It’s the first day of my birthday week off! This is a favourite tradition of mine; I take a week off with no big projects on the schedule and just indulge in doing whatever I feel like.
This week’s plans include tomorrow night’s Jazz Cats Social event, plus between 3 and 7 more live jazz and dance events. (I am putting in a range because I know myself and I can be very idealistic about how many things I can pack into my social schedule.)
For daytime activities, I have a few coffee dates set up with friends that I don’t get a chance to catch up with very often, and I am going to spend some time getting going on an art project that I have had percolating in my brain for a long time.
I am also signed up for a free online series that starts on Monday called the Extraordinary Life Course.
From their website, this is the course content over the 5 weeks:
- Work out what extraordinary is for you and how to start working towards it
- Learn the art of mini-experiments and apply it to your life
- Set goals for the first quarter of 2023 and learn how to stay on track
- Create an accountability group and work closely with them to make shit happen
- Learn the power of action and how to create it
- Have fun on the journey of creation not just waiting for happiness at the end of the success rainbow
Obviously, this is right up my alley! I’ll report back later, I’m sure.
Last year, I wrote a post about my plans for the year ahead (which I hadn’t really looked back at until just now) and I had 3 main things I wanted to do:
Spend more time making/creating/doing/practicing the things I enjoy
I am pretty sure when I wrote that statement I was thinking that I would be spending time on a variety of interests like writing, making art and dancing, but I ended up devoting all of my free time to dancing and it has been fantastic! I’m sure at some point things will settle down a bit and I’ll be able to think about following some other creative endeavours when/if the mood strikes.
Pre-pandemic, we had dance acquaintances from around the lower mainland, but the group of friends that we socialized with regularly was fairly small. This past year we have widened our circle a lot and we now have quite a large group of dance friends that we see frequently. We all have a similar appetite for live music and traveling for out of town for events, so whatever we decide to attend, we know we will have some familiar faces there with us.
Just last weekend we went to Victoria for Capital City Stomp, which was 2 days of swing dancing workshops and evening dances. We had a wonderful time dancing and chatting with a lot of lovely people we didn’t know, as well as our group of 20+ mainlanders that had made the trek over, and our Victoria friends, who we don’t see enough of.
As with Northwest Balboa Festival, which I mentioned in a previous post, the whole weekend was a joy and everyone was super friendly and happy to be there. I don’t know how long this post-pandemic honeymoon period will last but it feels like it will be a while before we get complacent again.
I think Birthday Week would also fit in this category.
Help build a community of dancers and jazz enthusiasts
I’m feeling pretty good about this one too, and while I have spent a lot of time and energy to encourage community-building, I also think a lot of it has been organic. As mentioned above, everyone is still so thrilled to be out enjoying themselves that it makes it really easy to connect with others.
As an example, with Uptown Swing Collective we have started offering some beginner swing dance lessons and more than one of the attendees came to just one single Jazz Cats Social event and immediately decided to look into lessons because they were so drawn in by the energy and enthusiasm they encountered. People need just the slightest little nudge and they’re all in, it would seem!
So far, all 5 of the Jazz Cats Social events we have organized have sold out of tickets and tomorrow’s looks like it is on track to do the same.|
Start turning my yard into a permaculture food forest
This is the one that fell by the wayside. We had a very successful crop of blueberries, raspberries and garlic this year, but other than that, we didn’t really do much on the yard. We just weren’t home enough.
Turn the garage into a studio space (left over from 2021)
We made a good start with the roof in the spring of 2021, but haven’t done anything since. We’re going to need to take a week off and dedicate some time to making progress this spring because it needs a big push to get the exterior work done before it can become an interior project that we pick away at on weekends as time allows.
This is the point when I would usually list my plans, goals, etc. for the next year, but I am going to leave that for another day. I have tons of ideas and things I want to do, plus who knows what will come out of the Extraordinary Life Course? Pretty sure it’s a whole other post waiting to happen.