2016 – Portrait of the Artist

I have an annual tradition where toward the end of the year I deep clean my apartment and purge everything I don’t use.  Year after year I slowly work myself toward being a minimalist.

If you come across an item you’re not sure about while you’re in the process of decluttering there is a three-question system you use:

  1. Do you actively use it?
  2. Do you need it?
  3. Do you love it?

I’ve been doing this for a while, so most things need two or more yeses to stay.

This year what struck me as I started cleaning out my ever-dwindling cabinets is that they are not full of “things” anymore. They are full of the people I used to be, or people I wish I was.

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A Few of My Favorite Things

I grounded myself for the entire month of December because I was really starting to go a little cra-cra in the head.   Mandatory time off, one might say.

So I’ve been pretty low key.  Getting a lot of sleep which is odd for me.

Something I’m enjoying (which is surprising to me)  is the local radio station, KOIT, has been playing non-stop Christmas music since the day after Thanksgiving.  Now typically I don’t get into holiday music, but the CD player in our car is broken so it’s all radio all the time which means All-Your-Favorite-Christmas-Hits-Non-Stop.

That’s where I heard Julie Andrews singing “My Favorite Things” from one of the best movies ever:  The Sound of Music.  Sigh.  I love The Sound of Music.  One may even say that it’s one of My Favorite Things.

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New Year’s Resolution

I typically do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions.  If I make one, I do it at my birthday which is MY New Year (better than regular new year) but this year I decided to try one.

As I am what the kids call “self employed” now I have learned the fine art of scheduling down time for myself so as not to drive myself crazy.  I have decided that for my New Year’s Resolution I would pick a new topic to study each week in my down time so that by the end of the year I will have learned 52 new things.

I got the idea originally from my big vacation I just got back from – I was so inspired by Pompeii that I’ve been reading up not only on it’s history, but on volcanoes in general and how they erupt.  I’ve been enjoying it so much I decided to keep looking up other things that I’ve always been curious about, but never took the time to do.  And as the new year was upon us, I figured that this was the perfect opportunity!

I’m sure as I go along, I’ll need suggestions – so please feel free to shout some out.

Some things I’m looking forward to learning:

  • The history of the Christmas tree
  • the life of Claude Monet
  • more about Egyptian Hieroglyphs and Egyptian History (that may take more than one week)
  • the background of Yoga
  • More about American history (in school it was in one ear and out the other)
  • History of Tattoos

There are some other things that I used to know well that I’d love to revisit as well, so this will be 12 months of Learning Stuff.   And I’m sure as I read up on things, I’ll be inspired to add more things to the list – so all in all, the reading will drive on more reading.  I love stuff like that because once you get rolling it kind of feeds itself with little active work on your part.  I just need to pick a place to start.

How about close to home?  This week I’ll read up on the life and times of glorious San Francisco!  That seems as good a place as any, and that is definitely something I’ve meant to do for a long time.

Happy New Year!