ML: things i’ve done.

I came across Mighty Girl’s Mighty List a few years ago, and it really spoke to me.  Life is short, and I’ve had far too many reminders in life that I need to get busy.  But it’s still sometimes hard to harness the focus/motivation to do things.  Fear gets in the way, or we just don’t understand what we need to do.  Or something.

In any case, Maggie’s list inspired me.  But I decided pretty quickly that it wasn’t enough for me.  As I made my own list, I realized there were things I wanted to remember to do again and again.  It wasn’t about just one time.  It was about things I repeatedly do and making my life better every day by embracing joy.  And then, I also found I needed a way to take credit for what I’ve done.  Mostly because one of my things is being too hard on myself…being a perfectionist.  I sometimes discount my accomplishments.  I wanted a place where I could inspire others, but also be held accountable for my life.  So, I started sharing my version of the Mighty List on my blog.  I started writing about those experiences.  It was tremendously rewarding.  But I felt like I needed a more comprehensive blog and started designing a new one, to house everything–including my Mighty List entries.  Unfortunately, it took a long time…still going…so I set-up this blog as a temporary space and never incorporated my Mighty List.

Welp.  Since I still haven’t finished my “real site”–and may never–things are gonna change around here.

There are three sections for my Mighty List: Things I’ve Done; Things I Want to Do Again; and Things I Still Need to Tackle.  I’ll be writing about them periodically and posting old pieces I’ve written as time allows.  Think of it as a life time capsule.

Edit: This hasn’t been updated in at least four years. I’ll try to get on that someday.

2020 Alma


  • Had one of the top 1% of profiles viewed on LinkedIn for 2012.
  • Got my driver’s license
  • Made a wish on 11/11/11 at 11:11 am.
  • Became the 1st person in my entire family to ever set foot on a college campus as a student.
  • Finished three undergraduate degrees, while working three jobs and volunteering.
  • Overcame a childhood steeped in alcoholism & poverty.
  • Survived the death of my father when I was six and my Mama when I was 26.
  • Created some semblance of a happy childhood for myself.
  • Taught myself how to swim and a million other things.
  • Won writing competitions.
  • Traveled to Madagascar, Costa Rica, England, New Zealand, Australia, most of the US, Russia, Japan, Fiji, Chile, & Canada.
  • Dated a Canadian.
  • Established a successful career for myself–even if it wasn’t exactly intentional or right in the long-run.
  • Transformed myself in every way imaginable (body, mind, and spirit)–and continue to do so.
  • Climbed Long’s Peak by myself.
  • Cared for my terminally ill Mama by myself without any assistance from family.
  • Witnessed the loss of every single “important” family member in my life, including my aunts, uncles, and both of my half-siblings.
  • Lived an independent, self-sufficient life that I created for myself.
  • Created a home for myself after every idea of home was obliterated.
  • Put myself out there…lived in constant vulnerability.
  • Learned profound lessons about life from my experiences with love.
  • Found a spirituality I can live with.
  • Gave back to my community.
  • Was accepted into TFA.
  • Taught myself photography and painting.
  • Worked for myself.
  • Got better at being in the moment.
  • Challenged myself & appreciated every day I had.
  • Forgave people who hurt me & accepted them back into my life.
  • Owned who I am and made amends for the shitty things I’ve done.
  • Started the long process of making new friends and started the foundations of what is now the only family I know.
  • Stood by my friends, even when I didn’t agree with what they were doing.
  • Weathered challenges to my health that proved debilitating, frustrating, and inspiring.
  • Lost a gall bladder and lived to tell the tale.
  • Existed as a grown-ass woman who is decidedly in touch with the six year old version of herself.
  • Stood up for what I believed and was never anyone’s yes-girl.
  • Learned to love my body–no matter what my curves did or how freckly it became.
  • Accepted and embraced my sexual side and all the intensity that comes with it.
  • Learned to let go of perfect.
  • Made children feel heard and cherished. Provided a solid point of reference.
  • Told the truth, and listened to the versions that weren’t necessarily mine.
  • Came out of hiding.
  • Never, ever gave up.
  • Kept a smile on my face, an open heart, and a hearty laugh nearby–no matter how difficult it was that day.
  • Meant everything I said.
  • Did not try to escape my life–no matter how hard it was–but, instead, faced it head-on.
  • Had a play produced before I was thirty.
  • Wrote poems and stories that were published before I was 25.
  • Survived the second worst year of my life and, within that year, learned to surrender…to be happy for what was…and to not take anything for granted.
  • Found more love than I ever thought possible.
  • Found a way to celebrate Christmas again.
  • Found my path.
  • Spent the night at the Stanley Hotel.
  • Dated a narcissist and lived to tell the tale.
  • Wrote a 6 word memoir.
  • Read all of xkcd.
  • Told someone I loved them and absolutely meant it.
  • Visited my father’s grave and recognized he isn’t there.
  • Watched movies regularly.
  • Relaunched my pura vida blog as a celebration of living.
  • Took my vitamins.
  • Finished my Master’s in Education with straight As from start to finish.
  • Salvaged a hard-drive from an assplodey laptop
  • Ate fish for the first time in over a dozen years and did not die (but suspected I have an intolerance to it).
  • Withdrew from MySpace when it became unhealthy for me.
  • Made silly putty and play-doh from scratch.
  • Taught kids about polymers at a huge event.
  • Wore a toilet paper costume at a huge festival.
  • Drank homemade absinthe (that I didn’t make) and did not puke or die.
  • Manned a cotton candy machine for four hours at a huge kids’ event and did not puke or die.
  • Researched my family tree.
  • Made it to the top of Mount Evans, a few times.
  • Let her go.
  • Learned more about the non-profit sector, as a volunteer as well as a student.
  • Started an Etsy shop. (need to fill it)
  • Pursued my Master’s in Nonprofit Management (3 classes left).
  • Slept more!
  • Started a job blog (which I decided to table, but will bring back someday).
  • Perfected a homemade pie crust.
  • Wrote a goodbye list for Miranda July.
  • Grew arugula.
  • Got a completely different look.  A few times.
  • Chopped off all my hair.
  • Started a photoblog.
  • Used Flickr more effectively.
  • Made crepes.
  • Answered these questions:
  • Did a weekend mixtape on my blog every week.
  • Ate a funnel cake.
  • Attended TedXMileHigh.
  • Shot a gun.
  • Launched a foodie blog.
  • Wrote regular blogs about my favorite things.

  • Took a grant-writing course.
  • Did #febphotoaday 2012 in its entirety.
  • Bathed out of a stock pot when the water was out for three days.
  • Participated in StoryCorps. I’m in the Library of Congress.
  • Made sun tea in the summertime.
  • Paid my 5 year old library fine!
  • Got paid to write.

2 thoughts on “ML: things i’ve done.

  1. I really love this idea – I think it would be a really good thing for me to do too.
    You’ve done a great deal and have plenty to be proud of and have some great ideas on your to do list also.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: