100 Things I Learned in 2011, Part 1

the author revealing a pit stain while "dancing"

It was an olé kinda year

I, for one, am flummoxed. Also, baffled, perplexed, confounded, and generally mystified.

No sooner do I finish off my list of 100 things for 2010 than I’m sitting down to do it again. How is this possible? Who is stealing this time? And for the love of all that’s holy, PUT IT BACK.

Well, no matter. While some days it seemed like this entire year was one long beg-a-thon, upon closer scrutiny, a few other things did, apparently, happen. Who knew?!

Of course, I’m not at all sure how much I learned from any of them, but oh, well—tomorrow is another year, right? Hahaha! Also, GET OFF MY LAWN. (If one does not earn the right to say that at 50, I hardly see the point of birthdays.)

Okay, then! Here we go…

  1. There’s nothing better than doing work you love.
  2. Except getting paid for it.
  3. And possibly, being able to succinctly describe it.
  4. Pay for the nonstop flight.
  5. You will, anyway.
  6. Comedians make the best philosophers.
  7. But nerds make the funniest ones.
  8. Menopause is Latin for “You’re never more than one marshmallow away from your fat pants.”
  9. Balance is more of a journey than a destination.
  10. Writing better takes longer.
  11. But writing longer doesn’t guarantee “better.”
  12. Making it a miracle anything gets written, ever.
  13. Instagram won.
  14. For now.
  15. Fear does not disappear with experience.
  16. It does, however, don a series of increasingly exotic and beguiling outfits with which to confuse and/or bewitch one.
  17. Never underestimate the rejuvenating effect of punctuation.
  18. The shortest route between you and 6-year-old you is the Soap Lady.
  19. I still get distracted incredibly easil—holy crap, is that a new iPhone grocery app?
  20. Goals, like food, work better with portion control.
  21. And on smaller plates.
  22. Stories are my favorite “content”.
  23. Times 3, times 365.
  24. The only thing better than going on hiatus may be coming off of it.
  25. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to do them both again.
  26. Just less far apart.
  27. It doesn’t have to be human for you to Facebook-stalk it.
  28. I love weddings.
  29. Especially when they belong to other people.
  30. Or better yet, all the people.
  31. Portland is even better in the summer.
  32. And on foot.
  33. And when you improvise.
  34. Fear is my all-time muse di tutti muses.
  35. But I am envy’s bitch.
  36. They should call it “Southwest Fairlines”.
  37. “Together/single” is less “better/worse” than it is “apples/oranges”.
  38. The quickest route to self-knowledge is a good interviewer.
  39. The only thing more fun than a Justin Tanner play is turning someone on to a Justin Tanner play.
  40. Or turning everyone on to a Justin Tanner aphorism.
  41. You can have too much of a good thing.
  42. Fortunately, someone is always making new good things.
  43. Unfortunately, that doesn’t extend to everything.
  44. Roger Ebert’s taste in movies extends to music videos.
  45. Thievery rocks.
  46. I have the world’s worst gaydar.
  47. I’m not the only one fed up with the constant happy of Facebook.
  48. Not to mention those stupid inspirational quotes.
  49. But fixing the Internet is complicated.
  50. Fortunately, fixing your reactions to it is simple.

Look for Part II later this week! In the meantime, remembrances of years past:









  1. “Of course, I’m not at all sure how much I learned from any of them, but oh, well—tomorrow is another year, right?”


    Good list Colleen, and taught me a few things. Reminded me of a few others.
    I do have to disagree about inspirational quotes though. I like them, in moderation, and interspersed with sarcastic cranky quotes :-)

    Looking forward to part 2!

    1. YOU, Gwen, I will agree to disagree with. Happy new year—here’s to a healthy/wealthy/wise 2012.

  2. Why-oh-why is the beauty and joy of a quote so often obscured or negated by a threat at the end – “Send this to 100 of your bff’s in the next 5 minutes or the rest of your life will SUCK” and like that? :0
    ~ The (few) that I do pass on, I strip that part off.

    Bright Blessings for 2012, y’all!

    Karen J

  3. 46 made me laugh because I too have terrible gaydar (though I imagine it’s more problematic for me since I’m bi).

    Here’s the thing though: I believe my gaydar is wonky in part because I don’t like making assumptions about people. (Social ineptitude may also play part, but you know, whatever. ;)

  4. Colleen, you always inspire me with just the right words at just the right time. Thanks for doing it again.

    I am approaching my 2012 much like you approached your 2011. Removing the clutter. Sharpening the focus. Making space for new ideas, new growth and a new me.

    Wishing you better than the best year ever. I am so grateful for you.

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