164 Comments
Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

I suggest we call that week "Cheers! Week" and acknowledge the entire past year. Since 2007, I've been making a 3-4 page document on my computer that summarizes my life: Affirmations for the Year; What I Did That's Significant; Travel & House Sitting (including dates); Family Activities; Special Events with Partner; Friendships Maintained & New; Service Done; Political Actions; Book Marketing Initiatives; Entrepreneurial & Networking; Education-Expansion-Culture; Household-Auto; Physical Health; Recreation; Spiritual Growth-Consciousness; and Finances at Year End. It likely takes 5-6 hours total. But when done, I can forever easily answer questions--"What year did we go to Mexico for ...." When this assessment is completed (even if I have to finish it in January) I feel so happy! And totally eager to envision the new year.

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I like Cheers! Week! I had just come to suggest something like The Leftover Week but think you nailed it. Dead week a great concept, but a bit of a morbid name for my favourite time of the year.

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

Feeding the mind, the body, & the soul.

Mind by going to see and make art.

Body, by sleeping in and running in beautiful places (my 5 year running streak anniversary is on Saturday).

Soul, by writing and mailing thank you notes, not just for physical gifts but to people who have encouraged or helped me this year. Your 30 day challenge which I took a few years ago during pandemic produced a pile of drawings of pine cones I used

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Running is crucial. I need to get back on that train.

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I'm certainly resting and relaxing this dead week but I'm also planning ahead for 2023 for my newsletter, including research and scratching (as Twyla Tharp might say) away to create January's posts. I'm also starting some research by building a bibliography (hello Adler and Van Doren) for a bigger project that I want to start in 2023. And I plan to continue reading more Robert Caro. Oh, and finish the 2nd season of The White Lotus.

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Omg you haven’t finished yet?!? It’s so good. Enjoy!

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Two more eps to go!

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White Lotus was the best thing I watched this past year!

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

I have zero vacay days at a new job so I am accepting phone calls for entire office this week and wearing too many hats. May God take pity on me. I love the idea of a dead week. We should def get the word out so fewer people call me with their problems.

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Sending you my pity! (I was just reading a book about William Blake and they were talking about how in Blake’s day pity wasn’t condescending or something you didn’t want. A great perspective)

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I really like 'dead week' - pretty much most things stop completely which I find a relief. There are no office emails to come back to like a normal holiday. I love to have a big pile of books, paint, knit and spend longer wandering outside - having nothing to do and nowhere to be. Sleep longer. And re-watch some favourites. Bliss.

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Dec 27, 2022·edited Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

I look forward to this week all year! It is one of my two big reading weeks (the other being the week we spend at the beach in the summer), where I devour entire novels in a matter of a day or two (just finished Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow--loved it; Demon Copperhead is up next). From Christmas afternoon until the 28th, our menu mostly consists of snacks set out on the kitchen table-lots of cheeses and crackers and chocolate, plus clementines and cookies and Chex Mix--and everyone grazes all afternoon. Lots of napping mixed in with the reading.

I love the idea of doing a year in review. I keep a journal as well as a daybook, and in a way the daybook is more revealing than the journal. It's fairly pedestrian--what the weather was like on my morning walk, what projects I worked on during the day, what we had for dinner. But I also write down who I ran into on my walk and any other interactions and conversations I had throughout the day, any notable occurrences, any small odd things that might have happened. It's all stuff I'd most likely forget if I didn't write it down ("Saw Rick and Marie on morning walk--chatted about how cool white Keds are," that sort of thing).

Anyway, it might be fun to do go through that and see what happened in 2022. I like Esther's idea of creating an annual assessment for easy reference.

Glad you're feeling better, Austin! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

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Glad you liked Tomorrow x 3 — probably my favorite novel I read this year!

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

Glad you're feeling better! I'm sure Texas missed your taco patronage.

I'm back to work this week (sadly my office job only gave us yesterday off) Though I haven't been feeling the holiday spirit as I get older, somehow I'm always sad after the big day is over. I'm trying to read more this week, between my mountain of library books and the few I got from the bookstore. So between reading, obligatory work..., using drum practice to vent out my frustrations and my sky photography, I'm just trying to make it to Saturday.

(p.s. as far as movies go, my mom and I watched the new Matilda musical on Netflix on Christmas and thought it was quite good! Other than that I started rewatching one of my comfort movies, Moxie (also on Netflix.)

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I’ve been playing a lot of drums, too. I strung some gaudy big Christmas lights on them for added cheer

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

I think I will call the time between Christmas and the New Year - Reflection Week. (Dead week to me means the week in college before taking your final exams. I guess dead because there is no school during that week, and, you are (nearly) dead from all of the studying.)

Reflection Week for me means reflecting back on the weeks leading up to Christmas. Reliving the good memories from our nephew's graduation from UT-Dallas and the fun we had with our family in Dallas surrounding his graduation and then the parties we attended with our families (neighbors) in Houston and our friends. It's a time for me to cull through the best of the best photos (and I take a lot) from all of these gatherings and then sending them out to our families and friends for them to enjoy and relive the fun we had.

We leave our Christmas decorations up until Three Kings Day (January 6) on which we have an annual Chili and Champagne open-house party. We received so much chocolate from so many friends that this year it will be a Chili, Champagne and Chocolate open-house party. (We just can't eat that much chocolate!) So this week will be planning for that party, including sending out the invitations. So, a little bit of work involved with the Reflection time.

Happy New Year to All and thanks Austin for the wonderful work you do.

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

We call this “The Lost Week” in our house and we look forward to it every year. My kids are all teens so there’s a lot of sleeping in until 2pm and eating fast food. We give ourselves permission to do whatever we want. We’ll probably watch Fury Road at some point, which is sort of Christmasy...Joe is Santa gone horribly wrong. Happy Dead Week everyone! x

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Hahaha I love this reading of FURY ROAD. Kyle buchanan’s book on the making of is a great read btw

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Excellent, I’ll check it out. Thanks for always pointing to the good stuff. The Red Hand Files, for example, has enriched my life a ton.

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I do love Nick Cave and The Red Hand Files. He has a new book Faith, Hope, and Carnage that I have on hold from the library.

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“Joe is Santa gone horribly wrong.” Hahaha

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Hmm I like giving this time a different name other than "Boxing Week Sales" lol. Here we do everything 2x MORE on the days off. 2xnaps, 2xmovies, 2xreading, 2xmeeting up with friends at the pub, 2xhiking, 2xcreative projects, 2xFOOD (best part), 2xwine. All the pleasures and fun times and relaxing are just enhanced, it's pure bliss for me.

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Technically I’m working Wed-Fri this week, but the load should be very light. And I work from home, so there’s that!

Today starts the recharge after 3 full days of family gatherings and a house full of adult kids and grand dogs (not that I’m complaining!). Plans for the next week include:

- Trips to the theater (The Whale and A Man Called Otto are top of the list)

- Watching movies/shows at home (we rarely watch TV the rest of the year)

- De-furring the house

- catching up on laundry

- Reading! (trying my first Agatha Christie novel and also want to read I’m Glad My Mom Died)

- 2022 reflections, which includes revisiting this years journals and making an “Ebenezer Stones” list of all the ways God has shown up this year

- starting my logbook (thanks for the idea!)

- writing letters to people who sent me Christmas cards

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Agatha Christie is still the gold standard for mysteries! Watched The Glass Onion on Netflix and love how they very cleverly use the tropes of Christie books.

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funny, just today i thought what i need is an Agatha Christie - so tomorrow i will stop by my local used book shop to see what they might have :) thanks for the reminder

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I re-read my diaries from the whole year, reflect on how I've been and what I learned, the big lessons from the year, I file my documents for taxes season and I set new goals based on how I'd like to feel for the new year. I knock off nagging tasks that I didn't get to during the year. Also, I chose a one-word-theme for the new year. I love dead week (thanks for giving me a name for it!) it's usually one of my most productive week of the year!

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I love the idea of a one-word theme for the year! I'll be using dead week to mull over my word for 2023.

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Here’s a funny for the one word tradition. To keep from forgetting his word of the year my husband began to have them tattooed to his inner wrist. It was a New Years tradition, tattoo appointment and out to dinner. He did this for 10 years +/- until one night the kind artist suggested he find a new location as the skin on his inner arm was getting so thin it was hard to get a clean line and pretty soon the words would be nothing but blobs. You see, we came to tattoos rather late in life!! So he ended that tradition realizing that printing words on his butt would not serve the same “reminder” purpose as on his inner arm. Me? I always took the time to paint out the word and hang it somewhere I’d see early in the morning so I could focus on it for my day. However you choose to remember your word...make it intentional, it is very easy to get busy and totally forget your choice.

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It's funny that you tell that story. My wife and I had a conversation last night about the one word tradition, and she expressed interest in possibly tattooing her word on her wrist. Great minds!

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Love it! And, believe me, it is an amazing conversation starter. So many folks asked about it if they noticed and some deep, interesting exchanges took place.

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Will you share your word for 2023??

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Yes! it will be bloom! 2022 was free!

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

Glad you’re feeling better, Austin! After a crazy busy past six months, I’ve been looking forward to this dead week for some time, and I’m very fortunate to have the week off. My plan is to catch up on some of the year’s movie releases, binge read comic books and graphic novels that are piling up throughout my apartment, sleep in, make good coffee, play the piano, and eat whatever I feel like. I’m hoping to (mostly) stay off social media for the week. I’ve already removed the apps from my phone, so we’ll see how that goes.

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We’re in Mumbai visiting family, so I’m ending the year with a slew of books. Arthur C Brook’s “Strength to Strength” passed me by earlier in the year, but it’s been a great read to finish on.

He talks about the four stages of life that are commonly accepted in Indian culture, and the third stage of “vanaprastha” which literally translates as “going into the forest.” During this stage one becomes less preoccupied with wealth and material gains and more focused on spirituality and purpose.

I’ve also been loving Nick Cave’s conversations with Sean O’Hagan, compiled as “Faith, Hope and Carnage.” Lots of wonderful insight about the creative process, and how he works with his longtime collaborator Wareen Ellis.

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Thank You for reminding me of Nick Cave’s books. I get his newsletter and am always amazed by his helpfulness for Hope in the midst of deep sorrow. This book will be next after I finish M train.

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Nick Cave's newsletter is amazing--I always get something from it. I just put his book on hold (thanks for reminding me, Kevin!). Loved M Train!

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Wait: He’s on Substack??

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Not Substack--but he sends out a semi-regular email he calls The Red Hand Files. More info here: https://www.theredhandfiles.com/

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Oh the Nick Cave book is on my library holds I just looked and I’m next!

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I want to read the Nick Cave book! Glad to hear that you're enjoying!

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Dec 27, 2022Liked by Austin Kleon

It’s such a relief that Christmas is over! I feel that very viscerally. I love the idea of really sitting down and re-reading the year’s journal entries (though even I sometimes struggle with deciphering my own handwriting).

I work, so nothing is really going to happen on my work days, but I’m also looking forward to putting away all the decorations, picking up my first 2023 book of the year from the library, and quiet reflection writing.

I always look forward to the gray, quiet days of early January after the cacophony of the holidays.

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Love every comment here. And I feel like YES to all of it. For me this week is more analogous to ebb tide - the shifting from the old to the new - a few big waves come in from the year gone by as it goes out and then all the new waves and new possibilities grab my attention. I think about resolutions. I believe in making them even if I don't always fulfill them. Of course, rest up after all the excitement and, yes, work, of Christmas hosting. All the good stuff - read, watch, create, cook, clean, fill bird feeders, sleep, repeat. Happy New Year to all.

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