#4 Drive on a road trip
#6 Get a puppy
#19 Read at least one Harry Potter book
#28 Run, walk, or bike for charity
These items are slightly different than yesterday’s checked off list because they were more about updating or changing something about myself. These items were about investing time and money into making my life more full long-term.
#4 Drive on a road trip: December 2013
This one took some serious planning because when I wrote it, I didn’t have my driver license. That probably sounds nuts to most of you. Let me explain a little.
I have two siblings very near to me in age. Washington state requires that students attend a very expensive no-longer-subsidized drivers’ ed program be graduated from if you want to get your learner’s permit before you turn 18. My parents didn’t have that kind of cash. Additionally, we had one sometimes-broken car for 5 adult drivers.
I then went to university in a tiny town with 5000 permanent residents that did not require a car (or even a bike really). And when I was done with school, I fairly promptly moved to Seattle, a walkable transit-friendly town with basically no street parking.
I didn’t get my license until 2013 when I needed it for work. Even then, my employer had to reteach me to drive on their car, then drive me to my test.
Then I needed an occasion to road trip, which happened to be a visit from a friend in Kentucky over the holidays who had never been here before.
With permission I drove my little work car, a Smart coup, over to Lapush via one of our famous ferries so that my southern friend Andrew could see our freezing cold beaches. It was a blast, and got me off my freaked-by-traffic tush.
#6 Get a puppy: December 2014
Disclaimer: I did not actually get a puppy, but I’m knocking this one off the list anyway. Here’s why.
Getting a puppy requires finding one that meets breed/size restrictions for one of the very pricey apartments that allows dogs in Seattle.
Getting a kitten, however, does not require those things. I had cats growing up and thought it would be no big deal, despite being someone who doesn’t particularly like cats.
Also required for this item to get checked off: moving out of the micro apartment that I was also working for full-time and property managing for part time. I was working 50+ hours a week in the office, then going home to be on call 24 hours/day for that same company. I couldn’t escape work, and I couldn’t relax really ever. After 4 years as a property manager in a micro apartment that didn’t allow pets, I needed something on my 30 by 30 that required moving out.
So I got Betty, named after Betty Rubble after my roommate told me she looked like trouble.
Turns out she didn’t just look like trouble. She was nightmarish. Far worse than any cat I had growing up. She destroyed many clothes, curtains, and bedding. She loved knocking things off of shelves all night long. She’d escape the apartment. She’d scratch the inside of her litter box every time.
But Jibbers she was cute when she was sleeping (which was almost never).
Oooh, plus, I remembered I wasn’t a cat person. And my now live-in boyfriend is allergic. So, after much agony and about nine months without a single full night of sleep, I took her back to the no-kill shelter that I got her from (and briefly volunteered at). And I learned that if I want a pet, I’ll get an adult that my co-adopter isn’t allergic to.
#19 Read at least one Harry Potter book: March 2014
This might not seem like as big of a life change being a 26-year old who can finally drive or moving into a not-work/not-micro apartment, and I was debating putting it here, but this was something that is culturally insanely relevant and I had been putting off for a long long time.
Here’s the backstory.
My twin and my dad love these books. And I like almost nothing that they like (anything sci fi, fantasy, Dr. Who, Star Trek, you get it).
And then what I thought was a silly book about magic (blegh) turned into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Suddenly, I was the only one on the planet who hadn’t read or watched.
And then like ten years went by and it just kept growing as a thing. People my age who read the books when we were Harry’s age were growing up and having wizard weddings and getting sorting hat tattoos and naming their children Hermione. Harry had grown up and there was this huge section of culture that I had zero context for because I hadn’t grown up with him.
So I decided that before I turned 30, I’d stop being such a snob about what is or isn’t something I’d like. I decided to follow my own advice about trying anything twice and try this one little thing one time. How could it be possible that almost every single person I knew, liked, or trusted was wrong about this?
Reading a Harry Potter book was my way of not only joining the rest of the known universe crying over dead wizards, but also of putting aside my very rigid boxes of the things that I liked.
So I read the first one (I still couldn’t tell you what they’re all called). And then like (I assume) most of you, I just kept going. And then I stopped right around the middle of the fifth book because holy jibbers those books get scary! And now it’s just sitting on my shelf, half-read waiting for me to have some daytime hours to read (and then nighttime hours to watch happy movies like High School Musical). I really need to finish, too. I hear someone major dies at the end….
#28 Run, walk, or bike for charity: April 2013
I have thought about signing up for runs and walks a million times. I think it’s an awesome way to give money to a cause you care about by showing up and doing a little work. It’s much more approachable than volunteering at a soup kitchen (or animal shelter). And fresh air almost never did anything except help people.
So in early spring of 2013, my buddy Tony saw this list on Facebook and told me to come to Ellensburg. This little girl in town (Ryann?) had some disease and a bunch of people in that community where I went to college decided to do a run/walk to raise money for her. I think I walked a 5k. Unfortunately, it seems that I didn’t document the event very well back when I completed it.
But it became the first of many causes I would later run/walk (more run, less walk) for.
I know someone who thinks it’s silly to sign up for something we can do for free. I get that. Paying $90 to run a 10k in October feels kind of ridiculous sometimes, especially the morning of. But some of that money goes to charity, and running in an event is awesomely motivating for me.
It’s why I signed up for a trail run the morning of my birthday this year (yeah, running along a lake first thing in the morning in December is going to feel dumb on Saturday). When I run with NW Trail Runs (one of my favorite running groups), some of that money goes back into supporting these parks and trails that I deeply love. And when you pay $30 to get off your ass and show up, you bet your ass I’m going to show up.
Helping Ryann three years ago turned into helping myself and helping food banks and cancer societies and local trail organizations