Welcoming a New Year

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For almost two months I’ve moved steadily toward my birthday, one fun activity at a time.  Amazingly, this is my birthday week. I turn 63 on Saturday, January 9. I’m posting this update, the fourth one, with the final “what I learned” post coming in a couple of weeks.

As I did last year, somewhere in the middle of all these activities I wondered “Why am I doing this?” I question myself because these randomly selected celebrations and activities take time to complete. They add to already full days. However, they add to my life too and that’s the answer, that’s why I play this birthday game. The 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday take me beyond and make me think and help me grow.

Since my last birthday update, we’ve flipped the calendar over, saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021. The theme for this group of activities is Welcoming a New Year. It seems appropriate!

Welcoming a New Year title meme

Welcoming a New Year

As with the last three birthday updates, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m sharing photos and details about some of the activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

12/22/2020 Watch A Christmas Carol with Finley (completed)

A treasured Christmas tradition in my family is watching A Christmas Carol during the holidays. The George C Scott adaptation aired on television for the first time in December, 1984. I held my sleeping three month old baby girl, Adriel, during that first viewing. Adriel and I have watched A Christmas Carol together every year since. We are often joined by other family members, however the two of us faithfully make sure we take the time to watch it together.

On this, our 37th viewing of the Dicken’s classic, my daughter held her sleeping baby daughter, Finley Grace. The sweet tradition continues.

Welcoming a New Year A Christmas Carol with Finley
Welcoming a New Year – Finley sleeping through A Christmas Carol

12/23/2020 Plan out an entire day…and follow the plan (completed)

I am actually just completing this scheduled day…today. Even though I use a planner and schedule blog and social media posts a month in advance, I rarely cross everything off my daily “to do” list. I planned out a day from waking up to going to bed. However, I’ve had trouble picking the day to carry out this highly scheduled day due to things popping up unexpectedly and the holidays.

Last night I set my alarm for an early wake up and felt excited to see if I could complete everything on my list. When I woke up this morning, before the alarm, I knew something was off. It was. I set my alarm for PM not AM. I overslept an hour and almost postponed my scheduled day…again. But you know what? I got up and got going and by noon I was back on track, time wise.

I’m happy to say I accomplished everything on my list, even a scheduled walk at the park after lunch. While I love spontaneity and going with the flow, after this productive Monday highly scheduled days might show up more often in my planner.

Welcoming a New Year scheduled day
Welcoming a New Year – I enjoyed my scheduled walk

12/24/2020 Dance around a fire in the fire pit at night (canceled because of weather…rescheduled for 1/5/2021)

12/25/2020 Plan a solo trip to the London Christmas Markets (completed)

A trip to London during the holidays perfectly aligns with a trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. On paper I continued my holiday travels by flying from Edinburgh to London. While Edinburgh hosts one HUGE market, London features many spread out across the city.

I enjoyed researching the different markets, picking three to visit and locating suitable lodging for my visit. How magical to visit both of these cities during the Christmas season.

Welcoming a New Year London Christmas
Welcoming a New Year – and I hope the opportunity to travel

12/26/2020 Purchase reusable chopsticks (completed)

I love Thai food and vegan sushi. And I enjoy using chopsticks. Rather than continue to use and toss disposable chopsticks, I added an activity to encourage less waste. As a result, I purchased a package of metal chopsticks and a package of decorative wooden ones.

Welcoming a New Year reusable chopsticks
Welcoming a New Year – reusable chopsticks

12/27/2020 Visit a place in Arkansas I’ve not visited before (scheduled)

12/28/2020 Create a garden sculpture from found objects (not completed)

12/29/2020 Arrange a comped trip (in process)

12/30/2020 Eat only vegetables for a day (completed)

12/31/2020 Include a new tradition in my New Year’s Eve celebration (completed)

Weather prevented me from building a roaring fire in my fire pit and burning an effigy of 2020…a New Year’s Eve tradition from Ecuador. So instead I ate 12 grapes at midnight, a custom from Spain. Regardless of the activity, I welcomed 2021 with an open heart and wide open arms.

Welcoming a New Year traditions
Welcoming a New Year – 12 grapes tradition from Spain

1/1/2021 Create art for 2021 theme and symbol (completed)

I drew this activity on the perfect day. For several years I’ve created an art piece, using a sketching pencil and colored pencils, that represents my word or theme and symbol for the new year.

My theme for 2021 is Wild Woman. My symbol is the moon. I had so much fun creating art incorporating both of those things. I’m pleased with how it turned out. The framed art rests on my bedside table where I look at it often.

Welcoming a New Year themed artwork
Welcoming a New Year – I loved creating this art piece to represent 2021

1/2/2021 Create a comfort package to give to the homeless (not completed)

1/3/2021 Do a synchronized dance (not completed)

1/4/2021 Learn a phrase in multiple languages (completed)

I had fun with this activity today. With my theme for 2021, the phrase I chose is “I am a Wild Woman”. Using a translator app I translated the phrase into 11 languages: French, German, Danish, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Spanish, Afrikaans, Greek, Russian and Swahili.

I’m very grateful to my grandson Dayan, who speaks Russian. Without his help my translated phrase would have read, “I am a crazy woman”. And perhaps that is true as well but it’s not my intended phrase! If any of the other translations are incorrect, I take responsibility for those. It was fun on the app to listen to the phrases in their respective languages. Use this app HERE.

Birthday Week

I have five slips of paper left in the jar. And I have a handful of activities yet to complete. Complete them I will. A few are scheduled out. And trips that canceled due to weather are rescheduled. Watch for the final birthday update on January 18.

Although I gain back some hours in the day, I feel a bit sad when the birthday celebrations come to a close. They truly are fun and I love the new experiences.

This birthday game creates a powerful incentive for staying healthy and fit. The older I become the more days I get to celebrate as I head toward the next birthday! Later this year I’ll launch 64 wild woman activities for my 64th birthday. Won’t those celebrations be fun?

Welcoming a New Year wild woman
Multiple ways to say “I am a Wild Woman”.

Birthday Updates

63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday

Holiday Flair

Stories to Tell

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16 Replies to “Welcoming a New Year”

  1. Amazing and inspiring as you go through all the goals you are accomplishing, it just goes to show the world no matter how old we get… we can do anything we want!

  2. I love this. I was encouraging my husband to make a list like this for his 60th. I don’t think it is going to happen. But I am definitely doing it for mine! Thanks!

  3. Your artwork turned out awesome! And isn’t it awesome to continue traditions with our kids (and grandkids). We read Twas the Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve. This year, my grandmother is in a home and because of COVID we can’t see her. So we all called her to read it to her (my mom, my sister and our kids). Traditions like that are so magical.

  4. Want to get to London and the Christmas markets. My sister is in London and they are completely locked down. We had to cancel our trip to visit this year-Sadly.

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