43 for 44 – how far did I get?

I turn 44 tomorrow.

This blog was originally meant to document my progress of my 43 for 44 list (the 43 things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 44), but I ended using this for sharing my thoughts on other things like my favorite the local baseball team, brushing up on my photography skills, and sharing photos of my dogs.

Of the 43 things I wanted before my birthday, I completed 11 of them. I made progress on some of those I didn’t complete, and others I totally went the other way.

Starting with what I didn’t accomplish:

1.Shopping Ban. I did ok for 5 weeks, then I fell into the trap of subscription boxes. My gateway to buy new things.

3. Remember birthdays, anniversaries, etc.: Nope, did horribly on this.

6. Save $10,000. I am $6,000 short.

7. Complete Chalean, Piyo, or Cize. I’d get two workouts in, and then didn’t do much after this.

8. Get rid of at least 100 items. I got rid of lot of items, but nothing significant.

9. Complete C25K,. See #7.

10. Create and exercise space.  I did, and then it got filled with stuff because I was unable to do numbers 1 or 8.

11. Get to drivers license weight. Because I didn’t do 7, 8, or 10.

17. Fix bike. Still sitting in our sunroom. Still gathering dust.

18-20. Project Life 2014-15; Project 52 for 2016. Nope, not even close.

22. Landscape backyard. The backyard is still all dirt.

23-24. Train the dogs to be calm; walk them more often. I am a horrible dog owner.

25. See Frances Ruffelle in Washington, D.C. Missed it.

26. 10,000 step habit. Barely made it to 3,000 on some days.

29. Electronics off by 10 pm. I am writing this post at 11 pm.

30. Visit the Philippines. I really regret not doing this.

32. Pack/Unpack 7 boxes a week. I started and now my “exercise space” is filled with half-filled boxes and things spread around.

33. Lose 10% of weight. I actually gained 10%.

34. Sew again. My sewing machine is covered with items to fulfill numbers 18-20.

36. Quit Sunday job. I took a month off, but I can’t quit it. I like the people I work with too much.

37. Do a 10k. Whoops. I forgot about this one.

38. Fix the window screens in the house. The dogs keep poking their nose through it.

40. Apply to one job. There was one, but I chickened out.

41. Update resume. Still need to do this.

Sort of did.

12. Weed out photos.  I am 1/10 the way through. Still have a ways to go.

14. Learn something new every day. I did, but didn’t document it.

15. Do something nice for my husband everyday. Almost every day I did this, but that doesn’t count. And then I didn’t document it.

21. Fix toilet seats. Replaced one of them. Mr. Jasperitis replace the other one.

27. Play games, music, books I own; use what I have.* Mostly did this, but bought new music with gift cards/credit.


2. Dog Beds. Yes, did that! But unfortunately, the legs broke and

4. 5 5ks.  Actually I did more than that, because I found out about virtual races.

5. No more pinning on Pinterest; use what I pinned.  I don’t pin anymore. In fact, I deleted the app from my phone and tablet.

13. Back up photos in hard drive. I found Amazon Prime members have unlimited photo storage.

31. Buy a mac mini. I did! And didn’t charge it on a credit card.

28. Limit to 5 subscription boxes. I had a peak of 15+ subscriptions at one time, now I am down to one, and that will be done in September.

5. No more pinning on Pinterest. I did one better. I deleted the app from my phone and ipad.

39. Start blogging. You’re reading this.  I wasn’t as prolific as I thought I would be, but it’s a start

16. 52 books read, including S. and The Money Class. Done. Done. Done. (I actually read 55 books.)

35. Photography again. Yup. Did that. And I am rusty!

42. Organize paperwork. Took a two days, but I got it squared away.

43. Household binder  I put one together, similar to this. (Now actually using it, that’s another story.)

I didn’t accomplish everything, but I didn’t expect to, really. Lots of things were dependent on one another, but the fact of the matter was that I was easily distracted by other things.  I found myself staring at a screen, whether it be my phone, tablet or computer. Sometimes it was productive (blogging, backing up photos, or weeding out said photos), but most of the time I’ve been distracted by social media (Twitter is my Waterloo), and games. Like this one. Or this one. Or anyone of those slot machines games.

What happens tomorrow? Work, as usual, and another list.






35. Photography

Ever since I was a child I loved to take photos. I can thank my dad for that. He was the photographer in the family, and as each of his kids grew up, he or she became a photographer in the high school yearbook staff. My dad even built a darkroom in our garage.  In sixth grade, I got my first camera, a hand-me-down that used 110 film.  (Something like this, but probably older.)

Eventually I moved on to a SLR and during my stint as a yearbook photographer I developed film and printed photos, knowing the ins and outs of developer, stop bath, and fixer. I enjoyed the entire process from rolling the undeveloped of film into the cassettes to seeing the finished product of negatives drying on the clothesline in the darkroom to doing the final rinse of the photo after the sitting in the fixer.

As technology shifted to digital, I moved towards digital photography, using mostly my phone and several different point and shoot cameras and relying heavily on my cell phone. It was much more convenient (easier to manipulate the photo on the computer) and cheaper, too (you can take 100s more photos for the same amount spent on film). I bought a DSLR, then sold it because I wasn’t using it (too big, and too conspicuous).

Years passed, and I felt the urge to take photos again. So many choices!

So here is my new camera (taken with my cell phone):


This will help fulfill #35 on my list, and will inspire me to take more shots than ever before.

One my first shots, with more to come. (My poor dogs will soon get sick of this.)




Three months in, then I completely fell apart. Since my last entry:

  • Shopping ban has been completely busted
  • new subscription boxes ordered
  • no exercise
  • savings depleted
  • weight gain (and don’t get me started there)
  • and so on.

What happened? Holidays, complacency, lack of accountability…it led to a perfect storm of spending, eating, and lazing around. I think the only thing I’ve been able to keep up with is my reading.

Time to start again.

Week 2 in review

What I spent:

  • $24 for Fit Foodie 5k (43 for 44)
  • $20 block party for the San Diego Gulls (will revise shopping ban list – it’s an experience)
  • $41 for dinner (my husband, my niece, her boyfriend, and me)
  • $1.99 for a game on my iPad.  Used iTunes gift credit, but it is not on my approved list
  • $6.70 for breakfast. Used a Starbucks gift card. While not unapproved, it could lead to a bad habit
  • $7.30 for coffee for me and V. See above.
  • $4 for junk food. Not a good thing.
  • $37 Gas

In progress:

  • Savings: $400 (Christmas savings, new Mac Mini savings, and retirement)
  • 52 books: 3. 18 Things. I got this free from Amazon. I’m on a streak of not-so-good books.  4. This One Summer. A graphic novel I checked out from the library. Not bad, but not my favorite.
  • Subscription boxes: Cancelled: Bulu box, Lit-Cube, UpperCase. Received: ComicBento (I prepaid for a 3 month subscription); PopSugar Limited Edition (I prepaid for this one prior to my shopping ban). Opted out of Hamptons Lane box this month.


  • I keep downloading free apps! They are time sucks!
  • I’m spending a lot more money (mine or gift card credit) on food.  This is not a good thing, since 
  • Have not exercised at all this week.


  • Nothing – but I hope to complete the dog beds this Monday!