Sunday, May 17, 2020

The Final Countdown- One Year Left!

Well it's time for another update since we are under a year left. Yikes! I also feel like I should be getting a big chunk of books knocked off the list while being quarantined...we'll see.

#55 read A Kind of Grace: The Autobiography of the World's Greatest Female Athlete by Jackie Joyner-Kersee
It was great to learn more about her background and how she became such an amazing Olympian. It definitely got me excited about the Olympics, even if we have to wait an extra year now.

#40 read Just Mercy by Bryan Stephenson
Out of all the books I have read for my list so far, this one is definitely up there in terms of must-reads. For such a justice-oriented person, this was definitely hard to read at times. But it was also challenging in the best of ways as it continued to help me become more aware of the ways others have to deal with things in life that I have absolutely no concept of as a suburban, privileged, white woman.

#268 do a different physical activity for 12 straight months (4 done)...Virtual 465 Challenge
Holly, my cousin Jillian, and I all participated in the inaugural Virtual 465 Challenge. 465 is 53 miles long so we had to log 53 miles over the course of January and February. It could be walking, running, biking, skipping, whatever. There were definitely some miserable days that I had to make myself go out, but I guess that was the whole point. It made me get up and move on days that I would have liked to just stay inside where it was warm.

#294 learn to do something well left-handed
I don't even know how this came about to try it, but it turns out I'm naturally gifted at using my mouse with my left hand. So there you go.

#289 do 10 activities that are new or intimidating (6 done)...partner climb
Climb Time did a fun partner climb for Valentine's Day this year. Holly always sends me videos of cool partner climbs so we were super excited that they created this. Here is a video of my friend Jordan completing it with me. Definitely doesn't hurt to have a partner who is a beast (along with climbing she does CrossFit and Spartan races) and can jump well, but at least I was able to give a nice foot assist at the end.

#221 host a theme party
Hospitality is not one of my spiritual gifts, so I definitely had to take a breath at one point to remind myself that no matter how this turned out I just wanted everyone to have fun. And it was a blast! I hosted a Titanic murder mystery party for my climbing friends.

We were dining at the captain's table so I tried to go all-out with linens, glass dishes & goblets, napkin rings, flowers, etc. We dressed up (it was a relief that I could mostly breathe in my dress all night and miraculously managed a cute hairstyle in 30 seconds before everyone arrived) and even those that didn't have actual characters could take notes and ask questions to try and figure out who the murderer was.

There were also awards for categories like best character and costume. Gary was very impressive with his beard and captain's outfit- he even sewed the gold braid and buttons on his jacket. It was a night filled with fun and laughter.

#28 read Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I am still unsure how I feel about this book. I spent most of the book trying to decide if the main character was a sympathetic figure or not. I think I've also determined that when it comes to books and movies, they can cause angst or make me cry in the middle, but I generally want to feel happy or settled at the end. It probably has something to with my faith-oriented outlook on life- life is difficult and full of challenges, but ultimately ends in joy.

#120 read Dear Mr. Knightley, Lizzy & Jane, and The Bronte Plot by Katherine Reay
After reading Crime and Punishment I was definitely in the mood for something a little more light-hearted. While these three books were not without depth, they were definitely more enjoyable. Spoiler alert: if you've read Daddy-Long-Legs, you will figure out Dear Mr. Knightley pretty easily.

#268 do a different physical activity for 12 straight months (5 done)...One Mile March

The month of March brought the One Mile March at Climb Time. This was a fun challenge that I was really happy to get knocked out before the gym was shut down. To reach a mile we had to complete 220 routes. The majority of these routes were ladder routes- ones that are basic straight up and down routes (hence the name). It's a great opportunity to work on endurance and technique as you climb the same route 5-10 times in a row.

#14 read The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
I liked the parts they incorporated into the movie (referring to the Disney cartoon version, obviously). I also just liked the movie better in general because it's a much happier ending for the majority of the characters. Haha these book reviews are thrilling, aren't they?

#283 watch all 7 seasons of Parks & Rec
It's a little ridiculous how long it took me to finally watch this show, but I'm so glad I finally did. There were so many hilarious, endearing characters. It was also fun to see the Colts and Pacers players from back then, especially Roy Hibbert. When my niece Lily was little she decided that "Big Roy" was her favorite player, so it made me smile to see him on there. Here's a sweet flashback to when she was five and I took her to her first Pacers game.

#289 do 10 activities that are new of intimidating (7 done) distancing
Since my list is definitely going to suffer some from everything going on with the pandemic, it's only fair that I can use it for my list as well. While there's a lot that could be said about this experience as a whole, I thought I'd just highlight some of the highs and lows.

~March and April were extremely busy and over-scheduled. Between housesitting multiple times for my parents, staying with Kelli and the kids while Travis was out of town, and going on vacation, I was going to be gone more nights than I was going to be home in my own bed. My weekends were super booked too, so this time of being quarantined has allowed me to have time to rest & recharge.
~Getting to wear comfy clothes alllll the time. I've worked from home about half of every week and even when I'm at the office it's still been a t-shirt and jeans. 
~Bonus high: I can get so much more work done when I'm at the office while it's closed and the phones are turned off. : )

~Not climbing for two months has been really hard, especially since my mother has been baking bread and desserts like crazy! I've really missed being around my community there although we've tried to keep updated on what's going on with each other still. And some of them had some lovely flowers delivered to my house for my birthday.
~It's been hard to do all of our church activities remotely and not get to spend time with everyone. At least youth group games have gone reasonably well despite the difficulties of playing by Zoom.
~This kind of goes along with the first two. Because I haven't been around my church and climbing communities or my family, and I've tried to be really good about social distancing since I'm doing errands for my parents, I've only had two hugs in the last two months. The first couple of weeks were really hard, but then I spent some time in prayer about my attitude as I realized how much harder so many people have it right now. I also determined that it's easier to just not be around anyone when I can't hug them. Kyle gave me a couple of big strong hugs when I saw him one day and I almost burst into tears afterwards. So no more hugs until I can have them all the time!

#22 read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Hooray for another classic crossed off the list. And it was 800+ pages!

#268 do a different physical activity for 12 straight months (6 done)...Wii Fit
So this was kind of fun to bust out the Wii for the time in a couple of years. I consistently used it throughout the month so that I made sure I was getting up and moving since I was sitting a lot more while working from home.

#111 read Good Grammar is the Life of the Party by Curtis Honeycutt
My friend Curtis wrote a book and I highly recommend it! It's super informative and gives great grammar tips, while at the same time showing off his quirky humor. I am hesitant to write anything else as it would only provide more opportunities to make grammatical errors. : )

The grand total with 11 months to go: 104/120 books read and 247/300 total. Well that's slightly more frightening to see that there are 53 items left. But several of the "do 10" of something are mostly done and I only have to average 1.5 books per month, so that's not too bad. I also still have 3 freebies left to do and I have put forth a "pandemic proposal" to the List Master in order to help get some more items crossed off. Here's to a productive last year in my 30s!