Resolute

The promise of a brand-new year never fails to fill me with joy and hope.  No matter what I have or have not accomplished in the previous twelve months, when I look at all those blank boxes on the coming year’s  January calendar page I think to myself, “Sweetheart, this is your time.  Go crazy.”

So, that’s my plan:  to learn new crafts, visit new places, read as many books as possible, and otherwise explore and savor everything life has to offer.  Obviously, I’ll be using the library as a get-started resource for many of my adventures.  Life can’t be experienced solely through books and reading, but a great library can provide both the practical tools and the inspiration any lifelong learner needs to take the next flying leaps into the unknown.

In the spirit of “I am crazy, and so can you,” here is a list of 100 things you can do in 2011 with the friendly help of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. *

  1. Sign up for Winter Read-A-Thon.
  2. Give your furniture a facelift.
  3. Build a marshmallow muzzleloader and other cool gizmos.
  4. Read more.
  5. Learn to bellydance.
  6. Pick a Guinness world record and try to break it.
  7. Become a library volunteer.
  8. Forgive your parents.
  9. Forgive your children.
  10. Forgive yourself.
  11. Throw a “Love and Tacos” party.
  12. Learn to change your oil.
  13. Dabble in unusual languages.
  14. Get a positive I.D. on the bird that wakes you up every morning.
  15. Start your own business.
  16. Expand your musical horizons.
  17. Appreciate wine.
  18. Eat more vegetables.
  19. Laugh more.
  20. Get lost.
  21. Join a Friends of the Library group.
  22. Draw dragons
  23. Pump yourself up.
  24. Raise chickens.
  25. Relive the 1980s.
  26. Start dating again.
  27. Spice up your life.
  28. Build your own “antique” furniture.
  29. Double down on black and beat the house.
  30. Update your résumé.
  31. Start a ‘burgh blog.
  32. Design a board game.
  33. Prepare for the zombie apocalypse.
  34. Organize a poetry slam.
  35. Sign up for a Donor Plus card.
  36. Save money.
  37. Try hooping.
  38. Say yes.
  39. Say no.
  40. Rock out.
  41. Make movies.
  42. Sing the theme song from Bonanza.
  43. Explore your family tree.
  44. Play with LEGOS.
  45. Become a fan of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Facebook.
  46. Get over your fear of Facebook.
  47. Have a cookie swap.
  48. Pretend you don’t own a television.
  49. Adopt a ferret.
  50. Brew your own beer.
  51. Assess your investments.
  52. Join a book club.
  53. Start a book club.
  54. Ignore a book club.
  55. Learn to play the mbira.
  56. Research your next pet.
  57. Get over it (whatever “it” is).
  58. Come out.
  59. Stay in.
  60. Go away.
  61. Choose or design your next tattoo.
  62. Decipher hieroglyphics.
  63. Check out a Playaway.
  64. Get the grant.
  65. Trick out your “man cave.”
  66. Make wooden toys.
  67. Conquer your fear of math.
  68. Dabble in vegan baking.
  69. Discover ‘zines.
  70. Take the plunge and join Twitter.
  71. Follow the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on Twitter.
  72. Restore a classic car.
  73. Rediscover fairy tales.
  74. Start building up your urban homestead.
  75. Become a philanthropist.
  76. Avoid information overload.
  77. Mind your manners.
  78. Discover just how hilarious good grammar can be.
  79. Grow in your faith.
  80. Exercise your skepticism.
  81. Get married.
  82. Get remarried.
  83. Get sober.
  84. Celebrate Pittsburgh writers.
  85. Throw out fifty things.
  86. Run the table.
  87. Train for a marathon.
  88. Cook for a crowd.
  89. Practice mad science.
  90. Do something different with your hair.
  91. Hack the planet.
  92. Freestyle rap.
  93. Grow bonsai.
  94. Give good meeting.
  95. Watch all the films that were ever nominated for an Academy Award.
  96. Understand comics.
  97. Do a little dance.
  98. Make a little love.
  99. Get down tonight!
  100. Ask a librarian for more possibilities.

I’m not sure why it’s so much easier for me to believe in transformation and hope at this time of year.  Maybe it’s the snow, or the way people let down their guard and treat each other a little more gently, exchanging presents and reconnecting with loved ones.  Who knows?  Perhaps it’s not something that can be rationally explained, merely savored–as if savoring life could ever be merely “mere.”

As the wheel of the year slowly turns us once more toward the light, can you regain that sense of childlike belief that you could accomplish just about anything to which you set your mind?   What are your hopes and dreams for 2011, dear readers?  What astonishing things will you do?  And, most importantly, how can we help you?

–Leigh Anne
your eternally optimistic opsimath

*With a tip of the hat to the Phillipsburg Free Public Library for publishing a similar list back in the day, and the excellent colleague who loaned me her poster of said list.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Resolute

  1. Trina

    Great list! (I’m going to have to keep coming back to this all year.) Even more than the list, I love the sentiment. A whole new year offers up such opportunity! Thanks!

  2. Don

    “Sweetheart, this is your time. Go crazy.” It’s a motto and I’m adopting it.

    Beauty.

    Don

  3. Kathy Maron-Wood

    I love your list, Leigh Anne! And, btw, you can do 44. in the Children’s Dept on Mon (Dec 26) at 2:00pm and 6:30pm, and again on Tues (Dec 27)
    at 6:30pm.
    Come and play!
    Thanks,
    Kathy Maron-Wood

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