Wow. First off, thanks everyone for the overwhelming response to my little suggestion that we shake things up in 2010. Yay. Crazy ideas are always way more fun with friends. In the spirit of making new friends and sharing ideas with other A-Zers I created a Ning community. You can join us HERE
I started with about a dozen groups (hint, click "see all" or select "groups" from the top menu to access them) so people with specific interests (books, food, kids, art, photography etc) can inspire each other.
Several questions have popped up repeatedly so I thought I'd dedicate an entire post to them. Sorry to bore those who aren't intrigued.
Where did you come up with A-Z Year?
I was reading the paper in Portland, OR and there was a feature of a local restauranteur who felt her life needed a little more zest. She decided to plan her year around the alphabet and did everything from adding something appropriately alphabetical to the weekly specials at her cafe all the way to taking new routes home from work to go down "B" roads. She salsa danced, speed dated, tried Bikram Yoga, went on road trips... I was inspired! May I also point out that she was unmarried and didn't have any kids. Which brings me to question two~
Maybe if I had kids, but I don't think I'd do it for myself. This is a family thing, right?
Yes and No. It can be a family thing. Or a singles thing. Or a group thing. It's a PEOPLE thing; a fun idea for anyone who wants to break loose of the daily grind. Where families tend to organize their grocery shopping around a letter, singles can plan road trips, shots from A-Z, sky diving - you name it. If I didn't have kids, I'd probably be able to do more, not less.
Isn't it a lot of work and planning? I lack the bandwidth right now.
Last time we did it, I moved three times and we still had fun. For me, "B" is going to be for "Back Surgery" so I probably won't be playing billiards or bowling but I bet I'll be eating Braeburn Apples and reading Beowulf. To say it again, in the simplest terms, ask yourself, "In the next two weeks what can I eat, watch, read, listen, do?
Do I have to do every letter?
Life is hard and busy and often unexpected. Sometimes there isn't time or energy to think of one more thing. I suggest doing every letter you can but feeling free to skip if you need to. Whenever I feel too locked in, if I miss something it's like I broke it and then I'm free to quit altogether. I don't want you to quit - I want you to play along as much as you can.
I really recommend starting a journal, blog, scrapbook or plan to make daily/weekly updates to Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter - share what you are doing so you can inspire others to throw off the mantle of boredom as well. Also, tell your friends and family what you are up to. It's fun to have them join you on this year of adventure.
If you have any other questions please leave them in a comment so I can share them - of you're wondering, other people probably are too :-)