I usually post on Wednesdays. I’m posting on Tuesday this week because of tomorrow’s holiday. Enjoy!
A year ago, I received a lot of nice feedback when I published a post about the many ways that I enjoyed music, movies, places I visited, books, and even what I watched on TV. Here’s the 2013 version.
I love reading and I love learning. I read quite a bit every day, starting with the newspaper.
The list of books that I read this year was all over the place. A friend turned me on to the author Haruki Murakami. I read several of his books. My favorite was Norwegian Wood. Reading about Murakami on-line led me to favorite book this year, Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I loved Give and Take by Adam Grant. It’s a wonderful book about helping other people that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. The New Jim Crow, which I wrote about here. It, along with the movie Fruitvale Station, were two of the most powerful experiences I had this year.
I still read books almost exclusively in paper form. I read a lot of blogs this year, most within the happiness genre. My favorite blogs are Marc and Angel Hack Life, Meant to be Happy, Tiny Buddha, Zen Habits, and Becoming Minimalist.
In 2012, I got hooked on a bunch of cable TV shows, most of which had many seasons for me to catch up on by renting or borrowing the DVDs. This year, I continued watching Justified, Dexter, and Veep. I got hooked on a new series, The Americans, and two incredibly popular shows: Breaking Bad and Homeland. The one network show I watch is Modern Family, which continues to provide lots of laughs.
I listen to music all the time. I love my old favorites and I also love discovering new music. My favorite new albums this year were by Arctic Monkeys, the Neighbourhood, Yuck, and Neko Case. I love live music and saw a bunch of artists at relatively small venues, at reasonable prices, the best of which were Citizen Cope, Silversun Pickups, and Beck. I also had the good fortune of seeing one of my all-time favorite artists, Tom Petty, thanks to my friend Sonny. In total, I went to ten concerts this year. That’s probably the most I’ve been to since I was in college, and that’s awesome.
Marcie and I used to go to tons of movies. Once we became parents, we were no longer big moviegoers, and that didn’t change even after the kids got older. When we do go, we try to go to ones we are sure to love. I knew nothing about Gravity when we went to see it, other than it was a surprise hit, and I loved it. As I mentioned above, Fruitvale Station was a movie that wowed me this year.
Exercise and Sports
Something is often achy in my body, usually as a result of tennis and softball, two sports I am passionate about playing. Until 2011, I was fortunate to never have had a major injury. That year I tore my hamstring, causing me to be on the “disabled list” for close to three months. I was able to keep in shape on a stationary bike and by lifting weights, but I missed a huge part of the softball season. In 2012, I had my second major injury, a torn calf, sustained on the last day of my softball season. That injury interrupted tennis for a few months. I was injury-free in 2013 and for that I am truly grateful.
As I mentioned in a post just before Thanksgiving, I started practicing yoga at a studio again recently. I had practiced for quite a few years at studios until I moved my practice home. At home, the practice slipped to a brief one each morning and the freedom of our “empty nest” has allowed me to feel good about heading back out for yoga, which has been a fantastic experience.
I’ve always enjoyed making lists. Going back as long as I can remember, at any given time I could tell you my favorite all-time movies, books, and music (and within music, my favorite artists, albums, songs, and concerts that I attended).
Until last year at this time when I wrote a similar post, I never connected it with the happiness lists that I make now. I’ve recommended several times on this blog, and in my weekly Facebook post, making lists of what you are grateful for, what made you smile, and your accomplishments. The lists above—what I read, watched, and listened to this year—all fit somewhere in the weekly happiness lists. Looking back at all I’ve learned, experienced, and enjoyed from books, blogs, movies, and music, gives me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of gratitude, and makes me smile.
And I didn’t even mention the trips we made with family and friends to Utah, Lake Placid, and for the first time in nearly 30 years, Europe. As always, I loved time spent locally with family and friends, visiting our kids at their colleges, work-related experiences, book- and blog-related experiences, and so much more. Once again I realize, as I write this, what an amazing year it’s been. Pretty cool!
Tell me about your year. What did you read, watch, learn, enjoy, etc? Please join in with your comments below…
All the best,