In an effort to better myself I committed myself to a year long journey of reading more. I like reading and don’t get me wrong I read a lot of blog posts, AD magazine (thanks to my husband), and WSJ (thanks to my father-in-law) but a year ago I found I was rarely reading through a whole book! I had gotten into a slump after college of making time for the wrong things like GOT binges and online shopping black holes. I no longer HAD to read for tests or research so why bother. But a the start of 2018, I turned a new leaf. It was time to start focusing on edifying myself. I picked up a book for the first time in a long time and began the quest of self betterment through reading.
It’s a calm but cold Wednesday morning here in Ohio and I am currently sitting at my desk with a large mug of tea and a slumbering dog. Today, I’m multi-tasking both writing, reflecting and designing for clients. Usually at this point in the day I’ve already been to the gym and am still in workout clothes or a oversized sweatshirt. But today I’m so tired of the cold that I’m forcing myself into a t’shirt. I’m looking forward to 2018, hopefully buying a house, I’m going to be an aunt come May and a fair bit of traveling adventures. Before I get carried away I wanted to take some time to reflect.
Recently on a car ride home, my husband and I thought about ways in which we want to challenge ourselves more in the coming year. We both are youngest in our families and decisions have never been easy to make from things as trivial as where to eat dinner on a Saturday night to important things like where to buy a house. 2017 definitely pushed us to make some difficult decisions and for 2018 we both picked the word “Bold” as our challenge for the year.
I have the tendency to stay within the lines and never try to push myself beyond what I think I’m capable of. I let decisions often come to me instead of carving my own path. Like most people, I’m afraid of failure or disappointing people who I care about. Boldness is definitely a steep challenge for me this year, but its beginning with small steps like wearing short sleeves in the winter, making more challenging recipes for dinner, and not being afraid to put myself out there even when I am afraid to look stupid or fail. Yay for 2018! What are some of your goals for 2018?
In this Post:
A new series I am starting this month is sharing with you all what I’ve been reading and listening to. To be honest, I’m not an avid reader. I love books but sometimes there are so many other things I would love to be doing and sitting still is not one of my strong suits. In many failed attempts at forcing myself to sit down and read, I’m creating this series as a not-so-subtle last ditch effort to keep me pinned to the books. Hopefully you’ll find some fun things to read and learn along the way.
My first book in this series of blog posts is- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.” – Paul Kalanithi
I know what your thinking- Why such a heavy book to start off? I guess its been on my mind of late. This book was suggested by a co-worker who thought I would enjoy this book and she was right! When Breath Becomes Air is a story about a neurosurgeon diagnosed with lung cancer who comes face to face with the hardest question of life- What makes life worth living? A thought provoking, inspiring book to read but make sure you have a box of tissues near by.
Along the same lines as When Breath Becomes Air, I have a much shorter portrait of loss in the words by Brenda Miller. The Shape of Emptiness is a flash non fiction piece about loss and emptiness in each our lives through the piece her student shared in class. A beautiful quick read to mull over a glass of wine or cup of tea.
“But for now, when he finishes reading, he gathers our hands and gives them back to us one by one. We take them from him carefully, so we can carry our emptiness into the day. We compare them, showing off the shapes of our grasping. Curled like prayers. Like anger. Like love.” – Brenda Miller