2015 – 52 New Things Come To An End

On this last day of 2015, it is fitting that I should write the final update on my project of 52 New Things.

I started off 2015 with a need to shake-up my world a little bit.  I felt I was settling into a rut of complacency and I wanted a challenge that would keep me on the edge of my comfort zone.  After all, that is the whole point of this blog.

I glibly called it 52 New Things, but I didn’t actually have a list of things I wanted to achieve.  That list, however, gradually evolved over the months and back in September, I declared the challenge accomplished with 65 new things completed by the end of August.

As the year comes to a close, the final tally is now 85 new things.  Broken down in the broad categories I created, it looks something like this:

Travel = 19
Around Toronto = 14
New Foods = 12
Unusual Recipes = 11
New Experiences = 9
Personal Development = 9
New Projects = 4
Meeting Bloggers = 3
Miscellaneous = 4

With a few exceptions – like the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair – I hadn’t written much about the new things I experienced in the past 4 months.

I hadn’t talked about the Remembrance Day ceremony I attended at Old City Hall.  I hadn’t attended a November 11th ceremony since I was a child.

I have a deep-seated discomfort of large crowds and will find creative excuses to avoid attending anything guaranteed to draw a lot of people.

Remembrance 1

Nor had I written about the wonderful day I spent in Orangeville – northwest of Toronto – on a beautiful autumn’s day, to discover the wood carvings in the downtown core that had been created from the remains of dead trees.

Orangeville3

How could I have failed to write about the day Gilles and I went cycling along the Don River Trail only a few short weeks ago?

Selfie

… or the day Helen and I went hiking on the Niagara Escarpment at Tews Falls?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… or the visit to the Royal Ontario Museum for the Pompeii exhibit?

ROM front

I think you get the point.

It’s been a year of discovery … most of it amazing, all of it interesting, even when it’s been disgusting.  Yes, I’m talking about that misadventure in False Elephant Snout.

In its annual summary, WordPress informed me that 3 of my top 5 posts were related to 52 New Things:

#1 – Red Dress Day
#2 – Marmite vs Vegemite – Part 2
#4 – A Winter’s Day at The Falls

I intend to continue this adventure in 2016.  Stealing shamelessly from Steven Covey’s book The Ten Habits of Highly Effective People, I’ve dubbed the new year “Sharpening The Saw“.

In other words, I want to continue to learn, experience new things, and approach life with an open mind and heart.  The only way I know how to do that is to continue to get out and touch the world around me in new and different ways.

Maybe you too will be inspired to try your own New Things List.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
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83 Responses to 2015 – 52 New Things Come To An End

  1. RuthsArc says:

    A wonderful achievement. As we’ve already discussed I love the idea of “new things”. Best wishes for many more new things in 2016.

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  2. I’m so happy to hear that you are continuing your quest for new experiences! I’m not sure how many I had in 2015, but I feel like I did pretty well too. And, of course, there are more adventures planned for 2016 (by the way, I may passing through your area this summer… perhaps we can add each other to our lists of bloggers met). Best wishes for an outstanding 2016 and have fun sharpening the saw!

    Like

  3. treerabold says:

    I think the 52 new things is a wonderful idea and I’ve enjoyed following it. I’m glad to hear you are continuing to challenge yourself to try new and adventurous things.
    I look forward to reading about your 2016 adventures and maybe even misadventures (False Elephant Snout!)

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      There’s an expression something along the line of ‘if you’re never failing, you aren’t challenging yourself enough’.
      I am so failure adverse, I’m probably less of a risk taker than people might think. Perhaps I need more False Elephant Snout episodes in my life … FES experiences!
      No promises though 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. LB says:

    Love, love, love that you set a goal and exceeded it, that you challenged and stretched yourself by doing things that were difficult for you.
    Keep on Sharpening that Saw!
    Best of success, health, and happiness in 2016!

    Like

  5. jannatwrites says:

    Congratulations on exceeding your initial goal and for living beyond what you anticipated! I look forward to following your adventures in 2016 – thanks sharing and taking us along 🙂

    Like

  6. Lynn says:

    What a wonderful accomplishment Joanne. I am so grateful to have met you & share experiences together. One of my highlights this past year was having the opportunity to meet in person. Hoping we can get together again soon! Wishing you a year filled with new adventures my friend.

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  7. I really enjoyed our blogging adventures together this year and so many of yours have inspired mine – starting with your hiking the Bruce Trail but drawing the line at false elephants snout! Let’s hope for a healthy and peaceful 2016 and I look forward to following the challenges you set for yourself.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Carol! I hope we both have many more great days of exploration and discovery ahead of us …. even if we do have false-elephant-snout type days 😉
      I’ve always believed that today’s *disaster* is tomorrow’s really good story – but let’s hope those are few and far between!!

      Very best wishes for 2016. Hope to catch you on the trail 🙂

      Like

  8. hilarymb says:

    Hi Joanne – Happy New Year to you, Gilles and your family and friends. Wonderful you’ve achieved such a lot and documented much – your photographs are always stunning … enjoy the year ahead .. the year of “Sharpening the Saw” .. sincerely hope it’ll have enough blade left to sharpen in a year’s time?! Cheers and all the best – Hilary

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks Hilary for all your kind comments and support throughout the year. I really appreciate your company 🙂
      It would be quite the year if I managed to completely deplete the saw 😉 Now there is a REAL challenge!! 😉
      All the best of 2016 to you too!

      Like

  9. Mrs. P says:

    What a wonderful accomplishment!

    I can’t say I will take up your challenge but I do plan to spend the year creating things like paintings, images, houses and books plus…lots of family time. These things bring lots of excitement to my life and there is something awesome about creativity…in any form.

    Have a terrific new year…learning even more new things!

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    • joannesisco says:

      It’s interesting you should mention creativity. I’ve given a great deal of thought to changing one of my categories from *personal* development to *creative* development.
      The change may be subtle but it does reflect one of my key goals. It’s an area of my life I’ve had little opportunity to really explore.

      Best wishes for a great year of exercising our creative muscles 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mrs. P says:

        Joan, I have only started exploring my creative side for just a little over a year…and it has been a blast! I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it too!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Well done on smashing your goal.

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you. I’ve always been rather goal oriented, but this challenge really opened my eyes to the opportunities we tend to leave untouched.

      Wishing you a year full of exciting challenges accepted and fulfilled!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow. 85 new things! You are amazing, truly. I love the dedication to discovery with an open mind and heart. I can’t commit to even 52 new things, but I’m inspired 🙂 Have a wonderful 2016 full of new things! 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      You too have a mindset of exploration and discovery … but we go about it in different ways. Perhaps that’s why we both like the fantasy world where there are no limits on the possibilities 🙂

      Best wishes to you too. Let’s rock 2016 to the foundation!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. reocochran says:

    I was impressed with your accomplishments, Joanne. I hope when I have a less strenuous job to be able to do so many new things. I did join our senior center and a book club. I have 7 grandchildren who I call my grandies. I am usually busy when not working going to sports events, musical programs or watching or playing games with them. 🙂 Maybe, someday. . . 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      From the sound of it, I’d say your life was already very full ❤
      I don't have any grandies, but I'm pretty sure my life would be quite different if I did. Even just having a cat – who behaves more like a dog – keeps me considerably more grounded than I would otherwise be 🙂

      Best wishes for a year filled with all the stuff that makes your heart feel full 🙂

      Like

  13. Actually, I was seriously considering a Year of Doing Nothing. Seems the safest route to take. But maybe I could test the waters of fate and start by, oh, I don’t know, running with scissors?

    I am in awe of your plethora of new things and I’m looking forward to hearing about all the new new things of 2016 of which I have no doubt there will be a multitude. (I’m feeling very thesaurusy today.)

    Happy New Year to you and your lads, Joanne!

    Like

  14. mickscogs says:

    You astound me with all the things that you do. This year will be a little bit different for us as we are going to Italy in late August and September. But my biggest challenge this year will be able to continue saying “Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” at work, followed closely by getting over this horrid fire season.
    I’m looking forward to more of your wonderful blogs this year Joanne. When I see an entry from you, it never fails as a good read.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks so much Mick. Your continued support is really sooo appreciated!!

      A trip to Italy is really exciting! Is this your first time there? Where will you be going?
      I’m in love with Italy (who isn’t?!!)

      I’ve been there with the “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir” thing at work and you have my deepest sympathies.

      Happy New Year Mick. I wish you a year full of all the stuff you love!

      Like

  15. A very good year, indeed, Joanne! Most impressive and I’m sure 2016 will also be full of new adventures and a life lived full! You’re my idol!

    Like

  16. Heyjude says:

    I have been very lazy this year, hope to venture out more in 2016, if we ever get this move off the ground! It has been a pleasure visiting you this year Jo, you are such an inspiring person. perhaps you will inspire me out of my comfort zone!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you Jude … and I’m hoping that one day my photos will be as beautiful as yours.
      Moving? I’m so jealous. I’ve been rooted here for over 20 years and am itching to move. It’s like taking a ‘new things’ mentality and cranking it up several notches!!

      Like

  17. Solveig says:

    Joanne I wish you a very good end of 2015 (actually typed 3015 with my phone there…) and a splendid 2016!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. bikerchick57 says:

    Is disliking crowds while living in a huge metropolitan area similar to liking a post about something you hate?

    Just wondering.

    Anyhow, congrats on the many new things in 2015. You inspire me to do more, like try the yoga in a hammock class or snowshoe at the nature preserve. Or find a new way to lay on the couch…

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      My contradictory nature must come from being a Pisces and trying to swim in 2 directions at the same time 😉

      … and yoga in a hammock sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Am I the only person who thinks hammocks are anything BUT relaxing?!

      Snowshoeing, you say? I think I’ll stay inside with my colouring book.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Do you stay in the lines when you color? Is that possible with a contradictory person?

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        • joannesisco says:

          I was starting to write this response to say OF COURSE I stay inside the lines. I’m a little obsessive-compulsive.
          Ok – maybe more than a little.

          … but then I took a look at my colouring book. I have to admit I do deliberately colour outside of the lines when I’m trying to make a *statement*.
          … but since I’m rather a quiet person, my *statements* are more of a whisper than a shout 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  19. Well, at least you can look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment. Not many can say that!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joannesisco says:

      Yes – I SHOULD be feeling that way … but I don’t. There is an annoying undercurrent of restlessness and discontent. Not sure what it means yet :/

      … but I must send you a very special thank you Marissa. According to my yearend WP report, you were my #1 commenter in 2015. A million times … thank you!! 🙂
      No pressure, of course 😉

      Like

      • Oh wow! Really?? I try to comment on all your blogs because I feel a connection with you but #1?? Wow, I feel a bit flattered! Well, you’re welcome.
        Sorry about the restlessness and discontent. That seems odd. Sometimes the blues just get to us.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Seems like I’ve missed a lot. But you haven’t! What an exciting year you’ve had. Do you even know the meaning of the word rut? Happy and adventurous 2016 to you Joanne.

    Like

  21. Will it be 104 new things in 2016, just to up the ante…?

    Like

  22. Joe says:

    It was a great year and I enjoyed all of your posts. I want to wish you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 😀 See you next year !

    Like

  23. NancyTex says:

    What an exciting year you had, Joanne – good stuff! Love that you continue to push yourself and are hyper aware of falling into a rut. You are an inspiration. xoxo

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Actually Nancy, I think your year has been considerably more exciting than mine!! You overachieved in the *challenges* category … by a long shot 😉
      … but now that I’ve written that, it seems kind of redundant. I’m guessing *overachiever* is your middle name!

      Like

  24. Yay!! Roll on the new year and the new challenges you set yourself! Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2016 filled with adventure 🙂

    Like

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