventure.

What will those next adventures hold? Hopefully lots of travel, some archery, some dancing, tons of love and happiness, and the bumps that go with them. 

This summer, Dave and I already have some travel plans up our sleeves, including a trip to Idaho and another to Maui (our delayed honeymoon)! I'm so looking forward to getting out of town, being in the great wide open, smelling fresh air, and taking photos. 

Along with those adventures, I am setting up a couple challenges for myself, which will begin on my birthday. Last year, I pledged to donate blood...well, almost a year later, I have an appointment on Saturday to do just that (I am terrified of needles, so have procrastinated a bit). 

There is a lot of value in challenging ourselves to reach goals. So, I give you....

 "100 Things" is a challenge to create 100 objects between May 19, 2012 and the end of August 2012, before I go back to school. Now, these objects might be jewelry, or they could be other artistic objects. The challenge is simply to be creating. I do not have to create something every day, but have to end up with 100 objects at the end of the challenge.

"Nothing New" is a more arduous challenge, and was sparked by watching Manufactured Landscapes, a documentary about the artist Edward Burtynsky, and is a true reflection of the extent to which our consumerism and culture has had an effect not only on the Earth, but on people in poorer countries or developing countries. Watching this film was a harrowing experience. So, the challenge for this one is to buy Nothing New for an entire year, from birthday to birthday. 

Of course, there are exceptions, and those are: toiletries, underwear, socks, shoes, household goods (i.e. lightbulbs, tape, etc.), school supplies, car goods (tires, brakes, etc.), computer parts, and business items (i.e. tools, metal, stones, shipping items). Oh! And, since I will be a Matron of Honor for my best friend's wedding, the dress and shoes for that are true exceptions. My body type just does not do well with vintage dresses, and I will probably need specific shoes for this adventure :)

Even with those exceptions, though, I want to do my best to find items that are recycled or use recycled materials or can be recycled later. It's already looking like we'll be needing a couple extra fans this summer, so I'm thinking forward and remembering where I can buy vintage ones. I think this will be a really interesting exercise.

So, what do you think? Do you set up challenges for yourself? Do you like/dislike them? I love hearing stories from other people.

I hope you all are enjoying sunny days wherever you are!



  1. Sounds like some great challenges! I donate blood as often as they'll let me, because it can save lives and it's something fairly simple that I can do. (I'm not particularly afraid of needles though, so I commend your bravery!)

    Do you know about You can give or receive still-useful stuff, to keep it out of landfills and reduce wastefulness.

  2. My Dad used to donate blood quite often, too. I remember seeing all the pins he got stuck to his giant desk lamp :)

    I have heard of, but must have forgotten about it! I'll check there for some things. Thank you for the reminder!

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