Attention, people: the new number is 52. No, it is not, I repeat, it is not 365. And it’s entirely possible that you may not even give a rip. Well, that may be a bit pessimistic, but I, myself, am divided on the topic.
Project 365 has been enjoyable and simultaneously frustrating, and I’ll just park that idea there for now, to be elaborated upon in the words that follow.
I’ve accomplished much over the last year (nearly a year) including:
- completion of at least 60 out of 100 items on my bucket list;
- improved my writing, vocabulary harnessing, and grammar conquering abilities;
- sharpened my photographic skills, including learning to use my digital camera on a creative level outside of the predefined program modes;
- and gleaned some useful insight on my own personal psyche including what I want to be when I grow up, deep-seated fears of spiders and sauerkraut, and subconscious desires to be loved and recognized for my creative genius.
All items in that final point were pure fiction (except for sauerkraut, I can’t stand the scent or sight of it), and I was just seeing if you were actually paying attention, or simply speed-reading. In general, the process has been educational, to say the least.
But, and I say the Really Big But, is that a project such as this is extremely time-consuming—at times it felt like the same obligation demanded from a full-time job, and that’s not exactly what I signed up for (or wished to sign up for, at least).
With that being said, there have been difficult days and easy days of writing, just as there are easy days and difficult days of simply living life. Somedays, the work of creating my personal project, got in the way of living—or simply living life.
Simply living life—the notion sounds faintly familiar. Oh yeah, it was the focus of many previous narratives, but somehow I got lost along that journey. And that’s where I need to get back to, next year, eventually.
Of one thing, I’m certain: there will be no Project 365 in 2018. While I enjoyed the challenge of creating something everyday, it was too much. So as today marks the timeline for a fifty-two day countdown until the completion, I am pondering what I will do next year. If not 365 days of documenting life, what should there be, if anything?
The concept of a 365 project is well-known in the photographic community. Creating one photo per day is a rite of passage for creative artists, yet I’ve never known anyone who completed the daunting challenge. In hindsight, I can completely understand why the majority of participants quit within the first month. Equally well-known to photographers is the concept of fifty-two. Some artists choose to follow a 52 Weeks process, to deliberately create and make images. I’ve also seen 52 Saturdays project as well, and this is an idea that also intrigues me, to some extent.
In conjunction with a Bucket List idea, one of my friends creates a yearly challenge for himself. The process is, as follows, to take the number of your birthday that will fall within the new year—for me, that would be 45. You would then take your birthday year (45 in my case), and construct a Bucket List around that number. In my friend’s case, he finds 45 of the same experience such as fishing 45 creeks, or sampling 45 different types of beer. While that’s not of immediate interest to me, I like the idea of a challenge that is specific to one year of your life. And that’s what got me thinking…
What if next year, I focused on a much smaller list of personal goals? What if next year, my bucket list was paired down to a much smaller list of challenges? This could work—specifically, in a 52 week format—and could be more interesting. How about 52 Saturdays? Well, that may be too much commitment! And within all of this brainstorming, the idea of 52 tiny adventures emerged.
Fifty-two tiny adventures. I like the sound of it.
I’m kicking around the idea of a yearly bucket list that is only 52 items in length, and (of which) are nothing expensive, time-consuming, or epically monumental. Not all of life’s experiences need to be composed of jet-setting adventures around the globe, base jumping from the Eiffel Tower, or slurping oysters in some quaint seaside New England town.
Life can be lived, one tiny adventure at a time.
From now until whenever, I am working on my new list of fifty-two goals for the year. I am kicking around the timeline of a January 1st through December 31st yearly challenge, rather than focused on the span of my actual birthday. If that was the official designation, I would be starting my version of Project 52 on the first of January. I may just do that, but I have a few weeks to officially decide.
Until then, keep on living life—simply, if possible—but keep in mind that 52 is the new number, the new number is 52.