Day 739: The Year of Using Your Brain
Last year, I wrote a checklist in lieu of a list of resolutions. I figured checking stuff off everyday would be easier than resolving, failing, resolving again, etc.
I’m happy to say I did a pretty good job getting through the list each day. (“Pretty good” may be a generous assessment, but I took some liberties with number 10.)
The act of writing the checklist in January helped me remember that it even existed partway through the year, which seemed useful in and of itself. So this year, I’m doing the same thing – but this time, my daily checklist only has one item on it:
- Learn something new.
Learning something new about just one topic seems claustrophobic and way too logical, but since I don’t want to make a totally bogus checklist, I picked some interest areas to focus on:
- Food access and agriculture
- Neuroplasticity and aging
- Creativity and mental health
(Imagining the three areas was a fun exercise – if you decide to make your own one-item checklist, I’d recommend taking a minute to think about what you’re actually interested in knowing.)
Since there’s no time like the present (and I already read more Game of Thrones than I can handle over the holidays), I dove right in with food access and agriculture by watching five episodes of Food Forward by PBS yesterday. There are some cheesy moments, but the series is generally interesting, smart, accessible and surprising. I didn’t know, for example, that seed libraries are actually a thing. You can borrow seeds at the beginning of a season, and then donate new seeds back once you harvest your garden or farm. It’s a great way to preserve local agricultural biodiversity.
Seed library information online seems a little paltry after a brief search, but there are still plenty of folks out there trying to show you where to participate, if you’re interested. (If you’re already familiar with this system and have some better resources, please leave them in the comments.)
Photo of a seed library by Mike Teegarden and borrowed from this article.
In the name of New Year aspirations, I like the idea of feeding the planet (or at least myself) off my patio, so the show + my checklist also inspired me to sign up for a local gardening class that will teach me how to grow edible stuff in pots. The class doesn’t meet until March, so I have a couple of months to learn more new things first (and a check-point in case I start lagging). Here’s hoping the thirst for knowledge never dries up.
Happy New Year to you, and happy checklist-making!