Monday, December 30, 2019

Week 52: Update on Final Goals

Here we are in the final week of the year... the time of year that I'm usually picking out my favorite pictures and creating photo albums and slideshows, reminiscing about all the fun I had, and planning for next year's resolutions.

However, this year is a little different because I still have 8 weeks left of my 60-week count-down until my 60th birthday.

I only have 6 goals left on my list that I have yet to blog about. Here's an update on these:

  • Create a course about using Agile in everyday life
I actually did a couple of boot camps at the beginning of the year that used Agile concepts, so I may "count" this as complete.
  • Put DIY walls in basement that will allow me to hang pictures, etc.
I discovered ways to attach pictures to the basement walls with Velcro. I also found spots that I was able to hang hooks or picture hangers. I love my "photo gallery" and I got a couple of new frames from my grandchildren for Christmas so it can keep growing!

  • Create a Girl Cave
I contracted out to have the dry wall and electrical work done, but still have to redo my botched up paint job. But I've picked out my new colors and created my pretty wine rack. 
  • Go to a foreign country and practice speaking the native language
I'll be leaving Saturday for the Conversa Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica!
  • Put together a playlist of at least 60 songs by gathering songs from friends
I've been working on this since the beginning of the year.  I think I have about 50 songs now but will do my "final reminders" to friends and family to finish this up.
  • Plan and host my 60th virtual/real birthday party
Yay!! The big day is less than 2 months away! 

I'm very proud of myself for blogging every single week this year and taking my 60-until-60 goals very seriously!

Next year, I hope to keep to my weekly blogging habit, and I'll post updates about my final goals and figure out some new goals for 2020!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Week 51: Thrift Store Fixup

My pretty purple wine rack

We are in Christmas week, which means I'm in the midst of all that last minute shopping. I have a tradition to pick up a new (well... used.. but new to us) family game at ARC so it was the perfect opportunity for me to accomplish #55 on my list of 60 goals:

Buy something at a Thrift store and fix it up

Sadly, I'm not very crafty or artistic, but it's super easy to make something old look pretty, just with a fresh coat of paint.  I've been wanting a wine rack for my new "girl cave' (which is still a work in progress) and I found the perfect one at ARC for 3 bucks!  

3-dollar wine rack I found at ARC

On to Michaels, to peruse their spray-paint colors, and there I found this beautiful silver-lilac spray-paint.  A couple of coats of paint later, I have a unique wine-rack that will look stunning in my 'girl cave'!

A couple of coats of paints later and Voila! It's beautiful!

What worked well:
  • Very easy to spray paint and turn something old into something pretty
  • I've wanted a wine rack and this was a great find!
  • I love the new color!

What could have been better:
  • If I had more artistic talent, I'd add some unique design to this
  • When I'm so busy trying to find and give gifts, it would have been nice if my fixer-upper project was for someone else, but it's a nice gift for myself!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Week 50: Trip to Sacramento

Mom and Neal
This week I accomplished goal #12 on my 60 until 60 list:

Visit my Mom and brother in Sacramento as well as others in Northern CA who are available

I often go to my childhood home in Sacramento at this time of year. My Mom's birthday is December 9th which is right at holiday season, so over the years it has become a tradition of mine to visit at Thanksgiving or early December. This time, since I didn't have to run back to a job, and I'm doing my big "60 until 60 project," I had a bit of an extended visit and was able to have some special "celebrations."  


The priority, of course, was my celebration with Mom since it was HER 84th birthday! Her present from many of us was a new laptop. She'd been using my Dad's old computer since he died in 2010, so definitely it was time for something new. My 'present' also included helping her pick something out (picking out a laptop is overwhelming! We settled on a chromebook.) and giving her 'lessons' on how to use it.  Well, of course, this is almost like a present to me, too, because I LOVE giving computer lessons and Mom has been a great 'student,' so I feel glad that I've been around to help her.


My brother, Neal, the baby of our family lives in nearby, Folsom. He shares my love of swing dancing, so on Tuesday night he took me out to his weekly dance place and we had a blast! Neal introduced me to a bunch of his "swinger friends" and we danced until the place closed down. So much fun!

Tor and Sally

After dancing, I spent the night at Neal's Folsom home and the next day was able to visit our old childhood friend, Tor, and his girlfriend, Sally. Tor is almost like an adopted member of our family. His parents died when he was quite young and I know both my Mom and Dad have felt a parental love for him and his siblings for as long as I can remember. It was great catching up on all that was happening in our lives..  as well as with our kids and grandkids!


Dee is another "adopted family" member who I've known since childhood. She and her husband, Ed (who passed away many years ago) were best friends with my parents. Dee often refers to herself as "my fairy godmother" and that's a good way to describe our relationship with her. I'm in so much awe of her resilience and spunk. At age 87, despite breaking a hip and her arm earlier this year, she is still traveling and living life fully! 


Jackster (and I am "Yvettester" to him) is a good friend who I met in my sophomore year (1979-1980) at UC Davis when we both were in the "H Building" dorm. Even though Jack and I have been friends all of these years, this was our first longer "visit." When I talked to Jack on his birthday in September, I told him about my 60 until 60 project and that I wanted to have a special celebration with him. He asked if I'd be interested in going to see a Garrison Keillor Christmas show in San Francisco on December 14th. Perfect!  In fact, I got to spend most of the weekend with Jackster, taking a long hike with him in Pacifica and enjoying holiday traditions at his childhood San Francisco home.

What worked well
  • Created lots of new memories with old friends and family
  • Even though it was rainy most days, it was a lot warmer weather than Colorado
  • Nice that I could stay for a longer visit than usual
  • I was included in a neighborhood Christmas party and saw some friends from high school that I hadn't seen in years.
  • Happy that we were able to find a laptop that Mom likes
What could have been better

  • I had a cold for the first week I was in Sacramento
  • I didn't get to visit as many people as I would have liked
  • I always miss my Dad when I visit home

Monday, December 09, 2019

Week 49: Walk 2019 miles in 2019

2019 Mile Bib Video from Run The Edge on Vimeo.

This week I accomplished what was probably my most challenging goal on my list of 60:

Walk 2019 miles in 2019

When the doctor told me a couple of years ago that I should give up running, it really depressed me. Running was really the only athletic thing I've ever done that I felt I was pretty good at.  It also helped keep me fit and sane. When I was going through stressful times, it's what I'd do..  In fact, I remember when I was in the midst of my divorce, after a particularly stressful day, I went for my usual run at warp speed. When I finished and looked at my watch, I had a moment of joy: Wow! Look how fast I am when I'm mad!

When I was depressed about not being able to run any more, I couldn't do what I usually do to cure my depression.  I couldn't run so I decided to walk instead.

As it turns out, walking is almost as good as running, and in many ways better.  As a runner, of course, I always wanted to go as fast as possible. But now I realize, going fast is not as important as just going.  Walking is just slow running and you can go a lot farther and enjoy it a lot more than running.

In order to walk 2019 miles, I had to average over 5.5 miles a day, which hasn't been easy!  This is the only goal I've had that required exercise every single day..  and not just a quick thing that like a plank. It usually takes at least an hour and a half of hiking, walking, or dancing to get in 5 and a half miles.

Even though there were days that I really didn't feel like walking because of the weather or my mood or my health, I did it. Mostly this is probably because of my somewhat neurotic "upholder" personality, but I made it!

I also discovered a wonderful Walking Group, Walk2Connect, and took leadership training for the group, so next year, I plan to lead some walks.  And I did a lot of hiking in beautiful places all year, seeing and experiencing many new places, thanks to this goal.

What worked well:

  • I got into the regular healthy habit of walking
  • I was able to meet new people in hiking Meetup groups
  • I saw a lot of beautiful places
  • Walking has helped keep me mentally and physically strong
  • I achieved a good physical challenge
What could have been better:

Now the big question? Since I've achieved this goal, will I continue my obsessive walking? The answer is...  I plan to still walk at least 10,000 steps until the end of the year..   After that?  Who knows? Maybe I'll try for 20K! (Or maybe not!)

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Week 48: Host a #GivingTuesday campaign for ALS Never Surrender

Looking for a non-profit to help on Giving Tuesday?

Please donate to ALS Never Surrender on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd!

Goal #16 on my list of 60 is to: Participate in efforts to help those with ALS and their caregivers. Since losing my friend, Craig Dunham, to ALS in 2010, I've been a very active advocate for finding a cure to this fatal and heart-breaking disease.

I got involved with the ALS Never Surrender non-profit a few years ago and was inspired by the founder, Steph Courdin, who gathered a group of colleagues and volunteers to create a mobile app that would collect valuable ALS patient progression data.

Though Steph lost his battle with ALS in March of this year, I was so excited that the organization received a $300K 3-year grant from the ALS Association.  All Steph's efforts were not in vain. The organization is currently working with Harvard Medical, Duke University, UCSD, UC Denver, and Barrow Neurological Institute to run clinical trials across the country.

I usually raise money for the ALS Association by leading Team Carpe Diem on the Walk to Defeat ALS. However, this year, I'm working with ALS Never Surrender on a GivingTuesday Facebook campaign because Facebook will match all donations made on GivingTuesday, Dec.3rd!

I feel so lucky to have met Craig and Steph and to be able to see the progress being made towards a cure. I feel confident that, with this app, a cure is in sight! Please consider giving on December 3rd!