The Year of Me, My and I

Taking crafts to a whole new nerdy level

As the new year creeps up on us, it is time to make decisions. I am talking about making changes, people! Over a week ago, I was introduced to the Day Zero Project and since then I have not shut up about it. The Day Zero Project is a more logical take on New Year’s resolutions. Instead of putting all of your effort into one goal (which is typically hard and sometimes unrealistic), this brilliant little plan lets you focus your efforts on 101 goals in 1001 days.

I prefer to call it my Life List, and some of the activities I have included are to read particular book series, road trip to music festivals, and give blood. I find that in the midst of trying to quit smoking, if I present myself with fun challenges (like creating a quirky apron), I will be less enticed to light up.

My work station

I am a Life List fan because not only am I putting my butt to work this year- but until 2014. Move over unrealistic bucket lists! Hey, live for today, right? I definitely do not want to wait until I am 50- years old to try to find the motivation to kiss my lover under the Eiffel Tower. Tomorrow holds no promises, get moving! Check my Life List out to spark some ideas. You can also visit the Day Zero Project official website to see what others have included on their lists for inspiration on how to start your own. If you decide to create one, be sure to check out their Tumblr blog, too. The possibilities are endless.

I could not wait until the symbolic Ball Drop to get started on a couple of the challenges on my list. I have completed number eight, “Create hanging art with garbage.” I wanted to get a bunch of neat stuff off the streets until I realized how awesome working with glass would be. I found three bottles: a Yellowtail wine bottle (dark green), Skyy Vodka (blue), a Heineken bottle (lighter green) and a gold ornament that was on the verge of gutter suicide near Target. I bought a canvas at JoAnn Fabrics and used my acrylics to paint the background a murky orange-red. I let the canvas dry while I took out some aggression on the bottles. I smashed them to pieces with a sledgehammer (I just wanted to use a sledgehammer!) and cleaned off the shards I was going to use.

Be warned: I own a sledgehammer!

I used epoxy, or glass glue, to start sticking pieces to the canvas. I had no idea where I was going with it until I accidentally dropped my craft hemp on the canvas while digging through my art bag and … voilà! The thin hemp piece fell in such a way that I decided not to touch it. So, for my first project, using glass as my “garbage”, I created a tree. It is for sure not the tree you would look out your window to find. Maybe it is dying, maybe it is a Weeping Willow, maybe the wind is blowing it down. You have to dig a little deeper to see this tree, and that is why I am so happy with the outcome. I plan on making another garbage piece soon. I know it sounds icky, but I would like to get into a dump somewhere. Access is limited at the dumps in my area, with a thousand eyes watching your every move. I will have to break the law somehow to get into one! No sweat.

Now while some goals are ongoing, such as completing number 27, (to watch every Oscar winner for Best Picture), I have other goals that require time as well, but never too much where I could get off track. Also, I definitely do not feel rushed with my Life List. There is an adequate amount of time to do it all. 

My “tree”

This coming year I expect to find my greatest potential and put it to use. Most of us say the same old thing every year. But what makes my expectations for 2012 so high are that I have had to deal with more bullshit this past year than ever in my life. I am done feeling sorry for myself, I am done making excuses, I am done living in the past. I am not too sure when I woke up and realized that I am young and capable, but it has happened. Starting my own .com has given me a bit of structure and a lot of satisfaction. I am proud that since this site’s start in October, I have had positive feedback and some loyal readers. I want to take this blog to another level next year. Thank you, to my readers, for staying interested in me. 

July 2011. Down 20 pounds.

One of the most important goals I have set in place for 2012 is to work on the overall betterment of my physical health. This year I will be training myself to no end, getting in the best condition I have ever been. I will be participating in Tough Mudder, an endurance race and obstacle course which states on its website that it is “probably the hardest event on the planet.” Who would I be to show up in April without at least one piece of a six-pack, a smokers cough and anything jiggling around. I could, but I want to prove to myself (and myself only) that my body can do more. As shallow, but realistic as this is, I look at other girls my age who are extremely fit and feel disgusted with myself. I am not talking rail thin, heroin for breakfast type of bodies, but toned and curvy. I have seen it work this past summer when I was going to the gym and running nearly every day. I lost 20 pounds by keeping myself on a semi-strict diet (no beer, only vodka tonics) and I cut out all fast food. Sadly enough, it did not last long and come winter, I am back to drinking dark beer and chowing on 25 cent wings during Monday Night Football.

Road trip to Atlantic City in the summer of 2010

Looking and feeling healthy this year is my top priority, but finding a job that I love is right up there with it. I have to find a job that I can see myself doing for a while. I have working knowledge of journalism, it is my major. So while I continue pursuing my degree, I feel it is only necessary to surround myself in that world. I know that work is work, and that I should be happy with anything because so many are jobless. However, I would like to think that there are freelance journalist gigs out there, office positions in a magazine company, bitch work at Travel Channel (I would scrub their toilets for the hopes of one day working with them). I want to have a job where I can move freely because 2012 promises an equal amount of planned and random travel adventures. I want to always be able to write and keep myself on the go. I cannot make a compromise.

Speaking of travels, I plan to knock off a few of my road trip challenges from my Life List in 2012. My friends and I have already planned our Bonnaroo Festival trip in Tennessee for June. While we are there, we will visit the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg. We are going to rent a minivan and take turns driving the 16 hour trek from Connecticut to the Volunteer State. Bonnaroo’s musical lineup this year is amazing, including some of my favorite bands like The Black Keys, Arcade Fire and The Strokes. Music festivals have recently become something that I love to do. No matter where it is this coming year, I will be there grooving to the beat. 

Note to self: Replace buffalo wings with watermelon

This summer, my same group of friends and I will be heading up to the New York, Canada border for our Niagra Falls road trip. The trip one way is about seven and a half hours, which is fine by me! We will spend a long weekend up there, possibly dabble in Canada for a bit, eat and drink a lot and enjoy one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

2012 is my training year. With practice and hard work I can and will set myself up for a lifetime of success, drive and focus. While taking my responsibilities seriously, I have my wonderful little Life List to keep me on my toes creatively.

I wish you and yours the best possible New Year. If you decide to join me on the Life List journey, I want to hear about it. Maybe, you too can start your own blog. Perhaps, a journal of sorts to keep your challenges in order. It truly is the best thing I did this year, and unfortunately one of the only. But like I have promised myself, you must also set aside your qualms and frustrations and move forward in reaching out your goals.

2012 may be the “end of the world” but it is my new beginning- our new beginning. Cheers to the New Year!

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September 2011 in the Catskill Mountains, NY