The Honest New Year Post

I have come to enjoy changing years and the opportunity it gives me for reflection, rebeginnings, and dreaming for the future. Because of that, I’ve been excited about writing this post for several weeks.

But as I actually sit down to write, it’s hard to find words. My mental health isn’t bad this weekend, per se, but it’s acting up, and things are muted. Enjoyment is hard to find, and words–at least the good ones–even more scarce. (Just writing this post is a way of fighting back, of trying to live through the discomfort of this low rather than numbing it.)

If I can’t find my own words, I’ll use words from someone else; Continue reading

Mid-Year Goals Update (2017)

I made a pretty big deal out of resolutions/goals at the beginning of the year, so I figure it’s time to talk about how they’re going. First off, you should know that this isn’t a post to make you feel guilty! The beautiful thing about my yearly goals philosophy is that you can start or restart any time. For more on that, check out the original post.

I’m not going to talk about all of my goals (because that goes against the program), but here are a few.
Continue reading

Reading Recap: January 2017

January is over! How did you do with your goals? I love the chance to start the year really well. Here are the goals I set for this year:

  • Total: 150
  • Pages: 60,000
  • 40 non-fiction
  • 10 classics
  • 10 translations
  • 22 books from my TBR list (my current list is at 52, and that’s a pretty limited list)
  • 50 book reviews

(see this post for more details)

Here’s how January went:

  • Total: 13
  • Pages: 4952
  • 3 non-fiction

I feel good about that start to the year! I focused a lot on using the ebooks available from my library and also requesting books on NetGalley, both of which have given me a wider variety of options.


I really enjoyed trying new authors this month.

Upstairs at the White House: My Life with the First Ladies — J.B. West

Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner — Judy Melinek & TJ Mitchell

When Nobody Was Watching — Carli Lloyd

Sarah Maclean (read several of her books)

What about you?

Did you set reading goals? What did you read this month? I’d love to hear!


2016 Reading Recap & 2017 Goals

Here’s the final update on my 2016 reading goals! Then I set 2017 goals.

2016 Reading Goals

  • 150 books total.
  • 50,000 pages.
  • 40 non-fiction.
  • 10 classics.
  • 10 books translated into English (excluding those on my “classics” list).
  • 15 books outside my comfort zone.
  • 22 books off my TBR list.


Continue reading

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions: A Guide for People Who Hate Resolutions

8tjbrqgkfyu-david-marcuI have, for the first time ever, kept the New Year’s resolution I made. You can too.

If you’re one of those mythical unicorns who makes resolutions every year and keeps them, just stop reading. This isn’t for you. [But email me, ok? Because I’ve never met anyone like you.]

But if you’re like pre-2016 me and make resolutions you never keep or quit making them altogether because you know you won’t keep them, then I’m talking to you.

The Problem with Most Resolutions

Most resolutions fall into one of two categories.

  1. The Habit.
  2. The Virtue.

And resolutions in these two categories do not work for me and probably not for you, if you’re still reading. So let’s break down why. Continue reading

2015 Numbers & 2016 Book Goals!

2015 was an eventful year! Good year, I think, although I’m still processing. Thoughts to come in another post.

I didn’t set any book goals for 2015, so I don’t really have any comparisons, but I thought it might be fun to break down my book list a bit. Here’s what I read this year:

  • 91 total (I think….I didn’t keep good track this fall)
  • 17 non-fiction
  • 74 fiction
  • 21 fantasy books (highest single genre)
  • approx. 27,300 pages — approximate because I didn’t keep good track of page counts, but my average seemed to be about 300.

I did realize that I seem to read in spurts–this summer was a lot of non-fiction, memoir, that kind of thing and the last few weeks have been almost all YA & fantasy.

Goals for 2016

I’ve never made book goals before. For one, I’m contrary, so telling myself what to read when is counterproductive. But I decided that hitting a few broad goals would be a good challenge. Here’s what I’m thinking: Continue reading

The flipside

I am going to talk about New Year’s resolutions, but only in a roundabout way. You see, I have a lot of vague resolutions, but there is one very concrete one I can talk about.

This year, I am going to gain weight.

You read that correctly, and no, this is not opposite day. Unlike the thousands, probably hundreds of thousands of Americans who are resolving to lose weight, doing so would probably kill me. If you are among the majority of people who would love to have that problem, you need to read this post.

Our society is obsessed with weight….primarily losing it. Understandably, since we are among the most obese countries in the world. Surrounding you every day are messages about losing weight. Pick up any magazine. I dare you to pick a magazine off the checkout line and not find one thing about losing weight. Look at any health website or article. In every restaurant, look at the menus, the advertisements, and the nutrition guides – they are all filled with statements about how the food will help you lose weight. Low-fat options, hints for how to ward off hunger, diets, calorie burning exercises…they are all over the place!

Imagine for a moment that you are skinny. Not ideal weight skinny. Your ribs are visible and you are classified as underweight skinny. That might sound like paradise. But consider. How does one become so small? What if you never eat enough? Stress, picky eating, any number of factors might play into your constant hunger, but it is there regardless. Your friends don’t ever allow you to complain about needing to eat healthier or exercise…they just tell you there is nothing to worry about. You walk around hungry every day. Have you ever gone two or three days without eating a full meal? I have. Have you ever bent over with hunger pains, feeling as if you can’t stand the agony? I have. And now, tell me if that sounds like a dream.

There are people in the world, right here around you, who need to gain weight. They are constantly surrounded with information about how to lose it, information that could kill them. There is no one to tell them how to eat more, which foods are high in healthy calories, how to stay healthy. They won’t tell you their struggle, because you’re likely to be jealous and brush them off. You have no reason to be jealous. They are struggling as much as you are. You do not want what they have.

My New Year’s resolution is to gain weight. My health depends on it. This year, when you are working to lose weight, remember the flipside. Next time your skinny friend guiltily eyes your salad and looks regretfully at her pizza, notice it. Tell her she should have a second piece. Don’t make comments about how you just wish you had her body. You don’t.