The Reading’s On the Wall

Considering the impact my second job had on my writing life for the latter half of 2019, it should be a surprise to absolutely no one that there was also a ripple effect on my reading goals for the year.

No Virginia, I did not read 75 books in 2019. Nor did I finish any of my three reading challenge lists.

miss-the-mark

(I suppose it would have been more appropriate to include a photo symbolizing “falling short” in some way, rather than an image of over-shooting. But when I searched for “missing the mark” this made me giggle out loud, so there.)

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200 Feet at a Time

There’s a metaphor I’ve been exceedingly fond of for quite a number of years. It’s an image that helps pop the balloon of any expectation that you need to have your entire journey mapped out in detail before you’re able to progress and grow and live and all that juicy stuff.

It’s this simple truth. When you’re driving at night, it’s not like the car headlights are showing you the entire route from Point A to Point B. They’re just showing you the next step on the road. But one after the other, seeing each next step a couple hundred feet at a time—well, that’s enough to get you wherever you need to go.

night-driving-black-and-white

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Taking Flight into the 20s

So Sherri, how did that 2019 blogging experiment of yours end up?

I daresay the fact that my last post was almost-literally six months ago answers that question.

Its not that surprising. Shortly after that last post went up, I joined the RED Sisterhood team, helping support my wonderful teacher and mentor, Kristin Sweeting Morelli, in sharing her genius for women’s empowerment and women stepping into their feminine power.

Since I’m an integrous person and my primary professional responsibility is to my “9-to-5” job, I’ve only been helping Kristin out on evenings and weekends. But, when you add those evening and weekend hours on top of my 9-to-5 schedule and on top of the evening and weekend hours I sometimes(1) have to give to my non-profit job — well, it’s unsurprising I haven’t had a lot of recreational writing time.

So why am I back here?

Call it a New Year’s thing.

2019 departures

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Couch and Kitchen Vegetables

I don’t exactly know what got into me this weekend. So many things I oughta/coulda been doing. Another business trip this week, this one including a presentation. So it might have been smart to be working on my slide-deck, or at least doing laundry and packing. Nope.

(Well, the laundry is in the dryer now, so that’s some small progress, I guess.)

The weekend is also a good time to be a bit more ambitious in my daily actions for the “Pleasure Project” (a.k.a. my RUHCUS). Another soak in the tub, a pedicure, or even the nice feeling of clearing all the uglies out of one of my dresser drawers. But nope.

My entire weekend agenda is pretty much summed up in three verbs: nap, read, watch TV. (1)

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First Amendment Protection

Since our extra-successful weekend errand running finished up so quickly, I decided to use some of that time watching movies, as well as the reading I’ve already mentioned enjoying. And, with last holiday weekend signaling the end of May, I decided to start my film selections by taking a quick look at the HBO list to see what movies are about to drop off of rotation, in case I wanted to see any of them before I lose my chance. (You may recall that’s how I started doing film reviews on here in the first place.)

There was only one movie that jumped out at me form the “departing May 31st” list, but it was a film well worth seeing: Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

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Unapologetically Real

So, Sherri, how’s that RUHCUS thing going, four days in?

Well, Dear Reader, I am experiencing some of the bumpiness that occurs when the best of intentions collide with the realness of life.

I don’t think I’m alone if having that kind of work-based karmic payback that emerges after a 3-day weekend, when you realize that however much you enjoyed that extra day off, you’re now trying to do 5 full days of work in 4.(1) So between the office re-entry and the side gig(2), my Tuesday and Wednesday have not exactly been flush with time for self-pampering.

So I’ve had some real-world, real-time opportunities to practice living in my skin, and to find moments of sensory enjoyment even on the tilty-est of full-tilt days.

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Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

This was a slight deviation from my post-pre-diabetes-diagnosis plan to focus on reading only those challenge books that were already in my possession. When I made that course correction, I’d forgotten that right at the start of 2019 I’d put my name on the waiting list for the library’s e-book copy of this title.

So, when my name finally reached the top of the list a couple weeks ago, I decided just to roll with destiny and give myself the pleasure of reading this. (A bird in the hand and all that…)

I’d already had Cooper’s memoir/social analysis on my reading wish list since mid-2018, on the basis of the good press and positive reviews the work was getting. In complete candor, for all that I went into my 2019 planning with the supposed goal of drawing primarily from my own library, this was a title I wanted to shoehorn onto my 2019 list, come hell or high water.

Lucky for me, it wasn’t all that hard to find a place for Cooper’s book. Between the callout to the New York Public Library staff picks and the invocation of celebrity recommendations, I was golden.(1)

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