Books: What a joy this resolution was! I set out to read 15 books and completed 22. A few others were started and abandoned, as always happens. The real gift of this resolution was a reminder that I am, in fact, a good reader. After years of struggling through dense political texts (which definitely, definitely have their own distinct merits) I began to forget how breezy reading fiction can be. I enjoyed remembering that in 2014 and was a richer person for it.
Recommended books from my 2014 reading list
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Delancey by Molly Wizenberg
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen
Exercise: The lesson of this resolution, for me, in 2014, was the importance of setting SMART goals. To be honest, at this time last year I was feeling overwhelmed by moving and my job and while I knew that building a new exercise routine would make me feel better it felt unpleasant and expensive. While I did manage to find a yoga studio I like and a swim workout that was focusing and challenging I allowed other areas of my life to crowd out what I had passively hoped to change. A longer commute and dating (oh dating, you glorious time suck!) contributed but these are not insurmountable obstacles. In a year of saying “yes!” to so many things, I struggled with saying yes to that inner voice reminding me that I would sleep better, feel less stiff, and generally not want to stab difficult faculty in the eye if I spent a little more time tiring myself out.
Shows: Music, beautiful, beautiful music. This resolution was all about embracing joy and leaning the eff into being the kind of person I didn’t think I was cool enough to be. Turns out you can show up and do exactly what you want. (Do other people know that?) As someone with precious little musical talent but a deep love of kick-ass jams this resolution got me out of the house and enjoying all the robust talent that too few folks are lucky enough to do full time.
Stats: 38 shows at 14 different venues. February and August were my most robust months with five shows each. July had the largest concentration of bands since I cleaned up at the Capitol Hill Block Party. Far and away, I spent the most time at Neumos but the Showbox and, adorably, Zoo Tunes also had strong showings (pun intended).
Top five concerts of 2014 (unranked because impossible)
Deep Sea Diver
Neutral Milk Hotel
Jungle (both shows)
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Live and in the flesh 2014: A playlist of concerts attended in 2014 (I made you a thing)
Want to relive the magic? Read all the monthly recaps in the archives.