Sunday, January 18, 2015

One Hundred!

When I started this blog I was so scared.  It's funny to look back on now.  I wrote all these posts and didn't publish any of them.  I was so fearful of people thinking I was dumb.  Then I "published" them, but had the blog set on 'only I can see this'.  So I guess that's not really publishing them at all.  Finally  I was so keen for someone, anyone to read my words that I put my little blog out there into the world and hoped no-one would be mean to me.  

Nobody was mean to me.  Mostly because no-one knew about it, no-one was reading.  So I told some of my friends I had started a blog.  That was really hard for me because until that point I had kind of hoped that I could build an audience of people I didn't know.  I was still so nervous about admitting who I was and what I thought about things, and it seemed so strange for people I knew to be reading my words.  For some reason I thought it would be much better if the people reading here were strangers.  I don't know.  I'm a weirdo.  Then this thing happened where I realised that if I told people about my blog, they would actually read.  Then some people started commenting.  That was wild!

When I think about all the things I secretly hoped for this blog when I tentatively started out 100 posts ago I have achieved so many of them, I've come so far.  I do know that in the scheme of the blogosphere it is but a drop in the ocean, but I also know that when I set out I wasn't aiming for blogging bigness, I was just hoping to have my words read and connect with people.  And it looks like I am doing that.  Little by little.  Which is just so ace.  

So yay me!

But also? YAY YOU! Because I totally know now that writing a blog is only half of the equation, and maybe not even the most important part.  The thing that makes a blog work, the only thing that makes it work, is the people that read and comment and share and come back and support and contribute and cheerlead.

So yeah, yay me, yay One Small Life. I feel really chuffed that I got here.  But really, truly yay you.  Thanks so much for being the sun and the rain on the seedling that is this space.  I'm really grateful.

Because this is my one hundredth post and inspired by Karen at Leaf and Petal and her 100 Things About Me list, here is my Life List: 100 Hundred Things I Want To Do In My Life.  Also known around some parts as a bucket list.  But I don't know, I don't like that phrase.  I think because of that movie (which I didn't see but) it kind of reminds me of old men or something which is counter to the feelings of joy and enthusiasm a list like this should conjur up.  Anyway here goes.

My Life List (in random order)

1.   Start a blog 

I started One Small Life one hundred posts ago, and like many items on this list it is not a one off, it keeps going and keeps growing and I kinda can't believe I am on this lovely journey when I think back to how long that item one sat dormant on this list.  Done it.  Doing it.  Loving it.

2.     Go to the Marina Abramovic Institute

3.     Read the Harry Potter series (With my kids)

4.     Take an art class

5.     Train for and run a 1/2 marathon

6.    Go whale watching

7.    Take the kids on the Harbour Bridge climb

8.    Visit a Japanese bath house

9.    Swim with the dolphins (ethically)

10.  Girls Weekend 

Last year one of my bestest and longest friends in the world turned forty.  And it is a testament to what a great person she is and how well loved, that when someone suggested the celebration required a girls weekend we had planned it and booked it within a matter of hours.  We ended up converging on The Star in Sydney for a weekend and we had an awesome time.  And like many of the strike throughs on this list it may have been the first time we've done this but it won't be the last.  Look how happy we all were!

11.    Earn money for writing

12.    Volunteer at a community kitchen

13.    Have magazine subscription for a year

14.  Sew my kids a quilt each from their baby clothes
My Quilt Inspiration.
We have been doing a MASSIVE Spring Clean at our house lately.  It has been a systematic and almost military operation.  Room by room.  No cupboard has been left unsorted.  No skirting board left unwiped.  No spider is safe, neither unworn clothes or unused equipment - GONE.  Three trailer loads to the tip and two supermarket trolleys to the Op Shop.  And still two rooms to go.  I can't tell you how thrilled I am by this process.  It's a little tragic, how happy it's making me.  I am loving it.  Something that I cannot let go of though, are the baby clothes.  Partly because I cannot let go of the idea of another baby, and partly because I have this project in mind where I make my kids each an excellent quilt out of their own baby clothes.  Nevermind that I have no idea how to sew.  Is it so very wrong to be holding on to an enormous, puckered vacuum pack bag for this purpose?  I think not.  One day I will tackle this project.  One day this item will have a strike through, and then I will be vindicated.

15.  Own an awesome reading chair

16.    Learn to braid hair (I have a daughter, nuff said)

17.    Go snorkelling (again)

18.    Take the kids to the (human only) Circus 

19.    Take the kids on a volunteering holiday

20.    Go scuba diving (again)

21.    Grow a vegie patch

22.    Bake a consistently great chocolate cake

Thanks to Naomi at Under The Yard Arm this one has a firm strike through.  Her Mum's Quick Mix Chocolate Cake is an absolute winner.  If you are looking for an easy, reliable, fail-safe and gorgeous chocolate cake recipe head over there and check this one out.  It's become our go-to and fave.  And if you don't need a chocolate cake recipe, check her out anyway.  She has a lovely blog and writes (well) about all sorts of things, not just cake.  But cake.

23.    Complete the Artists Way

24.    Take a modern dance class for a term

25.    Take the kids to the snow

We've done this a couple of times now so it gets a strike through.  But it stays on the list because the way I see it we still haven't done it 'properly'.  Properly?  In my mind is more of a winter wonderland experience than what we have had the last couple of years.  In other words more than a day trip to the snow on a day so hot we have to purchase over priced sunscreen at the caff.  Look it's a heap of fun, so I'm not going to whine (much).  But one year, someday I'd like to take the kids to the snow in a way that involves some skiing and Gluhwein drinking for me.  A snow experience that is more snow and a little less muddy slush.  A ski trip we don't drive back from the same day, ya know?  Be nice.

26.    See (another) show at the Speigeltent 

27.    Be published

There's a part of me that feels like I should let this one go.  It almost seems old fashioned.  But I can't help it, I still dream of being published in a way that means more than just me hitting the 'Publish' button once a week.  I love my little blog, but I'd also love to be published for reals, to have the experience of someone else wanting to print something I've written.  We'll see.

28.    Do the Bikram Yoga 30 day challenge

29.    Volunteer at a refugee advocacy centre

30.    Go dress shopping in Paris

31.    Spend a White Christmas with our family in America

32.    Bake bread

33.    Do a meditation retreat in Australia

This one is done in a most emphatic fashion.  I went to my first retreat a couple of years ago and am committed to going every year, if the means allow.  It is simply one of the best things I have ever done for myself and something I want to keep doing for as long as I can.  You can read about my experiences here, here and here.

34.    Do a meditation retreat overseas

35.    Write a guest blog post

I got to cross this one off my Life List in July last year when the warm-hearted Katie Tymms asked me to contribute to her blog Time With Katie.  She has since had a complete blog and website overhaul and you can check her out at Katie Tymms Holistic Wellness Coach and Katie Tymms Holistic Wellness Coach Blog.  You can also read my post on gratitude here. It's been great connecting and collaborating with bloggers and building connections and community in this way.  I really look forward to it.  I am going to continue to have regular guest posts here at One Small Life, and I really hope to be able to do some guest posts on some of my favourite blogs too!

36.   Visit Maine with my family (again)

37.  (Re)visit Bennetts Lane to hear some live jazz
38.   Write a book

39.   See something at Fringe

40.   Have a dedicated writing space

41.   Make sure my friends and family know how I feel about them

42.  Ride a moped on a scenic road

43.  Swim under a waterfall

44.  Send a Postsecret

45.  Get home at dawn (again)

There was a time in my life when catching the train home at dawn after a night of sweaty, pulse heightening dancing (and other more questionable activities) was a regular occurrence.  Weekly even.  And while I don't have the stamina for that kind of sustained frivolity anymore, there is something utterly awesome about sitting on the train amongst the morning commuters after a night like that.  It's freedom, it's liberation, it's being on the right side of the wrong side of society.  And while right now the best way I'm going to see dawn is by being up woken at the crack of it by my kids (which is also it's own kind of awesome) I'm not prepared to admit I'll never see this side of dawn again.

46.    Fire a gun at shooting range

I'm not into guns at all.  I consider myself a pacifist and I don't understand wanting to kill things for fun.  But I would like to try shooting a gun, just once.  Mostly because I wonder, if I actually fired a gun, would I like it?  Would it give me some sort of rush?  Or would it just be, 'meh'?  And if I found it some kind of cool, would that give me a little bit more insight, empathy, compassion for people who dig guns?  Not that I really want to have compassion for people who dig guns.  But I do feel, quite strongly that it's important to understand how close we are to each other.  It's easy for me to sit in judgement of people who aren't like me, who don't live my kind of life, and like my kind of things. But it's harder to sit in that place of judgement when it's made plain that me and that other person, the one so different from me, are actually not so different at all.

47.    Learn to cook a great chicken noodle soup

48.    Spend a day in silence
The stunning meditation room at Maitripa Contemplation Centre
Image courtesy of Maitripa Contemplation Centre

That meditation retreat I've been to?  The one I never want to stop going back to?  The one I put on this list at item 33?  Did I mention it was silent? Yep.  Four days of silence.  Bliss.

49.    Spend a day without complaint

50.    Do a yoga retreat in Australia

51.    Do a yoga retreat overseas

52.    Take a classical ballet class for a term

53.    Rent an apartment in New York City

54.    Visit an in session courtroom

55.    Compliment a perfect stranger

56.    Learn to juggle

57.    Swim in the ocean at night (again)

58.    Do jury duty

Perhaps it's watching too much legal tv, too many crime films and reading too many thrillers, but I've always been a bit intrigued to do jury duty.  I'm told that mostly it's pretty boring and arduous.  And after listening (somewhat obsessively) to Serial I've added the sobering perspective of responsibility.  Nevertheless I still find the idea of it fascinating and I'd love to have the opportunity to see what the reality of the process is like.

59.    Create a permanent meditation space in my home

60.    Make pasta from scratch (well)

61.    Take the kids to a theme park

62.    Study Spanish (again)

63.    Take the kids camping

64.    Visit a Turkish bath house

65.    Return to Barcelona

66.    Take the kids horse riding

67.    Go to Tokyo

68.    See Uluru

69.    See Kakadu

70.    See some stand-up at the Comedy Festival

71.    Go to Morocco

72.    Volunteer my writing skills to a charity

73.    Host a three course dinner for family and friends

74.    Learn to bake great scones

My Grandma taught me how to bake scones when I was little.  But obviously I wasn't paying the proper attention.  Because in my adult life I have tried and tried to bake a good scone and for the longest time it alluded me.  I mean, lets face it, there are scones and then there are scones.  And I know that scones are a simple thing, but when things are simple it's all the more important that they are good, no?  So I was determined to get good at this.  I tried many variations, cream, buttercream, lemonade etc, etc.  Ultimately, and appropriately it was the simplest of things that was the key to my being able to bake a consistently good scone.  Scorching hot oven.  That's it.  Bake them hot and quick.  So simple.  So good.

75.    Learn to bake great brownies

76.    Go on a family holiday with a bunch of other families and kids

77.  Walk the Cinque Terre

78.  Go iceskating with the kids

79.    Go to Africa and on safari

80.    Spend a whole day reading & listening to music

81.    Go to MONA

82.    Visit a mosque

83.    Drive down the coast and go for a swim in the ocean (alone)

84.    Learn how to make a great pizza dough

85.    Take the kids out of school to drive around Australia

86.    Spend a day being a tourist in my own city

87.    Have a worm farm

88.    Make a souffle

89.    Learn to make a great Chocolate mousse

90.    Keep a gratitude diary
Image via
A gorgeous friend of mine gave me a gratitude diary for a birthday present a year or two ago.  I used it well for a while but let it lapse when I started to get a bit uninventive.  I just couldn't get past the basic, the obvious - everyday I was grateful for my happy, healthy kids.  Every day.  Because, really?  What is better than that?  Truly something to be grateful for each and every day.  But maybe it's time to bust it out again and be a bit more imaginative.  I always loved the now defunct thxthxthx by Leah Dieterich, so maybe I just need to get a little bit creative.  There's no doubt that gratitude is a game changer, although sometimes what I'm most grateful for is the privileged position of being able to take things for granted.

91.    Pay a strangers parking ticket

92.    Take a photography class

93.    Have a compost bin

94.    Study Buddhism

Okay, Maybe this one shouldn't have a strike through.  I mean it's not like I'm ordained.  I didn't really study Buddhism in any 'proper', formal way.  But I learnt enough to know that religion (of any kind) is not for me.  I still love the Buddhist philosophy, and I will continue to explore that more.  But I'm pretty confident that I've come to the conclusion that I am a natural atheist.  This in my view doesn't mean I am not spiritual or interested in pursuing or exploring spiritual endeavours.  It simply means that whichever religion I look into, regardless of whether the philosophical basis resonates with me or not, there comes a point where I just go, "Nah."  I just get to a point where my brain is not able to make the leap into faith, into actual believing in a "God".  As far as I can tell all religion boils down to a fundamental human need to explain things that our brains can't cope with - the big stuff, death, life and the meaning of it all.  I can't help but take the logical, rational view - that religious faith is a construct of the human mind, and not the other way around.  I'm good with that.

95.    Explore Tasmania

96.    Spend a day taking photos

97.    Have a long lunch with my girl friends

98.    Live overseas for a year

99.    See Roger Federer play tennis live

100.   Live by the sea

If you have a life list or a milestone to share please, feel free to leave a link in the comments.


  1. Wow Kate, what a beautiful, soul revealing list! I loved reading it and getting to know you a bit better through it. Two things really stood out for me. The reading chair. Oh YES. This is on my life list too... though mine comes with one of those home libraries with shelves that reach the ceiling and one of those rolling ladders. Dreams! I also am completely besotted with your idea to make a quilt from the baby clothes. That is so beautiful. It made me regret all the culling I have done. We have one baby outfit per child for memory's sake. :-( What a gorgeous thing for your children to have to comfort them when they are no longer babies. Just beautiful.
    Your writing never ever fails to move me Kate. Did you know that? :-) Make those writing dreams a reality. Get your stuff out there!

    1. Thank-you so much Rachel. I did not know that. And it means so much. Really. xx

      (ps. I just hope I can get the quilts done while they still might like them. Probably not such a great moving out of home or 21st present, right?)

  2. Love the list, love the blog, you brave generous soul! More power to you. So much content for the next one hundred blogs - You could write a post for everyone you complete.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment Kristian, I love that you comment here! Can't wait to return the favour. ;)

  3. What a magnificent list from my favourite blogger ! Congratulations on reaching 100 posts - amazing achievement and I have to agree with Rachel about getting those writing dreams out there into reality, you definately have what it takes. As for some of your uncrossed list items - you really need to get yourself and family to Japan - covers the snow part, Tokyo, Buddhism and meditation (you would love Mount Koyasan) and the bathhouses (although not Turkish) are fantastic. Nozawa Onsen or Zao Onsen for the skiing part would be my pick - it is much more affordable than Australia for skiing once you are there and the snow is out of this world. Just a few wee titbits from me...I actually have to do number 46 once a year (for work) and I loathe it - the violence aspect makes me want to cry (and it hurts my hand !) I did the Cinque Terre Walk 22 years ago with my best friend and could not recommend it highly enough. As for whale watching - I have only seen these incredible creatures once and it was off the coast of Broome (organised by Eco Beach Resort) and was definately a life affirming moment. Love the circus without animals goal for the kids (have you seen the Listies ? Not a circus but saw them at the Spiegletent in Sydney last year with my young nieces and they are hilarious).......anyway, looking forward to 100 more posts and beyond from you and,lastly, thank you for being such a generous soul - not only with your supportive comments on my blog but on so many others that I see. You are lovely Kate !

    1. Wow Ing, what an absolutely gorgeous comment - thank-you so much. I have to say I am very intrigued as to why you need to shoot a gun for work once a year....interesting....maybe one day you can tell me all about it over a coffee or something. It would be great to meet IRL at some point. Or maybe I'll read about it in a blog post? I had the chance to walk the Cinque Terre about 25 years ago also, but I chose to go onto somewhere else (France I think?). I never imagined back then, when travel was my life, how long it would take me to get back there and have that opportunity again. Still, no regrets. An amazing part of travelling around in your 20's is you don't feel the burden of potential regret one bit! Just do as you feel. What a wonderful time. I loved it so much! I really miss that freedom. I hope to have it again one day, working towards it anyway. Thank-you again for such a beautiful comment - I've learnt a bit more about you and of course appreciate your generous, positive feedback! (Always nice to get such compliments! ;) ) x

  4. Yay to you! Yay and congratulations on your 100th post-well done. I so enjoyed reading your list and am inspired to do one too. I love the quilt idea-how special. I might be able to help with the great pizza dough. Jamie Oliver has a yummy recipe that is easy and delicious. I'm pretty sure it is on You Tube. Good luck with your next 100 posts :) x

    1. Thanks Jenny! I would love to read your 100 list too! They are fun to do, and actually really get you thinking, because 100 is quite a lot and at some point you have to stretch and consider what you REALLY want out of life. And thanks so much for the pizza dough tip. I will try! x

  5. I love this list. So many things here on which I'd be right beside you! Congratulations on the 100 posts too!

    1. Thank Naomi - well you just never know, maybe I might see you at Bennetts Lane some time? Or the Comedy Festival? Hmm, now you have got me thinking, I wonder which ones Naomi would put on her list! xx

  6. What a wonderful list. So many things I nodded internally and my head whispered, "yes".

    Congrats on 100 posts.

    I wondered how you'd get to 100, such a big number. You did it and you've got me thinking. ××

    1. I love that word "yes"! I'm so pleased I've got you thinking, I'm really looking forward to following along the Quirky Bird journey too! x

  7. What a great list! I feel your early blogging pain because I'm sort of there - where you felt once - at the moment! Congratulations on the 100 posts!

    1. Oh! I sympathise SO MUCH! All I can say Mushy Peas is keep going! The best thing about it is you can't imagine where it will take you from the view you have right now, it's like you're driving on a curved road, and you just have to keep driving to get around the bend. Eventually the road will open up and you'll have a vista of the sea. Go for it! x

  8. Congrats on 100 posts! I love your list, it does give such a beautiful insight into you and your life. I think I'd steal many of them...

    1. Thanks so much Catherine! It's funny how sometimes the post you don;t think of as revealing are actually the most revealing of all. I like that! x

  9. Great list, Lady. As usual we share mostly the same aspirations. Congrats on reaching 100! Xx

    1. Thanks you! Look forward to seeing you in the flesh sometime this year, maybe at some bloggy type thing? x

  10. Oops, not sure what happened to my comment? Anyway, love this post. It's inspired me. P.s I have saved a bundle of little clothes to make a little quilt too, but have revised that idea to a mini quilt or cushion cover. I wonder if I'll ever do it.

    1. hahaha, oh my gosh that is so true, my kids will probably end up with a facecloth each, tee hee. I am SO pleased I have inspired you, that is the best! Really appreciate you saying so Emily Jane, x

  11. An amazing list, the stand outs for me were: have your writing published, living in NYC and be a tourist in your own city. Congratulations on your 100 posts

    1. Thanks Lisa! Living in New York was a dream of mine in my 20's. I regret not doing it when I was young and carefree! Not sure I'll ever get to "live" there now, but I figure you can have that experience renting and great apartment in a great location for a holiday. Now that's doable! x

  12. I just commented but have a feeling it didn't publish so just in case here goes again.... Blimey O Riley, that is some list! It must take a lot of thinking. Living abroad is one of my big things I'd like to do at some point, to have an adventure under new skies! I'm intrigued by no.87 have a worm farm, it to farm them for any particular reason? Such an interesting insight into you and the things that make you tick. Well done for reaching 100 posts of beautiful writing, Yay one small life :) X

    1. Oh! I am so glad you persisted, thank-you!. It did actually take a lot of thinking, but I wrote a version of this a few years ago, pre-blog. I had to rework it as there were some gaps, but it's an interesting exercise. Travel and living abroad is THE BEST thing. I can;t recommend it highly enough. I only spent a couple of years travelling, but it had a lasting impact on the rest of my life. I wish I done more of it before I had kids - not that kids are a reason to stop travelling, but things change. A worm farm is not a commercial venture, just a backyard project. You keep worms, feed them your scraps and they in turn produce beautiful, healthy nutrient rich soil for you to plant your veggies in. Thanks very much for your comment Days Careen - you know I love what you do at your place too. x

  13. Oh I literally love the shit out of this post Kate, you made me smile, laugh and remember stuff. Like, I've fired gun at a shooting range, it was a disaster - it was a rifle and nobody told me you shouldn't press the scope against your eye when you fire (ummmm 'hello' gun virgin here, cut me some slack), thus fired and bam, knocked back with the force and given a huge black eye...hahahahaaa the funniest (now, not then obvs). Also I'm Harry Potter averse given my surname and the fact that I went to boarding school that was surprising similar to Hogwarts. Hmmm. Right will stop now, I could go on and on. You've completely inspired me to do this. Can I come and stay with you when you rent your apartment in NY?? xxx

    1. Great comment Emma - thank you! That shooting range experience sounds utterly awful! A good cautionary tale for me. Note to self, start with a pistol, also don't look. No. Wait.

      Sure! You can stay with me in my apartment in New York - I'll clear out the room under the stairs. ;)

      I look forward to seeing your 100 list - I trust shooting a gun won't appear. x

  14. ps. The Artist's Way - only the best fricking book in the world!! LOVE IT! xx

    1. It's grand - I did start it, many years ago, and one day, when life is a little more leisurely I plan to complete it. x

  15. Great post!! So great. 100 down, hundreds more to come - love your style.

    1. Thanks so much Annette. It's great to be sharing this blogging shenanigans with you. x

  16. That is an amazing just keeps going and going. As i scrolled through I got a bit excited each time I saw one crossed out. I hate the idea of bucket lists but there's something pretty sweet about a life list.
    100 posts is a big achievement too. Especially at the high quality you always publish. Well done :)

    1. Thank-you Nicole, that's a very generous comment. I hate the term bucket list too, but as a lover of lists in general (to-do list addict right here) I couldn't go past the idea of a Life List. Glad you liked it!

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  18. Wow, what an extensive list! Good on you for getting to 100 posts. I loved your story about beginning a blog and being shy to tell your friends, and setting the publish button to 'Only Me'! How sweet. I am a brand new blogger and it can be scary, perhaps blogging can be seen as 'self promotional' but it actually isn't about that for me. It's a way of connecting with people from around the world and it's AMAZING who drops by! The cyber world can be scary but it is also a wonderful way to connect with people you have things in common with. Good on you for starting One Small Life and with your dream of being published one day. Hope it happens :)

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderfully warm comment Nanjing Nian. I agree - the blogging community is great. I hope you get at much out of it as I do. Good luck with your new blog - I look forward to popping over for a look. x