The Year In Books: December

2014-12-02 12.02.08

Wow… last month of the year already!  I would have liked to be able to say I read more books that I had planned this year but alas, time is just not on my side.  Or, rather, reading time was not given the respect it deserved!

I did, however, manage to read one book this month!  The late, lovely Maeve Binchy’s last novel:  A Week in Winter was, as expected, a joy to read.  I shall so miss Maeve (though I haven’t read everything she’s written yet so I still have some to look forward to!) and cannot believe she is no longer around to entertain us with the lives of people in and around her beloved Ireland.

I tried to take my time, to savour each moment, each chapter but as always happens, she draws you in to a world where you just feel like you could be one with the characters!  At the end I was sorry to not hear about the rest of the lives of Chicky, Orla, Rigger, Winnie, John, The Walls, Henry & Nicola, Anders, Freda and even the grumpy, old Miss Nell Howe!  Each of these people either worked in creating the inn known as Stone House, in the town of Stoneybridge, on the West side of Ireland; or were guests of the very first week it opened.

I so wish I had a room there for a week!  So, so, so enjoyable.

Now, what to choose for this month?  I mean, I’m still caught up in the goings on of Stoneybridge!  Oh well… one must, eventually, let go and move on to something else.

That something else is actually going to be two books.  One recommended by my new friend Safia Moore, (a lovely blogger I follow, originally from Northern Ireland, now living in the UAE) “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler.  Other than what the front cover says, I am completely in the dark about this one!  I like that.  I am basing my choice solely on another’s recommendation.  Will keep you posted!

My second choice is “Finding your Way In a Wild New World” by Martha Beck.  I have this habit of buying all sorts of self-empowerment books that just sit on shelves, collecting dust because “I’ll get to them eventually”.  Well, eventually has arrived.  I have decided to include one of these inspirational books per month as well as a novel.  I have many of them and must justify the expense! I remember going to a seminar once and the animator said that he insisted on reading not only novels and not only books on personal growth or other “teaching-type” books but at least one of each (usually at the same time!) per month.  Hmmm.  So I’m trying that.  I don’t usually have two books going at the same time… well not often anyway.

Are you a “serial” reader or do you have an “open” relationship with books?


Just Breathe

Finding myself without employment for the first time in almost eight years, I felt I must not waste this golden opportunity to do that which I never seem to have the time to do. That I must use this time in the most productive way.

Also, it’s the perfect time to create the business I’ve dreamt of having, finally do B-School, put my pictures in order, purge the house of all the stuff… The list could (and does) go on! I have such a long list I could never go back to a job again! It is also such a list that I have managed to totally overwhelm myself! Made it into such a mountain that I can’t see the peak!

I need to just breathe! (Go, Eddy Vedder!)

And listen to Martha Beck! She suggests we need to do a little more nothing!

I don’t know why we seem to be hard-wired to need to always be doing something whenever we find ourselves “without a reason to get up in the morning” (read: job)! And I do have a reason to get up in the morning! I have plans! Blogs to write! Jelly to make! Cooking Classes to create!

Stop Racing

But today, all I wanted to do was. Nothing. It has been a week since Freedom Day and I have barely stopped. Today I did do a few things: bring the boys to school for official registration (yes! school starts in two days!), washed all the mattress covers and sheets. But the rest of the day? Nada. Made like a couch potato and watched all my taped cooking shows!

I will not feel guilty (no matter how hard it is to do) for taking one day to just veg. Sometimes that’s what the body needs and if we don’t listen to our body, it will force us to. I know too many people who have gotten sick or burnt out because they decided to ignore all the warning signs the body was trying to give. After a while, a drastic message gets sent! All systems STOP! I know I was slowly headed in that direction and had my circumstances not changed as they did, would have ended up in the same boat.

So yes, it is OK to just stop everything and not be productive and Just Breathe.

Just breathe