Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018!

books read in 2017

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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!

Janet Barclay

I'm a Website Design and Care Specialist who loves helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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