The over-achiever, to-do list obsessed person in me is tempted to be disappointed that I didn't finish. I haven't planted a garden. I haven't made an apple pie after a day of apple-picking. I haven't written a book, or even a story. I haven't written thank-you notes to my teachers, even after attending the funeral of one of the teachers on my thank-you note list and kicking myself for not making my appreciation known before it was too late.
But the list wasn't really ever about achievements. It was about pushing boundaries, challenging myself to think big, and exploring new paths. And in that, I'm more than satisfied.
To learn to juggle, I took a circus class with my mom at Charm City Movement Arts, where we learned not only how to juggle (note: learning to juggle and actually juggling are not quite the same thing, and I'm somewhere in between the two) but how to walk on a tightrope (which is much, much harder than it looks).
I made a soufflé, and it didn't collapse. I went to the Library of Congress with a dear friend and sniffed some books (they were gift shop books, but I'm counting it). I made some lovely things.
I read the first 240 pages of War and Peace before giving up on it for good, but my preparation for Tolstoy did include reading Anna Karenina, which I adored. I read five Hemingway novels. I made a new friend (several). I ran my first 5k, and then went on to run a half marathon... and then another and another.
I might not have accomplished all 26 things, but when I look at what I did do, I can honestly say the list worked. I tried new things and then some more. Some, like War and Peace, I abandoned. Some, like the 5k, I expanded.
And some, like reading all of Hemingway's work, will make a second appearance on the soon-to-be 30-by-30 list.