3-Month Wrap Up: Getting Rich In Vegas, White Water Rafting, & Committing One Act of Kindness Every Day

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I miss this place. This blog makes me feel the most me. Whenever I’ve just finished writing a post, I feel like I’m floating on a current of energy, like I’m leaning into what makes me tick.

So I’ve been looking forward to making a return to write this for a while now. I’m sitting here on the calmest afternoon I’ve experienced in a month, sipping hours-old french press coffee (and it’s important that I tell you it’s french press because I have been a lazy, trashy Keurig coffee drinker for a while now and I’m very impressed at this new development in my life), and admiring all the summer-in-Denver that is happening just outside the window.

Today feels deeply good. Life feels deeply good.

And I can’t wait to tell you all about why.

These past few months, I…

1. Left Las Vegas richer than I arrived. (#47, long-term list)

Las Vegas was not a planned thing. One day I was not going to Las Vegas and had no reason to even think about going to Las Vegas, and the next day I had a plane ticket booked up for the weekend.

So Las Vegas happened. More specifically, Las Vegas happened to me.

I knew that leaving Las Vegas richer than I arrived was on my long-term bucket list, and I really, really wanted to cross that puppy off. So amidst all the eating, Lyfting, swimming in the pool, oggling at elaborate buildings and people, and *cough* drinking *cough* that went on, I made a point to hit up a casino.

Here’s the thing. I knew I would never win big. There’s no freakin’ way. Have you seen me? I trip up stairs. I’m not someone with the kind of luck to cash out with major bucks.

My game plan was this: put in a small amount of money, play a few rounds, and the very second I came out even a little bit ahead, I was getting out of there.Β 

So I threw in five bucks. A few rounds of blackjack later, I was up 75 cents.

And I freakin. Cashed. Out.

Never mind that I lost 50 cents of that 75 playing the slot machines. I LEFT LAS VEGAS RICHER THAN I ARRIVED, MOTHA TRUCKAAAAS.

By 25 cents. Someone try and stop me. Maybe I’ll go buy a gum ball. Maybe I won’t. I’m limitless.

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My playground for the night. πŸ˜‰

2. Headed to the rapids for some white water rafting. (#3, short-term list)

It’s not often you get the chance to throw your mortal body into some waves crashing into rocks and creating whirlpools of death just beneath the surface with only an inflatable raft (which is really just a glorified balloon, if you think about it) to protect you.

So when a group of almost 20 friends invites you along on a white water rafting trip they’ve been planning for the past year, you take the opportunity.

We drove up to Aspen and hooked up with a few guides who took us out for the ride of a lifetime. Not going to lie, there were a few times I looked at what we were about to traverse and thought there was no way I’d make it out alive.

But I did. And with nothing but pretty trees around you, a big sky above you, and good people beside you, it was a trip for the books. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.Β 

I’ve never felt more Colorado-ian than I did that day. I’m glad that places like this exist.

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The guides said we were their favorite group that summer.

3. Went camping (#6, short-term list) and soaked in some hot springs. (#7, short-term list)

For my birthday, my friend Amber took me to Strawberry Park Hot Springs.Β Everyone had been telling us that these were the best hot springs the state had to offer, so we knew we had to try it out.

It was nighttime when we arrived, so when we first got out of the car we couldn’t see a thing. But after our eyes adjusted to the darkness, the moonlight was just enough to help us guide our way into the water.

Each pool at Strawberry Park Hot Springs was a different temperature, so you could start off piping hot and move down into lukewarm waters by the end of your time there. It was so relaxing and I can see how people use it as a kind of therapy.

Afterwards, we set up camp nearby and passed out cold in our tent for the night. It wasn’t our first time camping that summer and it wasn’t even our first time camping together – Amber and I had done another trip in July that was super fun too, and I also went camping another time with a good group of folks. There’s something about waking up in the mountains that feels pretty dang cool.

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What a birthday view.

 

4. Started doing one act of kindness every day for a year. (#12, short-term list; #18, long-term list)

Since I’d finally finished on my endeavor to take a 1 second video every day for a year, I knew I was ready to start up a new daily task. This time I set out to commit one act of kindness every day for a year.

To be honest, this challenge is going to be hard for me. I started it on my birthday but then forgot to do an act of kindness a few days later, so I had to start over. It’s also been hard for me to parse out what I’m doing for the sake of the goal and what I’m just doing in my every day life that I’m attributing to the goal. Let me explain.

For example, the other day I did something I thought was nice, and I said to myself afterwards, “Hey! That will be my random act of kindness for the day.” But is that the point? Is the point to pick out what I’m already doing that’s kind? Or is it to add more kindness to my life?

I think it’s supposed to be the latter. So on days when I’m feeling lazy and I want to attribute something I did that day to the goal when in actuality I would’ve done it anyway, I need to like, not do that.

Hold me accountable, friends.

5. Started creating a community here in Denver. (#9, short-term list)

Anyone who has moved to a new city where they didn’t know anybody can probably relate to the worries that come with making a new network of friends. I’m lucky to be in a city where it feels like nearly everyone is a transplant, and everyone is looking for a new pal to add to their gang – so I feel like I’m not lacking in social contact at all. It’s also been nice to move into a house with a bunch of girls who are super sweet, funny, and real about life. That’s giving me a lot of hope for what’s ahead. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, and I didn’t expect myself to have community by now. But the people around me these days are nice and friendly and filling me up with great things, and that makes me excited.

6. Did lots of other stuff!

In addition to what’s above, I also ate at Casa Bonita (#4, short-term list), took in the gorgeous views at Rocky Mountain National Park (#5, short-term list), and visited Garden of the Gods (#10, short-term list). But this post is already super long, so I’ll cut it off here. Ask me about those adventures sometime!

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Garden of the Gods was gorgeous.

What have you been doing lately to check items off your bucket list? What’s next on the agenda? Any advice for building community in a new place?

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Summer 2017 Bucket List!

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LOL. Just, lol.

It’s July 19th and I am only just now creating a summer bucket list. Goooooood job, Amanda. πŸ˜‰

I’ve never waited this long into a season to create a bucket list – normally I have it ready to go by the time the first day of whatever time of year happens to be rolling in. I think I’d typically be pretty upset at myself for letting the first month and a half of summer pass without a bucket list in order, because I know when I keep a bucket list I live life more fully and I’m more likely to take advantage of every day.Β  Continue reading “Summer 2017 Bucket List!”

Weekly Wrap-Up: Hamilton, Hiking, and Epic Parties

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Happy third day of fall!!! NYC is still pretty hot day-to-day, and I’m getting excited for when things start to cool down in the coming months. I love fall sweaters and candles and yummy treats. πŸ™‚

This week I was focusing a lot on work and school, but I still tried to make time for fun activities! This week, I… Continue reading “Weekly Wrap-Up: Hamilton, Hiking, and Epic Parties”

Fall 2016 Bucket List!

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Some friends from college and I at the brightest corn maze of all time.

I know, I know. Fall doesn’t technically begin until September 22.Β But since classes started up for me this week, it’s basically fall in my mind. Plus, I completed my summer 2016 bucket list a while ago and would like some new goals to strive for.

I’ve been mulling over what to put on my fall bucket list for a few weeks now, and to be honest I’m still not fully satisfied with what I’ve come up with. I feel it’s not ambitious enough. I feel I can be doing moreΒ with my time. This list as it stands seems too easy to accomplish.

But I honestly don’t know of any other goals I’d like to add on this list right now, so I’m just going to give myself space to add new bucket list items when it’s appropriate.

SomeΒ of my biggest goals are to run a half marathon, write a poem every other day, and submit a piece of writing to a publication every two weeks. Those are big goals for me, especially because they’re both things I’ve failed at before.

But not this time! I’m going to stay accountable to achieving them and putting in the work necessary to succeed.

So, here we are! Let me know if there’s anything you think I should consider adding!

Fall 2016 Bucket List (short-term list, September – November)

  1. Train for a half marathon
  2. Take a Spanish class
  3. Learn how to speak in the past tense in Spanish without really thinking about it
  4. Hike a mountain and/or camp
  5. Go on a weekend trip away
  6. Write a poem every other day
  7. Submit one piece of writing to a publicationΒ twice a month
  8. Watch a New York Film Festival showing (tickets on sale Sept. 1)
  9. Attend Atlantic Antic (September 25)
  10. See a ballet
  11. Enjoy the Thompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
  12. Go apple picking
  13. Catch a rooftop movie
  14. Meander through the Queens County Farm museum
  15. Continue active involvement in the fight for racial justice
  16. Do one thing that scares me every day for a month

I’d love to hear from you! Whats on your bucket list this fall?

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