101 Things in 1001 Days

I first learned of dayzeroproject.com  back in 2008. I spent some of that year, and well into 2010 completing my 101 list. Sadly, I deleted my records of that list in a digital clean-up fit. I do remember a bunch of things that I accomplished though, including:

– Getting a pet rabbit. Momo, I miss you! Momo died a little less than a year from when I got him. He was apparently born with an organ defect. But Momo was the best thing that happened to me during that time. My love of rabbits came from him.

– Getting a job. Which turned out to be my current job. I’ve been teaching for three years and, despite all the frustrations, I still enjoy it. However, back then, I wouldn’t do anything else. Today? Hm, good question. Sure, I would do something else if the opportunity arose, but I’m also happy where I am too. I guess what i’m saying is, I’m open to the idea of doing different things. I think it would make me a better teacher in the end.

– Learn how to crochet. My very first project is this huge, crazy striped blanket made from scraps of leftover yarn my mother had piled up and given to me. I still have this blanket. It is not finished yet. Finishing it is on my new 101 list.

– Making the rounds of visiting everyone from Team Taiyuan, the group of foreign English teachers I worked with in China from 2006-2007. I went to Colorado, Florida, Seattle (twice), and Washington D.C. Phoenix should still be on my list, but I balked at going to such a hot place. I made up for it by seeing  L, the teammate from Phoenix, three times during those travels: the Seattle trips, one of which was a very long road trip, and the D.C. trip where I lost my second camera in as many years.

– Practicing piano. I took piano lessons from the age of 6 through 17. Those eleven years of learning an instrument taught me that I can squeak by at recitals, competitions, and music evaluations by practicing about an hour a week. Usually less. I guess I still felt guilty for not appreciating the piano as much as I should have. I didn’t know this until I was an adult, but personality is probably more suited for the quiet, stoic, jock stereotype than the music nerd. It’s just that participating in sports was so expensive, and my family was not in the position to afford it back then, even if I had quit the other after school extracurriculars I was involved in. And so piano stuck. I’m glad I did it – it taught me how good discipline habits (or lack thereof) could bring successes later in life. I also learned how to sit and stand with good posture – a habit that’s never left me. Still, if there is one thing I would rewind the clock for and go back to middle and high school, it would be to do sports.


Anyway, long story short, I was thinking about how accomplished I felt during my previous 101 Things in 1001 Days, especially in comparison to the current day. It doesn’t seem like I’ve accomplished that much personally these past couple of years. Even worse: it doesn’t seem like I’ve wanted to accomplish much of anything recently. I’ve gotten really complacent. Go to work, teach the kids, come home, do some chores, watch a lot of TV, go to sleep.

Granted, I’ve been snowboarding (which was on the tail end of my previous 101 list, meaning it’s been awhile since I’ve done so), visited my family in Hong Kong twice, been to Las Vegas, went back to grad school, moved twice, went on a summer missions trip, learned how to change a car battery and headlight lamp bulbs, guerrilla gardened, got a smartphone, got a gym membership and went regularly, went to visit A in LA twice, once as a road trip, been to the Oakland Zoo, the Oakland California Museum, the Tech Museum, the DeYoung (twice), the California Academy of Sciences, the Asian Art Museum (thrice), walked the Golden Gate Bridge, to Half Moon Bay and other whatnot explorations around the Bay, went to visit J in San Diego twice, started supporting my parents financially, kept up going to the dentist regularly, consistently got my students through the CST with a 70% improvement rate, got more involved at my work through chaperoning dances, being on the School Site Council, coaching MathCounts, and being a union rep, and opened a ROTH IRA, a 403b, a stock market account, and a life insurance account that would take care of my loved ones that I leave behind for a good long time.

I’ve done a lot. The greatest thing about doing the 101 Things in 1001 Days project is forming that mentality that I. Can. Get. Things. Done. It’s now a part of me. A habit that I can’t break. I suppose I’ve done more than those things listed above then, but I always forget what I’ve done. Not because I haven’t enjoyed doing those things, but like all habits, you kind of forget that you did it already. Like how sometimes, I would be driving and all of a sudden I’m at my destination, and I don’t remember the details of the trip to get there.

It’ll be nice to have a record of it. And this time, I’m not going to delete it.


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