New Year’s Resolutions and Reflections

Ugh. Morning sickness.  More like, all-day sickness. It’s been difficult finding the headspace to write these past couple weeks.  Here’s hoping that the coming weeks bring more clarity for writing.

But for now, I’ve got a brief window of sanity to share, and I thought I’d do it by looking back at my New Year’s resolution from last year.  This past year, I committed to reading a book a week, or 52 books, for the year.  And I’m pleased to say that I’ve reached that goal, plus some. But it wasn’t an experience I ever hope to duplicate.

Here’s the problem with this kind of goal:  It makes you read short books.  As someone who loves to read Victorian novels that would work well as doorstops, this kind of challenge was a tough one for me.  I can’t read the typical 800 page Victorian work in a week, and it made me gravitate towards ever shorter books to ensure I got the book counts I needed.

Also, I love to read fiction in full and nonfiction in part.  So, I tend to pick up lots of reference books and nonfiction Christian helps books to read a couple of applicable chapters.  But I rarely set out to read the whole thing.  Usually, it involves me skipping all the parenting chapters (which of course, isn’t the issue anymore).  But with this kind of goal, that sort of reading style goes unrecognized.  I’ve read dozens of nonfiction books, just in part, either for my job or for my own personal amusement, and sadly, those don’t go toward the count.  And in truth, I hesitated to read them at times because I realized they would take away reading time that I could give to my total count.

I’m glad that I did the resolution because it taught me a lot about my own reading habits.  I didn’t realize how much I loved long fiction, a steady, savoring pace, and smaller glimpses into nonfiction works, until those things needed to be allocated or stolen away from the rest of my allotted reading time.  Self awareness is invaluable.  But I think I can achieve that by keeping a list of my reading for the year.  I might even post it online again for you to see what I’ve been reading.

But as I’ve said, this won’t be a goal I’ll repeat. If I were to do another type of book goal, I think it would either have to focus on reading a certain type of book that I want to read or perhaps setting aside a particular amount of time each day for reading.  Maybe it’s just that I don’t like limitations of any sort on my reading.

And as I’ve been reflecting on my past New Year’s resolutions, including last year’s and the year before, where I set out to memorize a book of the Bible, I’ve been considering what to do this year. And I’m feeling slightly less ambitious.

So I think that this year, I’m going to focus on growing a happy, healthy baby and not complain so much about the trials that pregnancy is bringing…which I’ve already done here. I’m still a work in progress.

Oh yes, and speaking of works in progress, one of my goals is to finish my novel. I’ve added another 10,000 words to the 50,000 I reached for NaNoWriMo, and I’d love to wrap it up, and edit it, sometime this year. I probably should get to that before the baby shows up.

I’d love to hear what everyone else is doing for their resolution this year, and how it’s working out for you so far. 

I’m glad that this is one year where losing weight isn’t an option.  Instead, I’m in the highly unusual position of trying to get the scale to move forward, not back.  A new year indeed!


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. OK- I must have missed the news when I was on vacation…..Wow! Congratulations! I am so, so, so happy for you. When is the due date? I love your goal of growing a healthy baby. That’s a great goal. My SIL read the Bible to her kids in the womb, but didn’t tell me that great idea until I was done having kids. Again, CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!

    AL: Wow, all these ambitious women, reading to the babies, playing music, etc. I think I’ll be lucky to just make sure it gets enough food. Well, these days at least!

  2. When your doctor tells you how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy, try not to be at that weight by month number six. Announcing that you have reached that goal way ahead of schedule and would like a treat for doing so early isn’t viewed as a good thing for some reason.

    Next year your resolutions will more likely be something along the lines of “brush my teeth and bathe myself atleast once a week” and “find books that balance nicely in one hand while I’m breast feeding”.

    Non-fiction will be grasped like a life preserve by a drowning person as baby’s quirks makes mom wild for insight.

    Great fiction become something that is exactly 32 pages long and has really great pictures. I still feel that way…and the 30something babies are occasionally still rounded up and subjected to a reading by their mom when I find a new book that strikes my fancy.

    My resolution: To explore my world with my camera and words while having fun as often as possible. I’d also like to find a local friend my own age (without grandkids)to hang out with. Identify ways to serve others…starting with neighbors and try to find other service possibilties that both B. and I would do together.

    Oh…and spend more time appreciating my cats. They are old cats now, and each day they become more precious to us.

    AL: Love the resolutions. And I think you’re probably right on about mine for next year. I doubt I’ll be doing any novel writing while I’ve got a little one clamoring for my attention!

  3. PS: If you are on prenatal vitamins already….I’ve noticed that those seem to kick morning sickness into all day sickness. My non-professional opinion is that those hefty doses are too much for a body dealing with a baby who is only the size of a peanut. I ditched mine until mid second trimester and was just fine. Again…just what I’ve observed over the years as a non-professional.

    AL: I’m having a hard time getting those down in the first place, so I guess it’s a non issue here! I’ve talked to many women who can’t manage them until the second trimester as well.

  4. Morning sickness can be such an inconvenience! Crackers and lemons all the way! Good luck 🙂

  5. I’ve been thinking about setting a goal for my reading this year. I’m glad I read your comments because I, too, think I’d feel a little penned in to have a number I’m trying to reach. Maybe just to blog a book review about each book might be a better goal for me.

    AL: That’s a great goal! Keeps you writing and reading!

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