Remember summer vacation when you were in high school -- June was the beginning of vacation, so it was easy to just waste the days because you had, like, MONTHS left. July was still smooth sailing, because September was still far away. But then August rolled around, and suddenly, you were in a panic. Summer was almost over, and every day became more and more valuable, because soon you had to go back to school and face homework, teachers, icky kids and early mornings. August was almost depressing.
But if you were me, faced with the August panics, the days didn't suddenly fill up with All The Things I Wanted To Accomplish. Nope, I still sprawled on the couch and watched "Dialing For Dollars" and talked on the phone with my friends, as we all whined about how, like, totally unfair it was that we only got, like, THREE MONTHS OFF. And I thought about all the things I could have done but never did.
And then there it was: school. Where everyone had new Trapper Keepers and dark blue jeans, and there was a sense of excitement that quickly wore off by day three. And then I went right back to wishing I were at home on the couch, watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's" on Channel 2's noon movie.
My whole life has been like that, really. Especially today. Today is the first day of my vacation, and the only productive thing I've done has been getting the mail. Oh, I took a three hour nap and looked at blogs and my hangover finally went away... so if you just trade the internet part for Channel 2's noon movie (oh, they had SUCH good ones back then), my life is pretty much the same as it was back then.
But, I'm changing that.
Let me backtrack. A few months ago I went to ALA, where my friend Rachael gave me a gem of a book: "97 Things to do Before You Finish High School" by Steven Jenkins and Erika Stalder. I flipped through it and laughed. About 99% of these things did I not only NOT accomplish before finishing high school -- 99% of these things I hadn't even accomplished in the 22 years since I graduated high school. I am not a well rounded person, I suppose. I have never made a podcast, hosted a film festival (unless "Beverly Hills 90210" parties count), nor do I know how to match beats like a DJ. (These are things, the authors promise, that are "about discovering new places, new hobbies, and new people -- and opening your eyes to the world.")
Which gave me an idea. This blog. I am going to go through this book and actually ACCOMPLISH these 97 things. (Within reason, of course. Such as -- number 94 is Build a Bonfire. That is illegal here in these parts, and, um, I'm not going to Burning Man. Ever.) Nor will I attempt #91, "Go Skinny Dipping." (That's should be illegal in my case, too.) Some of them I have actually done. I have, for example, accomplished #15: Thrown a House Party. (I have thrown many. And people are STILL talking about them. But maybe I'll throw another one, just in honor of this book.) I have also done #21: Sing Karaoke. (But then again, I have never sung karaoke SOBER. So I guess I'll need to try that.) And there are others I've done, but I'll just retell the tales to make myself feel better and More Accomplished.
Now, I don't exactly expect my life to change just because I'm going to do #53 "Create A Comic Strip" or #92 "Get an Astrology Reading." But my life just MIGHT change if I #81 "Take Care of a Houseplant"! I know these things are geared for a teenager, but better late than never, right?
We shall see.