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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Time to play and The Happiness of Pursuit (by chris Guillebeau)

Normally, in another life, I would have spent Friday night and most of Saturday correcting student papers and tests and hand to be sure that I could hand them back graded when I see them on Monday. But not this weekend.

A migraine had shadowed all week long, creeping up into the left hemisphere of my brain at the end of a busy day, before bedtime or even waking me up in the middle of the night. I don't feel stressed so it must be hormonal, or lack of food or hydration.

So, Friday evening, after spending a fun day in a nearby forest with my students learning survival skills, I mellowed out and started reading Chris Guillebeau's newest book, The Happiness of Pursuit, which is all about quests in all kinds of forms. 

I didn't even put on any make-up or leave the house. I just puttered around, de-cluttering my study and before settling back down to read. I didn't think I had it in me to take on a quest.

I just finished the book. As I chatted with my best friend last night, I realized that I had been on many mini quests. Over the last year, I slayed a dragon which required many smaller battles which I discuss in greater detail in my Flow Let Go blog.

As I read the end of Chris' book, he lists the questers which he interviewed and some of their quests touch a chord. I had no idea that photographer, Thomas Hawk, was into publishing 1 million photos. I admire his work regularly on FlickR and he has even favorited some of my photos (Gush, squeal, guffaw!). I don't want to invest that kind of time investment into my photography but he inspires me to do more. Hey! I'm up to 252 photos on my Flickr account.

I've written around 100 songs and have posted some on Youtube. That's okay. But I never made it my goal to write a lot of songs. They just kind of pour out.

I've traveled to 20 some odd countries, but I haven't gone anywhere in years. (Hair colour has changed but I see that I've come full circle back to wearing round wired rim glasses.)

I like collecting stringed instruments, but I don't like "stuff" enough to get into collecting.

I've written dozens of journals since my teens. I have a stack next to the bed for which I need to find a home. I managed to organize the ones in the footlocker in chronological order from left to right after coming home from a worshop in 2011 where I won a copy of Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson. I came home and went through closets and attics gathering old journals.

I turned 50 in October 2012 and I had decided to read at least 50 books that year and swim 50 laps of the beautiful Ch√Ęteau Montebello pool on my birthday.

Chris Guillebeau wrote about Elise Blaha, whose quest is to do serial crafting projects. I think that I lack the focus to do the same thing over a long period of time, but being a serial something or other sounds closer to who I am.

I have always dabbled in all kinds of things. I'm naturally curious and love researching all kinds of stuff. The Internet has made this easier especially since I decided to move to the country but the Web has also worsened my short attention span. So yeah, serial artistic projects appeal to me big time.

If I focus my play time on activities where I regularly forget to eat could have a lot of benefits besides losing a couple of extra pounds.

These activities involve:

Making music
Taking, editing & publishing photos
Editing videos

Now, what kind of a quest could I concoct which would involve all of my loves?

1. Write 1 song a week. Goal 500 songs

2. Write 1 blog post every week. Goal 52 posts

3. Read every day. Goal read 1000 books

4. Publish 1 photo every day. Goal 1000 photos on Flickr

5. Cycle/walk to work all school year. Goal walk cycle 1000 km

6. Swim 100 laps every week from October to April. Goal 3000 laps

I have a bad memory so I'm going to print a copy of this list of goals and pin it up in my study.

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