Can you believe it?! It certainly doesn’t feel like eighteen months since I published my 101 in 1001 list. But here we are, more than halfway through those 1001 days! Mind-blowing stuff.
I look back at what my goals were in November 2019 and I laugh. Not only because I so clearly didn’t have a clue what was coming (all.those.travel.plans!) but because I must have thought I had so much more time than I actually did (all.those.travel.plans!). On the one hand, I don’t know how I thought we’d fit it all in, and on the other hand, I totally do know because that’s how we used to live. We used to hustle out the door no later than 7:30 every morning. We never even ate breakfast together. Hayden would eat it at home, I’d eat it mid-morning at work, and we kept breakfast stuff for Amelie at her daycare and asked her teachers to give it to her. Now, we eat breakfast together every morning (and if I haven’t eaten by 8am I am hungry. No more waiting until 10:30, and definitely no getting so busy I forget and don’t eat anything until lunch). We chat about our upcoming days, and it’s such a nice way to start our morning.
Usually, I do yoga after breakfast, before jumping into work for the day. Sometimes I do an early morning run or walk instead of yoga. Once upon a time, I would leave my house by 7:15am to cycle to the gym, do an intense 20 minute workout, then shower and get back on my bike to make it to work by 8:30am. It was a lot. I was always hustling and trying to fit just one more thing in. And I tied a lot of my understanding of my ‘self’ to that hustling, gym-going, high-achieving, too-busy-to-eat shell of a person. I look back and the whole thing just looks so brittle.
I don’t want to ever go back to that, and that is why I can now loudly and confidently state that there is no way I’m going to achieve my 101 goals in 1001 days. Some of them are impossible now – we know that. But there are also a lot that reflect late-2019 me and not me as I am today, and I don’t want to do them. They’re not important to me. They’re not going to improve my life or my happiness, or the life or happiness of those I care about.
I have only just learned, at the age of 37, how good it feels to say that you’re going to do something, or you’re not going to do something, for no other reason than it’s what you want. It feels so liberating. I cannot encourage you enough to state your reason for doing something as ‘I want to’ or your reason for not doing something as ‘I don’t want to’ and leave it at that. That is a legitimate reason all on its own.
That said, there are a bunch of things I do still want to do! And there are a bunch I’ve done over the last six months as well! And it’s been super-fun!
Here’s the top-line stats for you:
- 15 goals completed (that’s 44 so far!)
- 11 goals partially completed
- 5 goals marked as impossible
- 7 goals that I don’t want to do anymore (hell yeah)
- Most completed category: Home (9/10 goals complete)
It’s been a fun six months. Let’s take a look…
- Went berry picking (#3)
- Visited five different farmer’s markets (#7)
- Bought no fresh food from the supermarket for a month (#8)
- Visited three new-to-me restaurants in the Mangawhai area (#17)
- Visited three new-to-me beaches in New Zealand (#26)
- Started planting out the orchard (#37)
- Celebrated our ten year wedding anniversary with something special (#48)
- Cooked a three course dinner entirely from my French cookbook (#62)
- Made crème brûlée (#67)
- Signed Amelie up for ballet lessons (#71)
- Did an LA museum learning blitz (#84)
- Learnt Github (#86)
- Read 100 new-to-me books (#93)
- Meditated every day for a week (#95)
- Visited five different museums or galleries in New Zealand (#101)
A lot of the completed goals this time round were cumulative ones that kind of took me by surprise, to be honest! As I was working through my list I realised that by visiting Paparoa Farmer’s Market recently, we had visited five different ones over the last 18 months without hardly noticing (Mangawhai Tavern Market, Mangawhai Village Market, La Cigale, Cambridge Farmer’s Market, and Paparoa Farmer’s Market, for those interested – and conveniently, Mangawhai Tavern Market tops the list for me). The three new restaurants we tried in the Mangawhai area were Mangawhai Tavern (really good – even over the last year it’s just got better and better), Rothko for my birthday last year, and The Smoko Room at Sawmill Brewery. Those who know the north of New Zealand will be aware that I’m being generous with my definition of the Mangawhai area – I went with ‘areas covered by Junction Magazine‘ to define that as otherwise we would never have eaten at three new restaurants around us (new restaurants just don’t open all that often up here!)
We went to Russell, Urapukapuka Island, and Pahi over the last six months – three fantastic beaches that we’d never visited before. I accidentally bought no fresh food from the supermarket for a month, probably longer. When I wrote that one I thought it would be challenging and require a whole lot of planning – and then we moved to Mangawhai, which doesn’t have a supermarket but does have two great farmer’s markets, a whole lot of local farmstands, the Peach Patch, our amazing butcher, Bella Vacca milk, Wild Wheat bread deliveries, Te Arai strawberries and watermelon, and our neighbour with chickens who sells us free range eggs. Oh, and our own vegetable garden of course – best lettuces ever. Over summer I hardly saw the inside of a supermarket. It was soooo good.
Recently, as the weather’s packed in, Amelie has started ballet lessons and we’ve visited Auckland a few times to bring our gallery and museum count to five (Auckland Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, Mangawhai Museum, Te Papa, and Van Gogh Alive). I’ve cooked a three course dinner from my French cookbook consisting of French onion soup, steak frites and crème brulée – and then we ate it over two days because who can eat that much food at once?! I went deep into LACMA, the Getty Villa and Getty Museum via the power of the internet, and had some fun checking out exhibitions at the Getty Museum through Google Arts and Culture. I kept my sanity by reading – 100 new-to-me books as of 15 May, and heading towards 105 now! – and not meditating every day for a week. Instead I did yoga every day for a week (longer in fact!) and in my opinion, that counts. Although I accept it if you feel I’m kind of cheating on that one.
Phew. I feel good.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of these goals. I’m finding it challenging to pick a favourite, but I think I’m going to go with not buying fresh food from the supermarket for a month. If it had been difficult it wouldn’t have been so good, but it wasn’t forced – it was just the way we were living and it just happened. I enjoy good food and it utterly delights me how easy it is to eat well and live well here. The total antithesis of our former life.
Also, the beaches. My goodness I love the beach.
I also am thrilled with how much Amelie loves her ballet classes…
Okay. I’m going to wrap it up here, or I could end up writing all night. Suffice it to say that I am feeling good right now – and that, after all, is the purpose of the 101 in 1001 list. In my head, my hands are in the air, emoji style (in reality they’re on the keyboard because I’m typing). Good good times.