Everyone is hating on 2016. I get it. Some years suck. But I’ve found that usually I learn more in the bad years than the good. So in a desire to be thankful for the cool things that happened in my life, here’s a list of some new loves I discovered in 2016.
Things I didn’t know I loved…till 2016:
- Graphic novel retellings of history, biographies, science, and folktales.
Sponsored by: The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words, March: Book One.
- The Great Courses via the library.
Seriously, at LEAST once I week I want to go to social media and say, “DUDE GREAT COUSES FROM THE LIBRARY THOUGH.” It’s like getting a free* education.
Sponsored by: GET YOUR BUTT TO THE LIBRARY AND GET YOURSELF A GREAT COURSE
* Obviously libraries are funded by tax money and donations. SO THANK YOU. But still.
Devin and I listened to a couple at the end of last year but this year for me it was all audiobook ALL THE TIME. While cleaning, while knitting, while chillin’, while driving…SO GOOD. I listened to 18 audiobooks this year.
Sponsored by: Grover Gardener aka. oops we’re in love with his voice.
Also sponsored by: GET YOURSELF A LIBRARY CARD AND GET ON HOOPLA TO NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOUSE AGAIN
Like, what? Who knew the ASVAB test wasn’t joking in high school when it decided I should be a mechanic. I’M SORRY, ASVAB TEST.
Sponsored by: trying new, “scary” things
- Ancient Middle-Eastern History.
I always hated history because I’m terrible at memorizing dates. I’m not actually sure if I just fixated on the wrong things, had bad textbooks, or was just a bad history student, but history is SUPER COOL now. Honestly my theory is that you can’t quite truly appreciate history until you have a few years under your belt and a better grasp on the world. It also helps if you get context, and that’s really what has happened with this topic. Going through Isaiah in a Bible study has caused me to spend WEIRD AMOUNTS OF TIME in 700-600 BC Middle East history, and I’m kind-of SUPER LOVING IT. Though honestly I suppose I could broaden this topic out because I’m also going through an Early Christian History course (#GreatCoursesAgainWhoops) and it has been quite the journey as well. BUT YEAH.
Sponsored by: the Hebrews, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Egyptians, mostly
- The Hebrew Alphabet Song.
SELF EXPLANATORY OBVS.
Sponsored by: Shalom Sesame, probably
- Filipino Stick Fighting.
This was included in Krav Maga (which is not on this list because I already knew I loved it in my heart), and IT WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME. Someday I’d like to do more.
Sponsored by: HITTING PEOPLE WITH STICKS?
- Habitica, the site that turns my chores, habits, and to-do lists into a game.
To be fair, I sort-of blew through all the content this year, but I cannot deny what a powerful motivator it was for me. I got calendar burnout (my calendars are booked 7-6 with things in every half hour block every day) and I found my second wind in Habitica. It’s very simplistic – you get XP and gold for completing things on your list, do damage to bosses your party is fighting, and collect items to complete quests – but it was the extrinsic motivation I needed to get my crap done and feel like I had accomplished something.
Sponsored by: the unyielding cleaning schedule
I got to take a beekeeping class, read beekeeping books, and inspect a friend’s hive this year…WHICH WAS AWESOME. But beyond that, I just loved sitting in my backyard reading a book and listening to the hundreds of bees enjoy om-nomming my crimson clover. It was almost like a cat purring. Strangely soothing and I loved seeing them all busily gathering their food.
Sponsored by: YES THE BEES
I should probably stop before I start saying things like “reading the tax code” because ya’ll would probably think I had lost it, but I hope you too found new things to love in 2016 and will continue to grow your hobbies and interests in 2017.
If you want to share something crazy (or totally normal) that you want to try in the upcoming year, please do! I might try it too!