Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

I can’t say that I’m sad about seeing 2017 end. Not that it’s been a bad year – I filled about 40 pages of my gratitude journal – but a new year always feels like a fresh start, a chance for something even better. Maybe I’m just tired of the cold weather already, and anxious for spring to arrive.

Here are a few highlights of the time I spent “away from my desk” during the past year.

Reading

For the last few years, I’ve set a reading goal via Goodreads’ yearly Reading Challenge. It doesn’t really matter to me how many books I read, but I enjoy seeing them all in a grid (partially shown above) at the end of the year. However, I’ve discovered something even more fun: My Year in Books.

In 2015, I also enjoyed doing Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Reading Challenge, but the categories didn’t excite me. That’s when I decided to start my own Canadian Reading Challenge. Since I finally completed that a few weeks ago, I decided to check out Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2018 Reading Challenge and I like what she’s come up with, so I’m in again!

I also plan to read more non-fiction next year. We read a fair bit in my book club (5 out of 8 titles this year!), but they are usually biographies or autobiographies. There are quite a few business and self-help books I’d like to read, and since I haven’t figured out a way to add that to my routine, I’m going to roll them into my regular reading schedule.

Photography

I wasn’t as active with my camera as last year. I spent a bunch of money at the beginning of the year on a “bundle” of courses and other resources, but self-study doesn’t provide the structure and camaraderie I enjoyed in the Joyfully Green courses I took last year.

Here are some of the best photos I took this year. I guess a lot of people like trees!

janet.barclay's 2017 best nine on Instagram

I continued to dabble with the CY365 Photo Challenge, but found it too difficult to fit photography into my life on a daily basis, so I decided to look for a similar challenge with weekly prompts instead. Much to my delight, I discovered 52Frames. Every Monday I receive an email with a theme along with tips, tutorials, and examples. In addition, I receive helpful feedback from other participants, which is a lot more valuable than “Likes.” I’ve been in it for 13 weeks now, and am loving it, even when it takes me outside my comfort zone. I’m hoping to become a Weekly Warrior, which is what they call someone who has submitted a photo 52 weeks in a row.

Knitting

I made a couple of sweaters, one for my granddaughter…

Grace's sweater

and one for myself.

hand knitted sweater

In between I made a few coasters, which are not photo-worthy.

I enjoy knitting, except when I don’t. It seems to get harder for me, instead of easier. But I’m not ready to give up just yet!

Adventures

At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to have one adventure per month. For me, an adventure isn’t sky diving or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail – it’s anything I’ve never done before, or that I don’t usually do. My adventures included going to Limeridge Mall on a weekend, visiting a local conservation area for the first time (by myself!), seeing Mamma Mia at Theatre Aquarius, and wandering around the RBG with a friend. It definitely wasn’t one a month, but maybe my 52Frames project will lead me to have more adventures in 2018.

Looking Ahead

My life is pretty settled, so I imagine 2018 will be more of the same: more reading, more photography, more knitting, and hopefully, more adventures. I hope your year will be everything you want it to be!

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