43 by 43, tiny update

This week, the boys tried (and liked) dragon fruit.

It felt like I had achieved more, but I just counted and can officially cross off ten items from my 43 by 43 list. Now, I keep reminding myself that there are items on the list that are meant to become new practices, such as introduce the boys to something new each week (food, idea, place, etc.) so while I have been maintaining, I can never really cross these goals off.

I can thank Weekend Warriors for knocking off four items: paint the living room, install surround sound, convert the playroom into a functional room, and hang curtains in the new functional room. In addition, I have started composting, went to the dermatologist to have my moles checked, did a juice cleanse, attended a DC fashion event (FNO) and a few goals that are a little too personal to share on the interwebs.

Where do I need to improve? Posting to the blog at least three times a week, going to the dentist, and contributing to the boys’ college fund. This morning I spoke to Colin in a mean voice before calming down and trying to reason with him in a compassionate voice. With some of my goals, I have taken steps toward fulfillment. For example, I’m signed up to take Knife Skills: Poultry at Hill’s Kitchen so that when I roast my duck, I can also carve the damn bird myself. (By the way, it turns out a lot of you want to be at the dinner table for duck, so I will either have to host three duck-themed dinner parties or cook more than one duck for the evening. I’m humbled that so many of you have confidence in my duck preparation abilities.)

I will continue to tick items off the list and periodically update you, but the bottom line, as evidenced by my mean voice use this morning, is that the challenge continues.

43 by 43

Celebrating the big 4-0 in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Thursday at Biker Barre, one of my new spin sisters mentioned that she had created a list of 40 things to do by her 40th birthday. I like a good challenge (as we all know) and I like birthdays even more (as we also all know) so while my birthday is a mere 140 days away, I have spent a great deal of time coming up with items to put on my own 43 by 43 list.

Here are the first five goals:

1. Spend my birthday not in DC. This one should be easy since I have tentative plans to be in Hawaii, but you never know what shenanigans by a lame duck Congress might tether me to my desk. I haven’t managed to be out of town on my birthday since the epic 4-0 celebration in Copenhagen, so I think it’s about time to make a December beltway escape.

2. Roast a duck. For years I have been saying that I’m going to cook a duck. This fall, I’m doing it. And I’m going to serve it with a nice Chateauneuf du Pape. Inquire within if you would like to come over for dinner that night (or shoot me the honored duck).

3. E-publish at least one short story. The one have been working on is essentially finished and its sequel is half done. I just have to have the courage to turn it over to my editor, Caitlin. (You know I have been dying to say that.)

4. Launch in an official capacity¬†Cloakroom Style, my new side business that I am finally positioned to get off the ground. It won’t replace my day job, but if I can beautify Capitol Hill, and in the process, earn extra shoe money, I will consider myself a huge success.

5. Take the boys to a city they have never visited. The obvious choice is New York City, so Colin and Jack (but Colin, especially) can finally see all 1250 feet of the Empire State Building.

Those are five rather significant goals, so the remaining 38 will have to include such pledges as don’t overreact as frequently, pick up items from the dry cleaners on time, and think before speaking (or emailing). Not that those challenges aren’t as meaningful, but they are easily (i.e. subjectively) measurable (by me) and do not require as much planning, cash or creative energy.

Except the think before speaking/emailing part. That’s going to require some serious concentration.