January 2, 2012 § 1 Comment
I was watching the movie Groundhog Day for about the 15th time the other day. It really does get better the more you watch it. This time I saw a lot of parallels with my 52 To Do project. With time, people and events being constant, Billy Murray’s character was ultimately left with himself to contend with. He learned how to play the piano, to sculpt ice, to speak French and to read poetry. He got to know the people around him in town, ultimately deciding to make Puxatony his home. He lost the ego, but thankfully not his wit, and learned the joy in looking outward.
Thankfully I didn’t relive the same day over and over this year (supposedly he lived the same day for 10 years!). I did manage to slow time down a bit for myself taking it week by week. You will be surprised how much you can do in a week, even when you’re working. I removed myself from a full-time, full-on work schedule and took freelance jobs instead. Change started occurring little by little. I started sleeping well again. I quit making excuses for not getting out and doing things. I learned how to make stuff with my hands again and became someone who knows they can figure things out if they tinker enough. I learned how to get back to thinking for myself again. I still made some great new friends through advertising but also now hang out with people who are sommeliers, chefs, beer brewers, knitters, philosophers, climbers and so on. I’ve made Boulder feel like Home, something I haven’t felt about anywhere I’ve lived since moving out of my parents house after high school.
I’ve wrestled with my identity the most over the past year. I still don’t quite know how to answer the question “What do you do?”. It took awhile to let go of the quick and ego-stroking answer that I work in advertising (and most recently led strategy on Apple). My favorite answer so far is that “I’m taking some time off”. I joke with my husband that I might just use that the rest of my life.
We take time off for many reasons. Sometimes we’re forced into it. We may take time between jobs. We may be retiring after years of dedication to the same job. Whatever the reason, we should all have time to ourselves at some point. For me, it was less about self improvement and more just about simply getting to know myself again, period. I’m glad my time came sooner rather than later.
I’m a bit sad the project is coming to an end, but more than anything it got me back on the track of exploring and learning again. For 2012 I’m starting a new blog called So Now I Know. Each week I’m going to explore things I’ve always heard about but have never really learned; things I’ve always said I’d learn someday, probably. I hope you’ll check it out and thanks for reading about 52 To Do this year. It has really meant a lot.