One of my goals this year is to read more and read faster. I have so many books on my reading list and as a slow reader – not a good combination…

When I think of reading, I think of sitting in a window seat, overlooking the streets of Paris, with the gentle Spring breeze gently blowing the curtains…a cup of coffee on a delicate table and I, comfortable in a dressing robe, reading my day away.

Alas, I do not live in Paris, I do not have a window seat and it is certainly not Spring. I’ve always heard people say how they squeeze reading in during the day. I never could do that because I always felt like I needed to “get into” the book for a solid period of time. While I do schedule at least 1 hour per day reading (yes, I mark it as a task on my to-do list) I want to get in more.

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Yesterday my work computer was updating. While it did it’s thing I thought I’ll just read a few pages while this updates. I ended up finishing about 10 pages or so while the computer ran it’s updates. It got me thinking of opportunities to read during the day that I otherwise would not have thought:

  1. While waiting for your phone or tablet to charge
  2. Boiling water – A watched pot never boils, so why not read?
  3. As food item cooks in above water – watched food never cooks.
  4. At the deli counter – the meat slicer is going, you may as well use that time wisely!
  5. At a red light – And if the person behinds you beeps when the light turns green they obviously do not understand the importance of finishing a paragraph before re-inserting the bookmark.
  6. During a conference call you really do not need to be on – Caution advised
  7. Schedule a 30 minute meeting and hide in the bathroom – no one will know….
  8. While on hold with customer service – Your call may be important to them, but your time isn’t
  9. When a friend or family member puts you on hold – see above
  10. Waiting in line to buy or check out books – may as well get a head start.
  11. Laundry time – whether at a laundromat or not, use that time wisely!
  12. Pumping gas – safer than smoking a cigarette
  13. While your dog is doing his/her business
  14. As the coffee is brewing or tea kettle going
  15. Arrive to an appointment early and read in your car – waiting rooms are too loud and chaotic.
  16. Waiting for food at a carry out or drive through
  17. Software updates – This could take a while…
  18. During a dish washing cycle – maximize the free time.
  19. At a 4-way stop sign – no one can decide who goes first anyway…
  20. At an amusement park while others get in line for a roller coaster — up to an hour wait? No problem!

Hello, readers.

For Christmas I got $50 total in Barnes and Noble gift cards and after careful consideration, I decided to buy three books.


DEAD WAKE-  THE LAST CROSSING OF THE LUSITANIA

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My goal for the last few years has been to read more books by male authors. It may be just me, but it seems like novels by women dominate the shelves. Obviously, how each gender writes and their topics are different, so I want to explore more male fiction writers since finishing book 2 of The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin. This has been on my T.B.R. (to be read) list for many months. I’m looking forward to this one.


THE HISTORIAN

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A guest on the podcast “What Should I Read Next” listed this as one of her favorites and it sounded awesome and right up my reading ally. Anything that has to do with untangling secrets of the past I am all in.


CHOCOLAT

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I am not much of a re-reader – hence the re-read project – but this one I have read twice: once in 2013 and a second in 2015. I own it in EBook form but needed to own it in paper form. At the end of my days on this planet, I want people to find this book and see it has been read and loved. I want it dog eared, binding separating, cover creased…the works. I love this book so much.


THE RE-READ PROJECT

I am approaching the final pages of Lessons from Madame Chic and up next is another personal favorite: THE AGE OF INNOCENCE

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This was a book where after I read the last sentence, I went up stairs to my husband and collapsed on the bed, longing to discuss it. haha! I want to experience that again as I only recall the feeling and not the details. Now THAT is a good book!

Happy New Year, Readers!

To start the Re-Read Project, I’ve decided to re-read Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott (pictured below). I got this as a holiday gift (First go was a library loan) and I remember loving it and intended to buy it. When I opened the gift, I was so excited! I adore this book and I am looking forward to revisiting the pages once again this month.

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As I look back on the last few years and I see a difference between 2015 and 2016 and therefore, how I am approaching 2017.

2015 was about exploration of so many new ideas. I discovered so much in 2015 and I became a human sponge, soaking up anything and everything I could get my hands on that I felt the least bit interesting or wanted to implement into my daily life. In 2016, I began to try to implement. And everything all at once. And each at the same level of dedication. Inevitably, the last quarter of 2016 my sponge-self could soak up no more. My sponge had reached capacity.

What ended up happening was I was so involved in these new, exciting ideas that I “fooled” myself into thinking they were Me. Lifestyle ideas, thoughts, and routines were adopted that I wouldn’t have otherwise. It was as if I had adopted multiple personalities based on these grand ideas of Who I Want To Be. The truth is, I didn’t really want to be any of them. At the risk of sounding like an emotional teenager a la Dawson’s Creek, I was looking for myself and my purpose in this world.

A few days before the clock struck midnight to welcome 2017, I hit a personal, mental bottom. No, I didn’t freak out, or cry, or anything dramatic. It was like something in my brain had realigned and snapped into place and the unfocused movie image playing on my internal movie screen snapped into focus.

Foolishly, I had been living this last year trying. And failing at trying. And the irony is, there was nothing to be successful for and therefore failure didn’t exist. But I still felt I was failing. And failing who? That is what I finally figured out. I was failing to please someone who does not exist in the physical world. I’m sure this makes no sense to you, but if it does, you get what I mean.

 

There are voices everywhere, screaming in our ears, telling us who and what to be in every aspect of our lives from how we dress to what we eat. In short, I was trying to please all those voices.

 

So today, I wring out my sponge and allow all the false voices spiral down the drain. 2017 is going to be about me, my rules, my way.

The biggest lesson learned in 2016 is simply: Know Thyself.

 

 

 

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