And…it’s over. 2016 was quite the year. Just like any other year, it had its highs and its lows. But I’d rather focus on the positive – we all know how much negative there is in the world. I was fortunate, and for me personally, it wasn’t bad. In fact, parts of it were really great! In 2016, I lived in India, Alaska, and Mexico. Those are three very different places with very different cultures – which is how I like it. 🙂 At the beginning of the year, I set three goals for myself – two of which I achieved, one where I fell short.
Visit a new country – check. This happened. As far as I’ve traveled, I had never before been to Mexico. I spent a few months this winter checking out the country. It was delightful.
Run 300 miles – check. I hit the 300 mark in September. I trained for and ran the Lake Powell Half Marathon in Arizona in October, and having this deadline certainly helped me hit my goal. And – the signing up for the half inspired a road trip across Arizona and Utah – which was stunning.
Read 50 books – *crickets* Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. My goal was to read a book a week, with two weeks of wiggle room thrown in. I got off to a strong start, until around week 19 or 20. Final count: 27. Part of the problem was definitely my book selections – the first half of the year, I was reading page-turners (list is below). And for some reason, I just couldn’t get into the books I read later in the year. Oh well. Reading 27 books is definitely more than I read the year before!
Resolutions for 2017
I’m really bad with planning and committing, but I think 2017 just may be the year where I settle down and get a place to store my possessions that isn’t my sister’s basement. To encourage me not to impulsively buy an airplane ticket to some far-off corner of the world, I have purchased a mattress and a box spring to be delivered in September. Pennsylvania, here I come. So, Resolution #1: Get an apartment.
A few weeks ago, I visited the Center for Art and Design in San Miguel, which is filled with all kinds of galleries and studios. I got inspired. I’ve ordered my supplies stretch my own canvas, a set of paints, and I’ve started sorting through my photos to get ideas. I’m really excited to crack into my new toys. And any time I think about jobs, my mind wanders to painting. Resolution #2: Sell one painting.
Last year I went from only running a mile or two to running a half marathon. My practice time went well, but when it came to the actual race day, I had some altitude issues and didn’t run as fast as I hoped. I will try again this year at the Salmon Jam in Cordova. Resolution #3: Run a half marathon and beat 2:10.
Despite settling down, I can’t make a resolutions list which doesn’t mention travel. I’ll just tame it back this year. Resolution #4: Visit a new state OR a new country.
And of course, I have to adjust and reset my reading goal. Since I only reached about half of my goal, it seems unrealistic to shoot for 50 again. Suggestions welcome. My list of books I read in 2016 is below. Resolution #5: Read 30 books
Happy 2017! The sun is rising over the corn fields behind my house in the New Year. It’s good to be home 🙂
2016 Book List
- One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Sloane Crosley
- Purity – Jonathan Franzen
- Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
- The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
- Born to Run – Christopher McDougall
- The Orphan Master’s Son – Adam Johnson
- What I talk about when I talk about running – Haruki Murakami
- The Great Railway Bazaar – Paul Theroux
- Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari
- A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan
- Everything I’ve Never Told You – Celest Ng
- The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert
- All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
- I Am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
- Notorious RBG – Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
- The Sellout – Paul Beatty
- Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot
- The Geography of Bliss – Eric Weiner
- Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
- Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
- The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
- Wild – Cheryl Strayed
- The Creatures That Live at the Absolute Bottom of the Sea – Rosemary McGuire
- H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald