Monday, January 18, 2016

2016, in Preview

I usually go into a year kind of blind - like that time we went to Scotland and didn't book any hotels ahead of time. We didn't want to tie ourselves down to any definitive plans; we didn't want to risk missing something because we were looking for something else. It ended up being a trip full of close calls and getting lost and even finding ourselves locked in a train station at one point but it was the best trip I've ever been on and I'd do it the same way again. 

I usually go into a year like that. 

I've never been the type to sit on top of New Year's Eve like it's some high place that looks down over the months ahead and plan anything out, but this year feels a little different - not that I can see the future, just that I can't stop imagining it. 

It's starting off busy. I've been presented with this amazing opportunity to help teach a six week online creative writing course in a cute little virtual classroom starting today. The participants (I think there are going to be 42 all together?) started poking their noses into the discussion boards this weekend and introducing themselves and it's just so dang exciting to finally be doing something like this. From there, 2016 is shaping up to explode into a flurry of other fun writing-related things - if my nerdy grade three wanna-be-writer self could see me right now, she'd be jumping up and down on top of her desk (and then she'd probably fall on her head and die, because she always was kind of a klutz, bless her [my] heart).

I know there's always the danger of being consumed by a dream when it starts to come true, so I've been making sure to block that stuff off into a specific time of day and use the rest of my time for still, you know, living my life. I've started making a little list of mini daydreams for the year ahead, which is kind of fun. They might not happen, but that's what makes them daydreams as opposed to goals or resolutions.

1. Learn a new skill. Something really random. Something I've never even considered before. I want to learn it quietly and inconspicuously, and then I want to bust it out when no one's expecting me to. I imagine I'm walking through a mall with some friends and a man approaches us and says, in urgent, broken English, "Excuse me, do any of you speak Mandarin?" And my friends all start to shake their heads and say, "Oh, sorry..." But then I bust out my new skill. And I'm fluent. And everyone's jaws just fall on the floor. Wouldn't that be fun? 

2. Meet some of the friends I only know online. This used to be a super sketchy thing to admit to anyone. When I was in high school, chat rooms were a Thing, and all of the grownups were really concerned that every person on the internet was a murderer. Since I started blogging though, I've met really cool people from all over the globe and we've become actual friends. Like, we talk regularly and I'd invite them to stay in my guest room if they were passing through town. I'm 100% certain that none of them are axe murderers, and at least 87% sure that none of them are knife or gun murderers.

3. Explore a new city. Barclay and I love exploring new cities. We like figuring out the public transportation system, finding hidden gems, hitting up tourist traps, and walking around aimlessly. Some of the notable cities we've wandered around together in the past few years include MontrealSeattleVancouverEdinburghNew YorkLondon, and LA. Next on our radar? Probably Chicago. We want to find a cute little jazz club, hang out by the Bean, visit the Chicago Music Exchange, and pretend we're Harriet and Carl Winslow from Family Matters.

4. Find a cool new thing here in my own city. There are always cool new things. This one should be easy.

5. Become lots more organized and keep my house cleaner and paint my nails more often and vacuum under the bed more than I do now and learn how to do my hair and makeup and eat more vegetables. (This one is open to interpretation.)

6. A while back, I heard of this program where piano teachers could volunteer to teach lessons for free at inner-city schools to kids who wouldn't otherwise have the chance to take music lessons. I was going to sign up, but then I had Sullivan and it felt impossible. Now it might not be. I should at least look into it. 

7. Read every single book that I got in 2015. This is actually the tallest order on the list. I got a lot of books in 2015. Like maybe a stack as tall as myself. Chapters gift cards are the best. Oh, but that leads me to 8 -

8. Build a sweet reading nook in the living room. With lots of storage (see 7). 

Done. Daydreamer, out.