New Years Resolution: Read More Books!

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that really needs to end, pleasepleaseplease, a series of New Year’s Resolution themed posts because the only way out is through.

So, you’ve decided to read more for your New Year’s resolution. Excellent choice! Books are good for you, can help you learn a new skill, and are the perfect distraction from :gestures at literally everything:.

You (read: me) may have resolved in previous years to read more and failed, but this year will be different! We will NOT repeat the mistakes of yesteryear. This year we’re making a Plan! Of! Attack!!!

Step 1: Resolve to read more. Congrats, we already did it, I’m so proud of us!

Step 2: Decide on your goal. How many books Continue reading “New Years Resolution: Read More Books!”

Goal Setting for 2021

Throughout this past year and a half of _______?, I have realized one thing. This one short life we are given could be lost at any time. Time is so short! How does one even clarify how to make the best use of the time we have left? Illuminating this forced me to narrow my search. What was I looking for, was it time management, happiness, or self-actualization? Did I need to be Awestruck to be a fulfilled person? Developing a sense of wonder seemed to tick all the boxes. But it didn’t feel quite what I was looking for. I searched around the subject fields, and voila! Goal setting! It fulfilled a sense of what will matter for the next minutiae of time.

Looking through the list I gathered, Goal Setting by Susan B. Wilson seemed the obvious choice, as it had a workbook format. From the introduction, I liked the quote from Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning – about how people in concentration camps who visualized their goals for living were thus able to withstand the tortures of their circumstances. Moving on to explaining what effective goals are I thought I was on the right track! But, by looking through the digital book appeared it was more work oriented. That is just one area of life.

Visualizing goals seemed like a good method, and lo and behold, there Continue reading “Goal Setting for 2021”

It’s New Year’s – let’s make a booj!

Coming to you from the cyberpunk dystopia that may some day in fact end, a series of New Year’s Resolution themed posts: because the only way out is through.

For those not in the know, a bullet journal is basically an agenda/to do list/journal/tracker that you create yourself with, in its most no-frills form, just a pen and a notebook. Since its introduction to the world in 2013, bullet journals have become hugely popular, enough to merit the coveted New-Year’s-Resolution-Line-Item title.

In his New York Times bestselling book The Bullet Journal Method, founder Ryder Carroll shows readers how to use his system for “time management, goal setting, and intentional living.” His online examples show bare bones Daily, Monthly, and Future Logs, Index, and Collections and, with Ryder’s rapid-logging style, doesn’t waste a single drop of ink on anything more. If that sounds awesome because you seek minimalism in your agenda-like experience, this is the community for you. If you yearn for more, gentle reader, pray continue. Continue reading “It’s New Year’s – let’s make a booj!”

New Year, Do Nothing

The refrain “new year, new you” is a popular one around the first of the year, exhorting you to fix bad habits, set new resolutions, and generally get your life in order. Maybe it’s time for a change; maybe it’s time to read some books that help you focus on the joy and purpose of doing less. (Sure, this anti-resolution is still a resolution, but I like that it’s less focused on demonstrable achievement). Here are a few books to get you started.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
Called “a field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it)” by her publisher, Odell starts by looking at how pervasive technology leads to 24/7 availability, which feeds into an expectation of constant productivity. How do you step back, divert your attention, and reclaim your right to do nothing? Odell has some ideas, as well as examples of how she has done it in her life.

The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl
In this reflection on leisure, and more specifically on daydreaming, Hampl examines the ways in which quiet reflection feed the soul. Behind her own life of wandering and wondering, Hampl visits the homes of great thinkers of the past (Witman, Montaigne, Gregor Mendel) to reflect on how they wrote about and made use of often-solitary reflection. Continue reading “New Year, Do Nothing”

Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us

To get into the holiday spirit this year I’ve been cranking up the Christmas tunes, decorating the Christmas tree, and drinking hot cocoa while watching Home Alone, but when it comes to books I need something a little less sparkly and bright. I like to read realistic fiction – nothing against a good cozy mystery or a holiday themed romance, but I enjoy the struggle of real life in my reading. It helps me recognize what I’m thankful for and helps me feel less alone if I’m having a hard time. Here are some fiction reads, for however you spend the season, to bring some empathy, understanding, and maybe a little chaos.

Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon: “Kenya is teased mercilessly by her Philadelphia grade-school classmates for her Kwanzaa-celebrating family’s odd ways—and they don’t know the half of it.  Her father preaches “black anarchy” as the volatile leader of the Seven Days, a group he and Kenya’s mother, Sheila, who grew up in the projects and who supports her family as a librarian, has pulled together. Preternaturally observant and mordantly funny, Kenya is a hypnotic narrator coping valiantly with an increasingly bewildering life.” (Booklist) Continue reading “Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us”