26 things before i turn 27

What's past is prologue. -- William Shakespeare, The Tempest

The future must be my proof. -- Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Yesterday: I turned 26.

Today: I start making my next year the best so far.
Good beginnings usually mean: a list. Of 26 things I'll do before I turn 27.

I love this sort of list, crammed with wonderful goals made for the next year. Saw it first on Hula Seventy, as well as Elsie, and I love Julia's blog for the same reason.

It's inspiring business, after all, to think of how you can shape your next year. And how that next year will shape you.

I've made this kind of list before, half-heartedly. But this isn't half-hearted. This is full heart.

115% heart.
Deep breath... here we go:

1. purge my shelves of the books I'm holding onto because I feel obligated to read them... the classics that I don't think are classic (goodbye, Jude the Obscure), the dreary literary fiction that others might rave about but I find tired... get rid of them, and make room for the books I love -- done! hooray!

2. go to the Soulard Farmers' Market

3. visit a nearby winery and have a long, leisurely picnic

4. design five new scarves for Squirrel & Serif's fall collection -- done! woo hoo!

5. get started on a running routine: it's happening! Yeah!

6. make jam from scratch -- whoa. Revelatory. Also, done.

7. read Les Miserables -- we're on our way! -- done!

8. design a new knitted ornament for our Squirrel & Serif Christmas -- done! yum.

9. learn calligraphy

10. stop freaking out about the time it takes to write a novel... this is the year I get over that... completely. A surprising answer to this. But an answer nonetheless.

11. make Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon

12. knit myself a skirt (the beautiful one on the cover of this book): Mmmm, we nixed the skirt. How about a snuggy granny square quilt instead?

13. buy all my Christmas presents through Etsy, supporting my fellow crafters: okay, it didn't happen, but this did.

14. read a collection of letters ... I own so many! letters of T.S. Eliot, Henry James, Dorothy Sayers, E.B. White, and Jane Austen, as well as a general collection... but I've never read a collection straight through

15. visit the beautiful public library in downtown St. Louis

16. learn how to change a tire

17. see Gone with the Wind for the first time! Did it! Didn't like it much, I'm afraid. Kinda want to shake Scarlett, don't you?

18. read four travelogues about places I've never been

19. learn how to make a coptic bound book (with the help of this book), and then mail one to a friend

20. make myself a photo album of the last five years... actual pictures! not just digital copies on a screen!

21. join the greeting/hospitality team at church -- so much fun.

22. go to Bissinger's chocolate bar for drinks

23. finish the first complete draft of my sequel--done! Yeah!

24. go with my niece to the St. Louis Zoo

25. make homemade ice cream

26. see a live play

Mmmm. The kind of list that gets me up in the morning. 26 things before I turn 27: it starts now.

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