Category: 100 things

Things you can’t change

I’ve been working through this post in my head for exactly 4 days, 13 hours, 59 minutes and 15 seconds.

It’s not about resolutions.

I don’t think I believe in resolutions. At least, I don’t believe in them for me. I already have my list of 100 things to do before I die. Sometimes at the beginning of a year I’ll pick a few of those that I think I can accomplish by the end of the year. When I was in high school and university, I would usually write a little list of about 5 things I wanted to do over the summer. They were always achievable things. The summer I was 14 I taught myself to shuffle. The summer I was 17 I taught myself to French braid my hair. The summer I was 21 I taught myself to sit up straight. But I do horribly with concepts that you can’t measure. Things that I can’t definitively cross off a list. And, honestly, if I make a list that I can’t finish it drives me crazy.

Okay, I lied, it’s about resolutions.

But I don’t have any. Not really. It’s more like I’ve come up with a philosophy.

If you’re reading my blog then you already know that these past four months have been some of the hardest of my life. There are a lot of things outside of my control that I have been working against, to change. And I’ve had a few conversations with Fae and Kaitlyn recently about what type of things I should accept in life and which things I should work to change.

Because life sucks. But I’m stronger than that, right?

There are things in my life that suck. Things that I can’t change. Things that require patience and courage and perseverance.

What I can change is how they effect me. What I can change is how I see my circumstances. What I can change is what I make of my life.

And the true task isn’t being happy when everything’s great, it’s finding a way to be happy when everything isn’t.

I’ve already started to make some changes in my life this year. Little things that I can change. And hopefully I’ll slowly work up to the big things and I’ll spend 2011 learning how to be happy when things aren’t exactly as I might wish them to be.

And this girl? I’ve proof that she still exists.

Me on New Year's Eve, photo by Chandra

Ancient footprints are everywhere…

#48. See the Acropolis and the Coliseum.

The view of the Acropolis from the Areopagus, photo by me.

It’s recently come to my attention that, in the past 5 months or so, I have seen a lot of the most important monuments and pieces of art in the world.

The Parthenon, under construction as per usual, photo by me.

More importantly, for me, is that I’ve finally seen all of the things I’ve been studying in my years of ancient history classes, essays and books.

The inside of the Coliseum, photo by me

Number 48 was about seeing what I thought were the two pinnacles of Greek and Roman civilization. But along the way I’ve seen some pretty awesome things that have come up over and over again in my studies. Not buildings or monumental structures, but artefacts.

It started with the Augustus of Prima Porta in the Vatican Museum in Rome. There was the statue of Laocoon and his sons in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. There were the famous statues of Nefertiti and Akhenaten in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Nike of Samothrace in the Louvre.

This trip to Greece was no exception.

In the Archaeological museum of Knossos in Heraklion, there was the Phaistos disc, a beautiful and mysterious Minoan artefact, engraved in a language (Linear A) that we have never been able to translate:

The Phaistos Disc, photo by me

And this famous faience statue of a Minoan snake goddess that I remember studying in second year Greek history.

Minoan Snake Goddess, found at Knossos, photo by me

In the National Archaeological Museum, the famous bronze statue of a God (Zeus or Poseidon) recovered from a shipwreck:

Zeus? Poseidon? photo by me

And the famous Mask of Agamemnon - a funerary mask that Heinrich Schliemann uncovered at Mycenae and wrongly interpreted it as being the Agamemnon (of Homeric fame).

Mask of Agamemnon photo by me

At at Delphi, the Charioteer of Delphi:

Charioteer of Delphi, photo by me

Just to name a few, and not to mention all of the hundreds of photos I took of other artefacts that I found super interesting, but aren’t as famous.

I had an interesting revelation, though. As I was taking these photos, I was thinking “So that someday I can use it in a Powerpoint for a lecture.” I always do this when I’m at museums. But I started to think about what that meant. That maybe I want to be a professor someday. Which means maybe I want to do my PhD someday. Which is a little bit terrifying.

It’s interesting how most of the things of my list of things to do before I die have turned out to have completely different meanings from where they started originally. This is just one example.

My non-negotiable list

I like to make lists.

I often talk about my list of 100 Things to do before I die. I’ve done 29 of them already. It will be 30 by next week. Someone asked me what I was going to do when I finished the whole list. Easy. I’ll write another.

I recently read a post on my friend Courtney’s Tumblr, of an idea she had had and shared with some of her students. I’m not surprised, Court is the person who originally inspired my love of lists. We used to make “10 things to do this year” lists in high school.

But Court’s list is different. This is a non-negotiable list. I suggest you click on the link above to read her reasoning behind it and what she hoped to teach her students. I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now. This is mine:

I want to be a mother. I want to have a job that I love at least 60% of the time and which challenges me. I never want to stop seeing the world. I want to have cats, always. I want to save money to pay for my children’s post-secondary education. I want to read all the time and instill a love of reading in children - not only mine but all children. I want to volunteer, even when I’m really busy, for causes that I believe in. I want to be the one who has great dinner parties, and I want to be the one who hosts family holidays. I want to write a book - even if no one but me ever reads it. I want to always make time for my best friends. I want to always be close to my sister. I will not change my last name. I want a true partner in my life, with their own interests and hobbies, who challenges me intellectually. I never want to stop learning new things. Everything else is negotiable.

Sky, by me

You’re so vain

This post is about me.

Okay, ALL posts are about me, in some way. It’s my blog, after all.

But this is a different sort of vain self-indulgence.

Yesterday, my friend Chandra and I went to get our hair done. As part of the package they also did our makeup and took some “glamour shots,” of sorts.

Chandra and Me!

We weren’t too sure about it. We’re both sort of awkward in front of cameras unless it’s what we call a “stuck at the head” shot, where one of us is holding the camera at arm’s length and taking our picture where we look like siamese twins attached at the head.

But I think they turned out quite well.


I am sitting in a circle. WOO!


And my beautiful friend Chandra:

Char looking all sophisticamated!

I think this looks like a magazine ad!

Sexy Charmander!

And, of course, after being serious for like an hour, we revert to our natural state:

"Is it bad that looking at you makes me laugh?" "Probably."

Number 94 on my list of 100 things is “Pose nude.” Who knows when that will happen, but at least now I have some beautiful pictures while clothed!

You dig okay, Ponyboy

#57. Do an archaeological dig.

Today is the last day of my two week archaeological dig at Vindolanda, a Roman fort near Hadrian’s Wall.

Since I’m doing my MA in Greek and Roman Archaeology and all, I thought it would be a good idea to finally put my trowel where my mouth is. To get my hands dirty, literally. Though, apparently this is not a prerequisite to being an archaeologist as there are many who never do any digging at all and sit around talking about archaeological theory (the bane of my existence last semester.)

The first week I loved it. It was incredibly painful for the first two days. I didn’t know I even had some of the muscles that were hurting the next day! But once that passed, I was so excited to get back in the dirt and start finding things. Walls, nails, tons of pot sherds.

I’m glad I did two weeks. Last week, I was on a physical activity high and decided that I could actually do archaeology as a job. This week, I’m exhausted and I’ve realized that even though I do enjoy it, it will have to be an occasional thing for me because it’s just too tiring for an everyday job.

I had a really good time, though, overall. The people on the dig were great. The volunteers are all ages, from all sorts of places and have all different levels of experience. It would have been a really long two weeks if it weren’t for my trench buddies.

The highlight of my dig? On Tuesday I found a bronze (or copper-alloy!) Roman door knob! It was the only thing I found to get its own small finds bag.

And now… if I never touch another wheelbarrow in my life, I (and my poor wrists) will be very happy.

Wishing I was a hotter archaeologist, like Lara Croft.

Number 57 is the newest addition to my list, because I found out last year that I’d miscounted and forgotten it! So I got to add something a little more related to what I was going to do with my life.