Last week, I read about a 90-year-old who regularly threw himself into a new passion. He would study and practice until he was happy with his progress and then look for a new topic.
At the same time, I noticed that many TV current affair and comedy shows were looking back at 2015 and giving each month a theme to artificially connect the stories they highlighted.
I decided to combine these two ideas. The result is the Year of 30 Days.
The aim is to throw myself … passionately … into a topic for about 30 days, give or take as I have no control over the size of February.
How to decide on each topic?
There will be no rules. Something quite interesting will cross my path towards the end of each month. The topic could be entirely random or extremely practical.
Well, perhaps there is one rule! It has to be something I’ll enjoy.
That might depend on the topic. It might require a rummage around to work out what I already know and don’t know. It might require starting from scratch, perhaps popping down to the library for a beginner’s textbook. The topic might be triggered by an advertisement for a workshop or seminar I could attend.
The potential variety is limitless.
What might go wrong?
Twelve topics in twelve months sounds like a lot. So I will give myself permission to miss a month or two … or three … along the way if it proves necessary. My Year Of usually takes a dive during winter anyway.
Where to start?
My first thought, eventually dismissed, was Foundational Feet. Mum’s gift of toiletries this year was foot scrub. My gift to her was a miniature shoe making kit. I’m planning to buy a pair of new runners as encouragement to finally start running. A theme seemed to be developing over the holiday break.
However, I just couldn’t get excited about it, even though feet have been around for millennia and occur in every culture on earth. There’s bound to be something interesting in all that.
Another topic popped up onscreen yesterday while I was sorting through saved bookmarks and I’m eager to get started. (And there’s the clue for selecting a topic each month: Am I eager to get started? If YES, go for it.)
Back in 2012, I included a reference to the Big History Project in an article on Browsing versus Building.
“All too often, students learn facts and skills but don’t have the chance to connect them all. Big history links different areas of knowledge into one unified story. It’s a framework for learning about anything and everything.” (Big History promo)
That sounds like my cup of tea; “linking different areas of knowledge”.
So, I’m finally going to tackle the Lifelong Learners section. It contains five chapters and is supposed to only take six hours to complete. That sounds like a manageable start.
Perhaps the focus of my first 30 Days of 2016 will be connections?
Then There’s The Big Question …
If this works, I wonder if the monthly themes will connect up and make something really interesting?
What are your thoughts?