January Reading

Well this month turned out nothing like what I expected. I learned that I would need to take one of my courses in half the time I expected due to scheduling issues. This means that I read more of my textbooks than I did fun books. I should really just wait until next year when things calm down to do a reading challenge.

I did read God of Small Things. This was not a book I normally would have picked out for myself. I have a different post about my thoughts on that book.

I did not get to A Suitable Boy.

I read halfway through Better Than Before, and am still continuing reading it this month.

The 21-day Fix interested me, until I looked a lot closer to it. I realized that I have already done the starving myself thing – and my body does not like it. The 21-day Fix is not only not an option for me, but it would be very very bad.

One of the review for the 21-day Fix led me to Whole30 and their book It Starts With Food. I proceeded to share this book with everyone I could think of because it is so good. I really need to start the program, but I keep coming up with excuses. I want to do it, and had even been cutting out a lot of the non-allowed foods before I read the book, but I really need to get Banny on board before I do. A program like the Whole30 would be more successful for me if my husband and I were both doing it. So we will have to see what happens.


Keeping Up

My best friend growing up lived in an immaculate house. White walls, clean counters, knick-knacks in their own special place. The floors were clear, carpet vacuumed, tile mopped. The house had windows everywhere and seemed to glow with tranquility.

The three rambunctious kids living there would put everything away that they used almost immediately. It was amazing to see. I had this friend as a roommate, her side of the room was impeccable, mine looked like a hurricane.

There is no use denying it. I’m a slob. A lazy slob. My room was always looked like a tornado had recently been through it. The house that I now own has something on every surface available. I am a cluttered mess.

When I’m reading, or at a therapist and they say to go back to my peaceful childhood home – I don’t think of the house that I grew up in. No, I think of my friend’s flawless sanctuary.

If I could have one thing that the Jones’s have it would be the ability to contain. To put things away when I’m done with them. To not spread out everything I own when I settle. To display my knick-knacks in a pleasing and not cluttered way. To not have so much clutter in the first place. I seemed to have missed this aspect of growing into an adult.

Keeping up with the Jones’

The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Let me start off by saying that this book is weird. It is not linear in any respect.

This book’s story is arranged like a spider web. At the beginning we learn that we have hit a web – we learn about the funeral of a child. Then we crawl deeper into what could’ve happened. We learn all about the lives of minor characters, characters along the outside of the protagonists’ lives. As we move in we hear the lives of those closer to the death of Sophie Mol.

This is not a tragedy about the girl’s death. This is the tragedy about how a small girl’s death affected the lives of every person around her. How everyone has dealt with the consequences.

Thoughts after finishing:
Woah. This book carries so much more emotional weight than expected. I’m a person who has never really known anything about India’s castes (except that they have them). This book did not actually explain any of it (hello Wikipedia!), but it gave you the stark reality of what they are. One of those books that leaves you just a little bit traumatized. However, I understand why it is on the must-read list I follow, and do feel that it was important for me to read.

Straightforward Questions

This is the second group of questions to explore who I am and how I can tailor habit-forming to suit me. From the book Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin.

How I like to spend my time:

  • What time of day do I feel energized? When do I drag?
    • I feel most energized in the afternoon. I drag in the mornings and in the evenings. (for now)
  • Do I like racing from one activity to another, or do I prefer unhurried transitions
    • I do not like to feel rushed.
  • What activities take up my time but aren’t particularly useful or stimulating?
    • I spend way too much time on meaningless apps on my phone and then wonder where the day went.
  • Would I like to spend more time with friends, or by myself?
    • While I do like spending time with friends, and need human interaction, I actually prefer to be by myself. If I don’t have enough me time – I feel overwhelmed, and if I don’t have enough human interaction – I go stir crazy.
  • Do I have several things on my calendar that I anticipate with pleasure?
    • I don’t really make plans besides work. I hardly have anything else on my calendar. Things happen when they happen.
  • What can I do for hours without feeling bored?
    • Read. Definitely read.
  • What daily or weekly activity did I do for fun when I was 10 years old?
    • I read a lot when I was 10. I also had a summer love affair with my bicycle. I think I rode over every street in my hometown.

What I value:

  • What’s most satisfying to me: saving time, money, or effort?
    • Saving effort. Figuring out shortcuts. Although I have no idea what I’m saving the effort for.
  • Does it bother me to act differently from other people? or do I get a charge out of it.
    • It definitely bothers me. Plus, it take too much brain-power to remember who knows what.
  • Do I spend a lot of time on something that’s important to someone else, but not to me?
    • I spend a lot of time on something that’s important to someone else. Reading other people’s content on the internet, but not any of my own is a good example.
  • If I had $500 that I had to spend on fun, how would I spend it?
    • Books. 🙂 I would buy all of the books that I’ve had on my waiting list.
  • Do I like to listen to experts, or do I prefer to figure things out for myself?
    • I prefer to research for myself what the experts say is the best way…so both? Having someone I know just tell me what I should do doesn’t work. I have to know all the why behind it.
  • Does spending money on an activity make me feel more committed to it, or less?
    • Less. I know I should feel more committed, but historically that has not been the case with me.
  • Would I be happy to see my children have the life I’ve had?
    • No. I’ve had way too much crap go on. I would rather have them be smarter and figure things out sooner than I did.

My Current Habits

  • Am I more likely to indulge in a bad habit in a group, or when I’m alone?
    • When I’m alone. No one is there to judge me.
  • If I could magically, effortlessly change one habit in my life, what would it be?
    • Exercising – or in my case lack thereof.
  • If the people around me could change one of my habits, what would it be?
    • **Note to self – ask DH**
  • Of my existing habits, which would I like to see my children adopt? Or not?
    • I would like my children to not adopt my habit of procrastination.

This Box or That Box?

The beginning of Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin has me exploring who I am, in order to better understand what works for me. These are quite a few questions that I have either never thought of before, or just never realized I was.

  • Am I a Lark or an Owl?
    • My sleep schedule is so messed up that I am not actually sure. This is one I will have to come back to later.
  • Am I a Marathoner, Sprinter, or Procrastinator?
    • I am definitely a Procrastinator. I believe that I normally would be a Sprinter, but I never feel good about my work and always wish I had done it beforehand.
  • Am I an Underbuyer or an Overbuyer?
    • I am definitely an Overbuyer. I like things. I like knowing that I will have everything I need. Which means I own a lot of clutter that needs dealing with.
  • Am I a a Simplicity Lover or an Abundance Lover?
    • I have always felt like I should be attracted to emptiness – bare surfaces and quiet. However this really isn’t the case, and I need to learn to accept (and manage) that I love Abundance. I like it to be loud, I love having choices, I love having everything and more is more. Hence, the clutter.
  • Am I a Finisher, or an Opener?
    • I am definitely an Opener. I can think of very few projects that I have actually finished. On the flip side, I can think of dozens of projects I’ve opened. Blogging being one good example.
  • Am I a Familiarity Lover or a Novelty Lover?
    • It seems like I should be a Novelty Lover, right? But I’m not. Not at all. I prefer what I know, and am so often uncomfortable doing what I don’t. I force myself to do what needs to be done, but I don’t enjoy it and hold off as long as I can.
  • Am I Promotion-Focused or Prevention-Focused?
    • I originally started out thinking that I’m both, in different ways. However, let’s be real, I am Promotion-Focused. I do so much better when I get a gold-star/praise instead of knowing that what I’m doing will be good in the long run.
  • Do I like to take Small Steps or Big Steps?
    • I’ve learned the past few weeks that I do better with Small Steps. Instead of a major change, if I can make one little thing a habit then I can build on it.

Stroke of Midnight

At 6 o’clock last night DH and I realized that it was New Year’s Eve and we had no junk food. You can’t celebrate NYE without junk food. We went to the local grocery store for pizza to find that it was PACKED. Everyone and their dog had made the same realization and was at the same store. We ended up going to the local Walmart as well, which was empty. Seems like everyone preferred the grocery store.

We got home and made all of the junk food we had bought. Pizza, Jalapeno Poppers, Spinach and Artichoke dip, and ice cream. We rented two movies from Redbox and had a lot of fun watching them in our fuzzy pajamas.

Near the end of Ant Man we paused the movie so we could count down to midnight.

It was such a relaxing way to spend New Year’s Eve.

2016 Reading

I have decided to read 52 books in 52 weeks, as per this wonderful blog.

As I decide on the books for the month I will update this post.

  • January
    • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
    • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
    • Modern Blood Banking & Transfusion Practices (textbook)
  • February
    • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
    • The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
    • Don’t Just Sit There by Katy Bowman
    • Something light – TBD