At the halfway mark, I can tell you that I've become more confident, less scared, less self-conscious, more adventurous, probably more fun, and I'm definitely thinking outside the box to push myself. I've even been told by a few people that my adventures have inspired them to step outside their comfort zones and try new things. That's the best compliment in the world.
Thank you Amy Guth for inspiring this incredible year of adventure and growth!
In case you were wondering, here's what I've done so far:
2. Vacation by myself and take care of only me. - DONE April 11 - 15, 2013 (Read the blog post)
3. Vacation in Nashville - DONE April 11 - 15, 2013 (Read the blog post)
4. Go on vacation and leave work 100% behind (i.e., don't check email or voice mail) - DONE April 11 - 15, 2013 (Read the blog post)
5. Stand in the center of both the Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium stages - DONE April 12 and 14, 2013 (Read the blog post)
6. Play Elvis's piano at the RCA Studio B - DONE August 12, 2013 (Read the blog post)
7. Sit on the stage at the Civic Opera House during a performance - DONE June 16, 2013 with Christopher; saw The Second City Guide to the Opera
8. Play with the beluga whales at the Shedd Acquarium - DONE May 18, 2013
9. Take a cooking class - DONE May 21, 2013 at David's Bistro in Antioch
11. Climb the main dune at Sleeping Bear Dunes - DONE August 17, 2013 with Dave
12. Learn a new skill - DONE April 24, 2013 Learned how to make a floral centerpiece
14. Max out my employer match for my 403(b) in 2013 - DONE Increased my contribution to max out the match May 2, 2013
21. Take the ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon - DONE August 16, 2013 & August 24, 2013
40. Have High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel - DONE June 2, 2013 with Lisa and Kim
44. Attend the Book of Mormon - DONE October 6, 2013 with Laurie
48. See Oklahoma at the Civic Opera House - DONE May 3, 2013
50. Pet the stingrays in the Stingray Touch exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium - DONE May 18, 2013
51. Use my Passport - DONE July 6-7, 2013 with Christopher
52. Sit in the 3rd row for the Joan Baez and Indigo Girls Concert at Ravinia - DONE June 9, 2013 (Thanks Jeff!)
53. Have drinks at the Trump Tower Terrace Bar - DONE June 16, 2013 with Christopher
54. Visit Niagara Falls - DONE July 6-7, 2013 with Christopher
55. Make homemade Granola - DONE May 27, 2013 (Read the blog post)
57. Kayak to Camp Lookout and all the way across Lower Herring Lake (from the southern most tip to the northern most tip)- DONE August 18, 2013 with Dave
58. Kayak on Lake Michigan - DONE August 24, 2013 with Dave
59. Kayak from Lower Herring Lake through the inlet to Upper Herring Lake - Attempted August 24, 2013 with Dave, but unable to complete because the Inlet was too shallow, the current was too strong in the opposite direction we were going, and there were trees blocking the Inlet; will not try again
61. Have a reunion with my cousin Ginny (have not seen her since 1998) - DONE July 7, 2013
62. Have a reunion with my friend Christy (have not seen her since 1984) - DONE July 21, 2013
63. Have a reunion with my cousin Sharon (have not seen her since sometime in the 1990s) - DONE August 2, 2013
65. Get my work email inbox to ZERO - DONE May 24, 2013 (Read the blog post)
67. Attend the Randolph Street Market - DONE June 29, 2013 with Tony
68. Have a booth at the Allstate Arena Flea Market - DONE August 11, 2013 with Christopher (I made $212 profit!)
71. Have a reunion with my friend Kalee (haven't seen each other since the late 1990s) - DONE April 11 and 14, 2013 (Read the blog post)
72. Meet Crystal Gayle - DONE April 12, 2013 (Read the blog post)
81. Win a game of Words With Friends by more than 400 points - DONE August 19, 2013 (it was less satisfying when I learned I had just played a 10 year old)
83. Visit South Manitou Island - DONE August 21, 2013 with my dad
84. Have dinner at Lovell's of Lake Forest (DONE July 2, 2013 with my dad) and meet Captain Jim Lovell.
85. Attend the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest Rummage Sale - DONE May 4, 2013 with Tony
86. Use a Port-a-Potty - DONE May 4, 2013
87. Teach two LinkedIn classes at work - DONE July 23 (LinkedIn 101: Building Your Profile) and August 7, 2013 (LinkedIn 201: Advanced LinkedIn)
88. Take Amy Guth's Crane #693 on adventures - had cocktails at the Trump Tower Terrace Bar, sat on stage at the Civic Opera House, gone to Niagara Falls, rode the Ferry from Milwaukee to Muskegon, climbed Sleeping Bear Dunes, visited South Manitou Island, watched the Watervale sunset, Richardsons Adventure Farm, so far.
91. Recover gracefully from a very embarrassing work faux pas - DONE August 2, 2013 (trust me, this will be a great blog post)
92. Visit the Mars Cheese Castle - DONE August 24, 2013
94. Visit the Shedd Aquarium - DONE May 18, 2013
100. Complete a corn maze - DONE October 12, 2013 with Chris, Alan, Jen, Katie & Steve
106. See the band Alabama in concert - DONE August 30, 2013 at Ravinia
111. Invent a holiday - DONE September 19, 2013 International Stay In Bed and Read A Book Day
112. Eat dirt - DONE September 23, 2013 (Don't ask how or why)
113. Drive a Tesla - DONE October 9th, 2013 Thanks Bobby!! (Read the blog post.)
114. Have pneumonia. DONE September 25th - October 6th, 2013.
116. Play on a Jumping Pillow. - DONE October 12th with Chris, Katie, Steve, Alan, & Jen.
117. Have a new experience that cannot be shared on Little Merry Sunshine. - DONE August 16, 201350 new experiences in 6 months. Damn. I'm good.
I also have another 14 new experiences scheduled or in progress now:
13. Increase by savings account by 2 months worth of expenses - In Progress
15. Try 20 new foods: Pork (DONE May 2013), Milk (I've just never liked the tastes), Eggs (I ate them up until 6th grade home ec class) (DONE August 18, 2013), White Fish Pate (DONE August 16, 2013), Cabbage, Kale, & Leek Soup (DONE August 20, 2013), a 7-11 Slurpee (DONE July 11, 2013) (National Slurpee Day), Tim Horton's Donuts (DONE July 7, 2013), Chocolate Cheese Fudge (DONE August 24, 2013), 14 Year Aged Sharp Cheddar Cheese (DONE August 24, 2013), Cheese Curds, Poutine, Ethiopian Food
29. Reupholster my dining room chairs - In Progress
37. Give up Diet Coke (and all soda) for 30 days - This re-starts November 1st!
38. Drink a minimum of 64 oz of water each day for 30 days - This re-starts November 1st!
56. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum in Springfield, IL - Scheduled November 2013
69. Open and stock an Etsy store. My store name is Vintage Frances. Look for it by December 1, 2013.
73. Make at least three new friends - In Progress (2 new friends made)
74. Attend the Chicago Architecture Foundation's Open House Chicago - Will be done October 19-20, 2013
76. Host a Navy sailor from Great Lakes for Thanksgiving - Will apply October 2013
82. Fly a kite - Attempted August 23, 2013, but failed (will try again)
95. Create an awesome list of new experiences for April 11, 2014 through April 10, 2015 (started the list August 25, 2013) - In Progress
97. Complete Hike Lake County with my friends Jen and Alan (see August 12, 2012 blog post; we did not do it last year; best intentions, blah blah blah) - Scheduled August 15 - November 30, 2013 (Hike 1 done 9/8/13 at Independence Grove; Hikes 2 & 3 done 10/14/2013 at Old School Forest Preserve)
108. Take a glass blowing class - Scheduled for November 3rd with MarciI'm feeling pretty confident that I'll make 100 new experiences before the year is up. Are there any experiences you want to join me in? Just let me know. Life is more fun when it's shared with friends. If you've got ideas for additional new experiences I should have, I'd love your ideas.