30 Things to Do While I’m 30

Some people do a “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, well, I’m a little late for that since I’ll be 30 in a month.  When I was 15, I did make a goal to visit all of the continents before I was 30.  I made it to 5 out of the 7 before my chronic illnesses prevented me from international travel.  While I still dream of visiting the final two (Antartica and Africa), it won’t be anytime soon.  Instead, I decided to make a list of 30 things to do while I’m 30.

1. Make a website about cavy genetics. ✓
2. Hang portraits of my pets (past and present) in my hallway.
3. Read the rest of the Harry Potter series.
4. Learn basic conversational French. ✓
5. Bake an apple pie and crust from scratch.
6. Take a picture every week and crop/edit it to learn new skills. ✓
7. “Pay it forward” to someone else. ✓
8. Earn a title on one of my dogs. ✓
9. Crochet a dinosaur.
10. Blow bubbles when it is below freezing outside.
11. Make a planner/organizer. ✓
12. Visit a museum I’ve never been to before. ✓
13. Find 30 geocaches.
14. Release a new travel bug for my birthday. ✓
15. Finish a jigsaw puzzle (500+ pieces) by myself.
16. Become a volunteer at the Humane Society. ✓
17. Make paw print art with my pets. ✓
18. Rewatch all of the House episodes. ✓
19. Wear pajamas for a whole day. ✓
20. Try a new food each week. ✓
21. Put my books on shelves in Dewey Decimal order.  ✓
22. Visit an Antartica exhibit at the zoo.
23. Visit an Africa exhibit at the zoo.
24. Fly a kite.
25. Blog once a month. ✓
26. Try to grow Brussel sprouts. ✓
27. Plant a tree. ✓
28. Grow a vegetable that is a “funny color” (purple broccoli, white carrots, etc.). ✓
29. Write a letter to my 40-year-old self.
30. Make a list of Things to do Before I Turn 40 (and do them before I turn 40, not after).


I’m now an official volunteer at the local humane society!  I went through the training and did my first hours of volunteering cleaning cat cages and then spending time playing with the cats.

This cat, Tinsel, insisted on patting me on the head the whole time I was cleaning pet rat cages (which is defienelty big enough for here and lets her move around better.) and the ones around her.  She didn’t want to be petted, she wanted to pet me!

This cat’s name is Mittens and I’m completely in love with her.  She is a polydactyl (has extra toes), something I’ve always loved and wanted.  She is also a gorgeous color, dilute or blue tabby.  The others at the shelter don’t like her because she is a bit sassy, but I think that makes her more fun!

This is the same shelter where I adopted Luie, Izzie, Jo, and Kamikaze!

One Week of Work

It has only been a week, but a week of work towards goals can be huge.  So here is my progress toward my goals so far (I’m planning to do this monthly, but wanted to give a bit more description of what I’m doing for each one than I did in the first post.

Learn to love myself.
This isn’t something that I’ve found specific things I can do – yet.  It isn’t something that I can ever say I’ve “achieved” necessarily either, it is more of a continuous process.  But I’ve started!

Take at least one online course to learn something new.
I’ve signed up for my first course, Dino 101, to learn more about Paleontology.  I’m already learning quite a bit about the skeletal system.  Hopefully I’ll share some pictures and information on my other blog.

Train my dog in rally and earn a title.
I’ve been working with Maigee on different rally courses from The Rally Course Book, we are mostly working on getting our turns down – with Maigee staying near me and me not falling over.

Spend 10 minutes each day cleaning or organizing something.
I haven’t done this every day, but I have managed to do this 5 days out of the past week!  My room is pretty rough right now, so it is going to take a few days of more than 10 minutes when I’m feeling decent to get quite a bit done, then I’m hoping that 10 minutes is enough to keep it clean!

Do art more often.
I’ve been doing art, but it is for others, not for myself, so I hope to start some fun art soon.  I’m thinking of spending some of my Christmas money to buy 642 Things to Draw for something to mess around with, but haven’t decided yet.  I did do some photography, and the National Weather Service of Northern Indiana (which includes where I live) asked if they could use one of my pictures in an overview of the blizzard.

Learn to set boundaries with family and friends.
I’ve started reading Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, I haven’t gotten far in the book, but think this is a good start.

Track my calories and exercise on SparkPeople.
 I’ve tracked my calories 6 out of the 7 days, I missed one day when I wasn’t feeling well.  As far as exercise, it has been difficult, because my exercise for several days has been wading through snow drifts, shoveling snow, etc. which isn’t included on their trackers.  I did get in 2 days with 30 minutes actual recordable cardio though.

Grow at least one cavy out to adult coat.
I have a ways to go to adult coat, but here is my 8 week old dilute solid silkie, Rusty.

Read the entire Bible.
I’m completely up to date for the Bible in a year reading plan, I’m up to Genesis 17 and Psalm 7.  I’ve found some new things that I hadn’t realized before and the timing of re-reading the creation story with my Dino 101 class is great.

Blog at least once a month.
Done – two posts this month so far, with another post over half way done!

Continue to research my medical conditions and options for improving my life.
I’m currently dealing with a lot of digestive issues, and have been looking into ways that my eating my be affecting this.  I’m looking into a specific diet that may affect not only my digestive issues, but possibly others as well.  I hope to post more about this in the future once I’ve done more research.

Get rid of excess in my life.
Well, three bags of trash have gone out of my room, I have two boxes full of stuff to go to Goodwill, so I think this is a decent start on this goal!

Train a rabbit in hopping and/or a cavy in obstacle.
No progress on this one so far, the cold weather has been somewhat prohibitive in this regard.

Remember that each day brings blessings for that day.
Like my first goal, this isn’t really a “destination” but something I must do each day for my life, and it is something that I try to do.  

Goals for 2014

Did you make any New Year’s Goals or Resolutions?

I like the word goals better because it is something to work toward rather than saying I have to do it.  That means if I mess up, I can just get right back up and start off again, rather than giving up because I broke my resolution.

Here are my 14 goals for 2014.
1. Learn to love myself.
2. Take at least one online course to learn something new.
3. Train my dog in rally and earn a title.
4. Spend 10 minutes each day cleaning or organizing something.
5. Do art more often.
6. Learn to set boundaries with family and friends.
7. Track my calories and exercise on SparkPeople.
8. Grow at least one cavy out to adult coat.
9. Read the entire Bible.
10. Blog at least once a month.
11. Continue to research my medical conditions and options for improving my life.
12. Get rid of excess in my life.
13. Train a rabbit in hopping and/or a cavy in obstacle.
14. Remember that each day brings blessings for that day.

The New and the Old

This was posted a bit early so I could submit it to the Chronic Babe blog carnival, enjoy!

It is almost that time of year again; the time of year where people are looking forward to the new year and reflecting on the old one.  I have an even greater reason to do this.  December 31, 2008 was the day my surgery on my left arm that caused the start of my CRPS.  I was mostly drugged up and my arm was still numb from the regional anesthetic for that evening (I joke this is the only time I’ll ever be high on New Year’s), so I consider January 1, 2009 as my “CRPS anniversary.”

Three years.  Over the past years, I’ve survived ganglion blocks, epidurals, trigger point injections, medications, pain rehabilitation, hospitalizations, and countless doctors, nurses, x-ray techs, and other medical professionals.  Each procedure was an opportunity to learn new things.  I’ve learned so much through these experiences.

Looking back, I can’t believe I’ve come so far, and yet as I look ahead, I see so many more things that I have yet to face.  More appointments, diagnoses, developing symptoms all face me as I deal with my day to day life.  But I refuse to give in and let them take over my life.  I’m me first, being someone with chronic illness is just a small part of who I am, though I must admit, it has contributed to other areas more than I could have imagined.

So the blog has a new look, I’ve decided to change the title to Chronic Phoenix as my pain is not just limited to the CRPS anymore.  I’ll explain more of the problems I’m dealing with some other time, for now, just know that the title represents my desire to be positive and rise above the problems I face when the “fires” of chronic illness sweep through my life.

Today, I’m going to do what people all over are doing in celebration of the new year, make a resolution.  My resolution is to encourage others who struggle with pain and to maintain a positive attitude about the struggles I face.  For the next year, as I continue in my neuroscience program, I hope to continue my research about CRPS and to continue to provide information and support to others on my web site and my new Facebook page for people looking for a positive, encouraging look at life (click on the link to the right).  My final resolution is to get this blog back up and running and talk more about my day to day life with chronic illness in hopes to educate and encourage!

I’d love to hear if there are specific things you’d like to hear about, if you want to know something, please leave a comment!