I thought I’d look through my calendar and see how my year went. In 2017 I did some new things that I had never done before and overall it was a really great year.
During April I donated blood for the first time. You would think that since I’ve worked in the medical field before that I would have already done it. But I was kind of afraid. I’ve had blood taken for medical tests but they don’t take that much and the needle is smaller. I saw that the Red Cross was doing a blood drive near me and I signed up. I’m happy to report it wasn’t bad at all. I was afraid I might feel weak afterward but I felt fine.
Huntington Art Museum
I got to visit the Huntington Art Museum which has a lot of really amazing artwork and ancient artifacts from other cultures. The museum has a few exhibits that are always there and a few that are temporary. They also have a plant conservatory and a few small animals. Here are a few pictures. You actually aren’t supposed to take pictures in the museum but shhhh…I won’t tell if you don’t. 🙂
I took a ballroom dancing class. It was a lot of fun but I’m sad to say I learned just how uncoordinated I really am! lol.
In August the U.S. had a solar eclipse. Where I live, we had about 93% totality. It didn’t get completely dark but it was noticeably darker. I wrote about it here and here’s a picture I took of it.
I’m an artist but I mostly draw with pen and pencil. But I’ve always wanted to learn digital painting so I signed up for a monthly subscription to Photoshop ($10 a month) and started practicing. Here are a few of my practice pieces.
This is Barthalomeow, the cartoon kitten I came up with. 🙂 As you can see, he’s always getting into trouble.
They aren’t that great but I still did better than I expected to. I also made a set of Halloween brushes. I haven’t had a lot of time to practice though. So that is something I’m going to try to work on in 2018.
I got more involved in volunteering. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for volunteering in my area, so I looked online. VolunteerMatch.org is a great place to look and it helped me find 2 great organizations to work with.
The first is Lakes Area Community Coalition. They’re based in Michigan and they’re working hard to keep young people from developing substance abuse disorders. I’m working as their social media coordinator in order to help them maintain a strong online presence and spread the word about their non-profit work.
The other one is Crisis Text Line. CTL is a suicide/crisis hotline except instead of talking over the phone everything is done through text messages. If you want to be a crisis counselor you have to apply, provide two references, pass a background check, and finish 36 hours of training. The work they do is extremely valuable and I’m really proud to be a part of it.
I always feel better when I spend more time outdoors. So, I managed to get out and go hiking and swimming and I learned a lot more about my own area. I went to Glenwood Park (which is a great place to paddleboat and play mini golf). I also went to Summerville Lake, Bluestone Lake, Little Beaver State Park, Pinnacle Rock, and a ton of other places I can’t even remember right now.
Overall it’s been a really great year. I’m looking forward to what 2018 has in store. 🙂