Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Salon: Applying my Mantra

Last Sunday, I talked about my life and reading goal for 2012 - to live thoughtfully. So how's that going?

Um, well, it's an adjustment, honestly - especially in my reading. In December I was speeding through books. I was in a rush to meet some arbitrary number by the end of the year. Even when I reached that magic number, I didn't stop. I had started a seasonal reading challenge, and I was desperate to be as high in the points standings as possible.

So far this year, I've only finished one book. One! (Middlesex - yes Middlesex. Oh, Jeffrey Eugenides has a new book out? Maybe I'll get to it in 2020.) I'm also in the middle of two others. Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy, is taking me much longer than I anticipated. I'm trying to resist rushing through, difficult now that I'm getting so close to the end. There are little sticky notes peeking out the edges, showing that at least I'm thinking about what I'm reading. I even flagged one of the books in the bibliography to read in full some time. I also started Swamplandia!, which is proving to be a rather unpredictable book. That's all I will say about that one at the moment.

There have been moments during this week when I've started to panic a little about my reading. Oh no! I'm falling behind in my challenge! Then I stop and remember that the pace at which I was reading in December was neither sustainable nor enjoyable. Plus, I want to do other things besides sit on my couch and read. Well, I have been sitting on the couch a lot and reading, but much of the material is study material for the Florida bar exam. Booo, bar exam. You are a fun-sapper.

As far as living thoughtfully in other areas of my life, I'm taking advantage of living on the beach in Florida in January. As much as I miss and love New York, I have to admit that there are perks to being elsewhere in the winter. I woke up early last Sunday and watched the first sunrise of 2012. I've gone for several long walks on the beach this week, taking time to enjoy the waves, watch the birds, and dip my toes in the water.

Sunrise, 01.01.2012, by me, with my fancy camera phone (ha)

All in all, it's been a pretty successful week. It's nice to just try to concentrate on living thoughtfully in my day to day life, rather than beating myself up over strict resolutions that may or may not be kept.

How's you're 2012 so far?

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Rayna said...

Living thoughtfully is such a great goal - simple but probably difficult to practice from moment to moment.

Did you like Middlesex? I really enjoyed it when I read it a few years ago. I just got The Marriage Plot from the library and am a little nervous to start it. We'll see...

Happy New Year!

MJ said...

@Rayna I did like Middlesex - there were a few little niggling issues I had, but overall, I thought it was interesting and beautifully written.

Happy New Year to you!

Amy said...

I really enjoyed this post and your photo as well!

Anonymous said...

Well, after signing up for 8 challenges, my reading is slow. But I'm not even breaking a sweat and worrying about it. That's me with a mew attitude. It'll happen :). Nice post.

MJ said...

@Amy: Thanks! Hope your new year is off to a great start!

@Kinna: Oh wow - eight is a lot. But I like the attitude!