New Year’s Plans

I hate the idea of New Year’s resolutions. To me, it seems like it is setting you up for failure. The “resolutions” are vague and broad and huge. So this year is “The Year of the Plan”. I have New Year’s Plans. I can break them down. I can make to-do list and they are tangible. Interested?

 

  •  Running
    • Start January at 50 miles, add 10% to the previous moth until I hit 142.66 in December 2016
    • 12 Months, 12 Challenges
      1. 30-Day Run Streak
      2. Add Strength Work 3 Times Per Week
      3. Complete 6 New Workouts
      4. Set a New Mile Personal Best
      5. Run At Least 5 Times Per Week
      6. Design Your Race and Training Schedule
      7. Run 50% of Your Miles on Trail
      8. Increase Your Long Run by 5 Miles
      9. Negative Split 3 Long Runs
      10. Hit 100 Push-Ups in One Sitting (HAHAHA, let’s try 25)
      11. Set a 5K PR
      12. Establish a New, Massive Goal

 

  • Blogging
    1. Posting 3 times a week
      1. Once Running
      2. Once reading
      3. Once meme-ing

See bullet lists and concrete plans. What are you doing in 2016?

 

Thoughts on a Thursday: Stuck With One Foot in the Past and One Foot in the Present

I have been mulling over what happen last year. I read less than I ever have in whole life. It was a difficult year on many fronts. Friends had major health issues. Family was overwhelming busy. Husband changed jobs after 17 years. I had some major healthy living changes which did not come easily. Kids were sick and injured a ton. I am not listing these for sympathy but to talk about why in a year that should have been filled with the need/desire to escape, did I only read 32 books? Books have been for years my escape. The go-to when everything else got hard. But this year I could not/did not read. Why?

Well in thinking it over, I have decided it has come down to two things.

These two electronic devices have taken over.

 cellphone  tablet

 

These are my go to now for escape. I honestly thought that having a tablet (I had a Nook until it died mid-year) would allow me to read more and in more places. What I have found out is that it also allows me to do a lot of things that are not reading. With both of these at arms reach 24/7 I found it easier to text, IM, Facebook, play games and do all kinds of things that are equally escapist but also require even less brain power. In other words, when everything else got too hard I chose brain-numbingly easy as my escape.

This resulted in a feedback cycle. The more digital I got the easier it was to do. The more digital I got the harder it was to focus and read. I wondered if this was just me or if there is research other there to support what I was thinking. (Yes I am a social scientist to my core.) It turns out that there is. It is not just me, but a whole generation of people who are going to find it difficult to focus. (You can find a collection of articles from the New York Times here.)

I am trying to not beat myself up over it. But I do want to return to my first and best love. So this year I am leaving the tablet home more and carrying old school books. I am leaving my phone in another room when I read in hopes that my natural lazy tendencies will mean I will only go retrieve it if it makes noise. I have turned all notifications off except text and actual calls (school aged kids means these are necessary). And in case you are interested the younger people in my house now have screen time limits as well. This is not go over well with the teen and tween. But here is to hoping for some balance for us all.

Cheers to a new year and new habits.


photo credit cellphone: Insert Magazine via photopin cc
photo credit tablet: jgoge via photopin cc

Where do I Go From Here?

thoughtsI have been think a lot about this blog, about where it has been where it is going and why I do it. I think it is time for a reevaluation.

I do this for me, not for ARCs or to have a huge number of followers or to play in the sandbox with the big girls and boys. I do it because I love to read and I love to have a way to keep track of what I read. I do it to write down what I think and to see what others think if they choose to come and chat with me.

I do this because I love to challenge myself to read more and read differently. But I also will not feel badly because I do not read what everyone else thing I should read. I will read what I love and love what I read. I will learn to let go of those books which I do not love even if it means disappointing family, friends or publishers.

Everything else is gravy. I love the memes and the events and all of the fun things, but it needs to be about the rending again. Because this is about the reading, I will take the time to make it about me. I will carve out reading time and guard it jealously. Recently a dear friend posted to this to FaceBook:

The best way to describe the two different types of bibliophiles is: If you left wvredreads and me alone in a private library full of exceedingly rare books and we were both told not to touch any of them… She would get kicked out for reading one of them, and I would get kicked out for hoarding them into a pile like Smaug and whispering sweet nothings to the ones with gilded and embossed covers.

It is time for me to Smaug my reading time again.

Come Monday . . .

I realize I need to update my blog in general.

Weekly Reading:
Current: 
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness
The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
St. Brigid: Patroness Of Ireland by Joseph A. Knowles
The Rites of Brigid: Goddess & Saint by by Sean O Duinn
Next Up:
Red Glove by Holly Black
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I have discovered that tracking what I am reading with either Shelfari or GoodReads has become more important now that The Girl wanders off with my books.

In the works:

1. I have three or four new reviews for the next week or so.
2. I have asked The Girl if she wants in on reviewing so some of the YA titles might have multiple reviews.
3. I am joining a real, live, met face to face, book club.  Our first meeting is on Wednesday.  It has been a while since I had one of these and I might be stupidly giddy.

Tidying Up

updates

Spent today making pages.  You can find links to them at the top of the blog.  One is for my 2011 Challenges and 4 are for my TBR Pile.  I really need to get that under control. 🙂  What am I reading right now you ask?

 [amazon_link id="0765318415" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ][/amazon_link] [amazon_link id="0451458443" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ][/amazon_link] [amazon_link id=”[amazon_image id="0385736827" link="true" target="_blank" size="medium" ]0385736827” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ][/amazon_link] [/amazon_image] What Would Dewey Do?: An Unshelved Collection