2018 Blogging in Review

January: I started 2018 off with a post on a topic I often return to: Kindness Matters. I was then perhaps less than kind in taking apart some sloppy reporting and misunderstandings of crash data in A Bit of a Rant on Data + Data Rant Continued: What a Tangled Web + Slice and Dice Data Rant: Who's Really Number One?

One of the highlights in January: Attending the TRB Annual Meeting for the first time after years of conference envy created by the #TRBAM content I saw via Twitter. A second highlight: Discovering that my social media work had become data points in a research project.

February: As "The Grey" continued (what passes for winter in Seattle) I chose to think back to bike rides I've enjoyed and look forward to more with Washington Counties Challenge: A Statewide Bikespedition To-do List, then updated my musings on modal advantages with Bike, Transit, Car: Three Transportation Perspectives from Seattle.

March: Bike challenges get rolling in March thanks to errandonnee and I spent some time pondering the nature of public commitments, which really worked for me this month:
Oh So Challenging: 'Tis the Season to Track Your Riding
Keep that Streak Going: #30DaysOf Something that Matters to You
Errandonnee 2018: The Initial Plan
Keeping Another Streak Going: #30DaysOfYoga
Errands by Bike Are a Breeze (and Sometimes Breezy): Errandonnee 2018

April: Why 30 Days of Biking? (Or More) -- because Surgeon General Warning: Bicycling Can Be Habit-Forming and because Beating the Bus, and Other Bicycling Benefits. A couple of posts on the WSDOT blog about getting ready for National Bike Month: Bikeways Aren't Just for Bicyclists and Clean Sweep: Trail maintenance on the list to prepare for National Bike Month, major events.

May: I rolled in Bike Month with a game -- Play Bike Bingo! Great Excuse for a Bikespedition and a report on 30 Days of Biking 2018: Rolled All April. And then it was vacation time on a bicycle tour with my sweetheart, with a side of Reclaiming Yoga.
On the Road Again: Getting Ready for a Washington State Bike + Ferry + Train Vacation
Day Two: Mukilteo to Port Townsend
Day Three: Port Townsend to Port Angeles
Day Four: Port Angeles to Lake Crescent
Days Five and Six: Lake Crescent to Victoria, BC

July: I looked back on the bicycle tour with Bike Tour Planning: (Relationship) Lessons Learned So Far and examined one aspect of what crash statistics tell us in The First Question Is Always WHY? on the WSDOT blog.

August: Too many instances to count led me to write Event Planning 101: It’s Transportation + Accessibility Information, Not Parking Information. In a gentler mood I looked at how my reading habits have evolved with technology in How I've Been Reading.

September: This month was packed with travel to conferences so if you want to know what I was thinking and learning, search Twitter on @barbchamberlain and any of these hashtags: #bikeshareconference #walkbikeplaces #aashtoAM (and check out my November post below). Meanwhile I did squeeze in a call to update our usage in Hey (We’re Not All) Guys! Why I Don’t Use “You Guys”.

October: Social media takes so many hits that I decided to provide a different take with A Little Love Note to Twitter. Just in time for the State Trails Conference I published another goals list, Trails in Washington State: A Bikespedition Goal. Toward the end of the month I couldn't resist updating 13+ Reasons Bicycles Are Perfect for the Zombie Apocalypse (and Other Disasters).

November: Thanks to Better Bike Share Partnership and the North American Bike Share Association, video from the national bikeshare conference enabled me to create a transcript of my closing plenary speech in Give Your Power to Truth: What Story Are You Writing for Your Life?. As we rolled into the Season Of Overeating an evening hosting #bikeschool on Twitter inspired Happy Holiday + Awesome Alliteration.

December: We're back into The Grey, although it's strangely sunny in Seattle today with blue skies. Given the usual winter wetness this month I offered up how-to winter bicycling tips in Wheeling through Winter, Riding in the Rain: Bicycling Gear ABCs to Keep You Rolling. My Bike Style Gift Ideas: Three Products I Love and Why I Love Them post is good any time of year -- tuck it away for inspiration around birthdays, Mother's Day, Valentine's, "Just Because Day" gift-giving.... And like many others I put together some of those Big Thoughts for the end of the year in #BikeIt: What’s On Your List? and More or Less.

Looking back on the year reminds me of posts I meant to write (like a list of books I loved this year) and ones I started but didn't finalize, like some thoughts on bicycling in New Orleans from my trip to Walk Bike Places. That's a good one to run some grey day to cheer me up with memories of bopping along on a bikeshare bike through the French Quarter, eating beignets with Naomi, listening to live jazz, and other great experiences. For now I'll leave you with this moment of Zen from a bike ride on the north bank of the Spokane River.

More or Less

It's that time of year.

You know, the time of year when we pretend that an arbitrary mark on a human creation for tracking the movements of the earth on its axis and around the sun means we can become a different person.

A whole new you. Shinier. Better. Healthier. Calmer. SOMEthing-er.

As a teen I made lists of the many ways in which I was going to upgrade myself to some impossible external standard really only achievable via airbrushing and lies.

Not that I think there's anything wrong with setting goals or trying to change or improve. But "Live Your Best Life" is a pretty high bar. Exhausting, really. Some days it's a win if it I lived My Pretty Darn Good Life, or even My Reasonably Acceptable Life Given that It's Only Tuesday.

And I'm one of the very fortunate ones. I have someone to love who loves me back, children who bring me joy and some -- ahem -- insights into my tendencies, a job I enjoy that I'm good at and in which I make a difference, a solid home, easy access to healthy food, clean water to drink and hot water in which to bathe, transportation choices, an extended family and friends who can give help if I need it -- on and on. So much goodness. So many things that make my life easier rather than harder.

Mock road signs on a pole. top sign: White background, arrow pointing right, word MORE in black. Bottom sign: Orange background, arrow pointing left, word LESS in black. Blue sky with puffy clouds in background.
I'm not going to make resolutions with a capital R. As Betsy says (I quote Betsy pretty often), if you think of something you want to change you could just do it now, not wait for January 1 as if that date has some kind of magical quality.

I am going to make some lists of More/Less.

More forgiving. Less absolute.
More realistic. Less all-or-nothing.
More pragmatic. Less puritanical.

Like this:

MORE              LESS         
Salad                 Sugar
Moving             Sitting
Mindfulness     Impulse
Kindness           Judging
Sleep                 Late-night reading

This is a start and doesn't include every idea I had in thinking about this structure. What would you put on your version of this list?

Related reading