1. I stopped making these annual lists. They were a fun tradition for several years, but it’s time for a change.
A few years ago I heard about Anil Dash’s quiet experiment to only retweet women for an entire year. I thought that was really interesting. It’s easy to get into ruts of thinking based on who we surround ourselves with and who we listen to. I took inspiration from that and decided in 2016 I would only read books written by women. I had intentions of reading more books on feminist theory, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I did read some with feminist themes, though, and intersections with faith. It wasn’t my most productive reading year, but that was due to personal junk, not the challenge to read only women. I’m going to continue keeping an eye on the diversity of authors that I read and recommend others try it.
Books I read that I recommend (in no particular order):
- The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
- Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber
- Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
- Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott
- The Death of Innocents by Helen Prejean
I started improv classes. My last two posts were about that, so I don’t have a lot to add. I’m now 2 weeks into the level 200 class. There are several more people in this class and a handful from my level 100 class. I have a bit of impostor’s syndrome, honestly. Everyone else seems to be great at performing and coming up with stuff quickly. I get out there and I feel like I’m pretty bad at it. That makes me uncomfortable, but I’m pushing through it. Getting out of my comfort zone is part of the reason I decided to continue with the class. Maybe it will click at a certain point and I'll be awesome at it? Maybe that’s the trick. I need to improv a scene where I’m a really good improv performer!
I got a head start on my mid-life crisis last year. Not really, but kinda? I still feel like I’m drifting at times, but I’m trying to breathe and be OK with the uncertainty. I recently finished Brené Brown’s book, The Gifts of Imperfection, and it really hit me in a good way. There’s a lot of stuff to unpack in there with regard to vulnerability and self-worth. I’m sure I’ll be reading it again, and there’s a good chance I will be writing more about it.
Next month I’m starting the 100 Words in 100 Days Challenge. The idea is to write exactly 100 words each day for 100 days. I tried it in 2015. I didn’t get very far, and I missed days. I’m going to be more rigorous this time, though. I’m shooting for 100 contiguous days starting February 1. If you’re interested in participating, let me know.
This year I’m thinking about moving, but not too seriously yet. Portland and San Diego are the candidates I’ve thought about the most. However, I’m slowly getting more connected here. Maybe I will suddenly get really good at improv and want to stay longer. Who knows? My lease is up in May and my landlord is OK with going month-to-month, so I’m leaning towards extending my lease through the summer at least.
I am definitely planning to visit San Diego and San Francisco this year to see friends. There’s a good chance Florida will be in the mix as well. In February I’m going skiing with my dad in Colorado. It’s been a few years since I’ve been skiing, so I’m overdue.