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Uploaded:2020-01-07
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The nerdfighter census: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3XN6DTG

Hank and I will be live on tour in Atlanta and St. Petersburg THIS WEEKEND (Also Raleigh but that show is sold out): https://www.hankandjohn.com/appearances

If you can donate $1,000 or more to support Partners in Health to support their fight to end the maternal and child mortality crises in Sierra Leone: https://donate.pih.org/page/contribute/be-the-match-for-sierra-leone

If you can't donate that much but would still like to donate, THANK YOU: http://pih.org/hankandjohn

Sarah Urist Green's book You Are An Artist: http://www.theartassignment.com/book

In which John discusses his annual letters to himself, the things that will be ending this year, and the things that will be beginning.

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday.  So every January, I write myself two letters, one looking back at the year that was, and one setting a series of goals for the year to come, and over the last ten years, these letters have become a big deal to me.  They help me to reflect and also to try to make conscious choices about my life and they've also helped me to achieve lots of goals, from running half marathons to writing novels, but this year, I'm thinking about the letters a little differently.  I'm focusing on beginnings and endings.  What do I want to begin and what do I want to end or finish. 

Let's start there.  So first, this year I will finish our Crash Course in European History, which has been great fun and has taught me so much about how to shift perspectives when studying history, but it is going to end because we are approaching the present and also there are a couple of other creative projects I'd like to wrap up this year, but I can't talk about those publicly yet.  

Most importantly, in 2020, I would like to finish raising the $20 million that Partners in Health needs in order to break ground on the maternal center of excellence, which will dramatically improve the healthcare options available to women and children in Sierra Leone.  Thousands of you have become monthly donors to that project at pih.org/hankandjohn and I am so grateful and so are people in Sierra Leone, of course, one of whom made me this amazing artwork, but we still need to raise a few million dollars, which I realize is a lot of money and maybe 2020 isn't a realistic goal for it, but it's my goal.  By the way, if you can make a big donation to Partners in Health, please e-mail me at sparksflyup@gmail.com or just donate directly to the matching fund.  There is a link in the doobly-doo.

The last thing I want to finish is writing a book, not necessarily a novel, but some kind of book.

Alright, on to beginnings.  I would like to begin no longer working at night or on the weekends, which I guess is also a way of saying I would like to end the practice of working at night or on the weekends, which makes me think that in some ways, every new beginning leads to some other beginning's end but now I'm quoting the band Semi-Sonic by way of the stoic philosopher Seneca, we've gotta get out of this tailspin.  Mayday!  Mayday!

Right, to keep this goal specific, measurable, and achievable, I want to work no more than one night per week and never on the weekends except for when I'm traveling for work, like this weekend, when I will be in St. Petersburg, Atlanta, and Raleigh on tour with Hank.  Come see us!   I think one of those shows is sold out, but come see as at the other ones.  Links in the doobly-doo.

A very exciting beginning, Sarah's book, You Are An Artist, comes out in April and the galleys are here.  It's a wonderful collections of art assignments and creativity prompts with lots of art history.  It's just so great and I'm so excited and it's available for pre-order now.  Also, Hank, your book, A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor which is such a good title, comes out in July and I will be touring with both you and Sarah in the hopes of helping those books have good beginnings.

So a lot of travel this year, which means I gotta take good care of my body and my brain, which is part of my body.  Slightly off topic, but what a weird thing it is to have a mind made of out of body.  

Last beginning, I would like to write one thank you note every day for the entire year.  I did this for a month back in November and it helped me so much.  It made me feel more grateful and less pessimistic.  I got the idea from an 82 year old woman who wrote me a thank you note and explained the project that she was doing but then I lost her address, so I can't thank her back, so maybe she's watching.  Thank you.

There are also several things I don't want to begin or end but instead want to continue, like exercising at least 150 minutes per week, making Dear Hank and John every Monday, making a vlogbrothers video every Tuesday, and not losing large swaths of my life to scrolling through Twitter as dread washes over me.  

I'm curious what you'd like to begin, end, and continue in 2020 and what you see when you look back at your 2019, so let's continue the conversation in comments.  

Before I go, one thing I hope you will begin this year, the Nerdfighteria Census,which is so, so helpful to us in determining the priorities of our community and what you would like us to do together.  You can find a link to it in the doobly-doo and in the comments below.  

Hank, it is a great pleasure to say in a third decade, I will see you on Friday.