Last year, I made a list of 33 things I wanted to accomplish in my 33rd year of life; in no particular order. Tonight on my last night of 33, I reflect. I’ve accomplished some, made good progress on some and tabled some. In bold are things I’ve progressed significantly on or finished. Strike throughs are being tabled for now, and plain text is what I’ve yet to accomplish. Let’s see what year 34 brings!

1. Finish the book I am writing: IN PROGRESS

2. Advance to Tap 2

3. Master Chopin’s Nocturne in Eb Major: IN PROGRESS

4. Learn Rachmaninov’s Prelude in G Minor

5. Scrapbook all my loose photos

6. Learn gardening and have a baller balcony garden: YES

7. Pay off my small debts: ALMOST

8. Go back to Baja for a week

9. Visit NOLA

10. Guest preach somewhere: YES

11. Lead a caregiving workshop for caregivers of loved ones with dementing illnesses

12. Be a guest lecturer in a seminary class; and speak on aging and ministry, spirituality and dementia or something like that

13. Lead a workshop on aging ministry: YES

14. Prepare SBBC’s Care Partners Manual for sharing; create and lead  a 4-6 week intensive training course for helping other churches develop and implement aging ministry programs: IN PROGRESS

15. Get healthy again: MOSTLY YES

16. Write a caregiver devotional guide for caregivers of loved ones with chronic or dementing illnesses: IN PROGRESS

17. Face and address the childhood monsters with the help of my therapist and my psychiatrist: YES

18. Cook an outstanding meal with each of the following: lobster, crab, scallops, an excellent cut of steak

19. Master classic hollandaise sauce: YES

20. Create my own signature chili recipe (if blog comments venture anywhere close to the great chili fiasco of last year, I will hunt you down and shave your head): YES

21. Create my own signature barbecue sauce: YES

22. Make the perfect pasta dish with my pasta maker: YES

23. Make a cheesecake

24. Make a container water garden for my balcony 

25. Start work on the Baja Counseling program I’ve dreamed of starting for years

26. Create a senior adult-specific lectionary for use with Church at Home and pastoral visits

27. Try Vietnamese and Korean food: YES

28. Master beurre blanc: YES

29. Learn to can

30. Find an inexpensive way to ballroom dance again 

31. Stain my table a deep cherry color

32. Make cushions for the chair and bench in my office




  1. Greg Smith

    #20 Thankfully you didn’t share last year’s chili. However, I will gladly sample 23. (There’s not much on my head to shave,anyway). #s11,12, 13 & 14 go together. Don’t give up on the seminary class. You’re just getting started! I love 23 – Great starting point for a book of short meditations (#16 maybe?) Let’s work on it together!

    Happy 34th Birthday!!

  2. Kristen Ware Johnson

    I can teach you to can! The only method I know is the water bath method I used to can apples. All you need is a giant stock pot, a rack, and a jar lifter. I’d like to try making and canning my own homemade pickles.

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