what i’m into – keeping me sane {february 2021}

My main wish is that 2021 is kinder to all of us than 2020 but if that is not possible, than that I, at the very least, will be kinder to myself. I have been focused on that. One of the things that keeps me sane is reflecting on the previous month (I talk about how I reflect on my year over here). What these What I’m Into – Keeping Me Sane posts do is allow me to reflect on the previous month.

  • Playing in the freshly fallen snow.  I talked about it here.
  • Participating in the 24in48 Readathon. I only managed to read about 12 hours out of the 48 but I was so tired and needing to prioritize some self-care.  I took a few afternoon naps between my reading hours and it was wonderful.
  • Reading, instead of playing video games. I continued this from January and read 11 books this month and will have that round-up in this month’s Quick Lit – Next Page, Please post. All of this reading has me about halfway to my numerical reading goal of 41 books in 2021 and it’s just now March.
  • Reading children’s classics to the Buddy Man. This month we read Where the Wild Things Are, Stuart Little and A Book With No Pictures. I think Stuart Little went over his head and he didn’t get the point of Wild Things. He loved A Book With No Pictures, however. I’m getting joy in the fact that he seems to be enjoying the habit we’re forming.
  • Purging my To-Be-Read Shelf. The Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club has been participating in a series of classes about reading intentionally.  I have had so much fun whittling my TBR from over 300 books down to around 225.  It’s so freeing.  I tend to organize when I get stressed. And on that note…
  • Organizing my work files, paper and digital.  I don’t know if you have picked up on this but I am a bit OCD when it comes to organization.  But 2020 somehow – OK, not somehow, I know exactly what happened – got me off my rhythm.  I took a day or two and just organized everything.  I feel so much better about my work and I find myself being way more productive.

What’s keeping you sane, right now? Share in the comments below. If you have a blog post about, link it below also. We will do this again on Friday, April 2. See you then.

…enjoy life.

Playing in the Snow

We have been fortunate not to have to deal with the Winter weather that a lot of people in the South have had to deal with over the past couple of weeks.  Huntsville is nestled in the Tennessee Valley which seems to temper weather patterns. I’m sure a meteorologist could explain it but all I know is that most extremes in bad weather, jump over us. 

But two nights ago, around 7:15 PM, it started snowing.  And it stuck. And an hour later, it had covered everything in glorious white. The Buddy Man was thrilled.  It was the most snow he can remember seeing. The last snow storm with accumulation of 4+ inches occurred when he was just four months.  He (and, OK, I did too) kept going to the window to watch it fall.   

As I prepared him for bed, he couldn’t stop talking about waking up and playing in all that snow. I got in bed myself, looking at my weather app, my anxiety escalating at the thought of the Hubby traveling to and from work in this wintry mix.  Rain was coming which would inevitably turn to ice. Would he be able to make it home?

And then I had another disquieting thought; we wouldn’t wake up to the glorious winter wonderland that was happening outside our very door. It would be different, if not gone completely.

I called to the Buddy Man and told him to get up and to put on warm clothes and his boots.  We were going outside, right then, to play in the snow.  Yes, it was past his bedtime, and yes, his excitement would cause him (and consequently me also) to stay up and he (and consequently me also) would be no good for educating at home in the morning, but, I realized, we would never get this chance again. 

We went out and built a column of snow, which in his imagination became a snow castle.  We pelted each other with snowballs and got each other in the face, and ears, and hair more than a few times.  I tried to capture it all in a photograph: his glee, his excitement, the thrill of being outside in the dark, playing in the snow. I tried to capture the moment my heart soared away from my anxiety of earlier that evening as well as the anxiety that has encased me these past 12 months.  He shrieked and laughed and I laughed as I haven’t laughed in a very very long time.

Needless to say, no photo or video could capture it.  At best, what I have is a reminder of that glorious night. I will hold that in my heart as long as I live and can only hope that my son will always remember the night he and his mommy played in the snow. 

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {january 2021}

One of the things that I would like to do in 2021 is not waste time “doom-scrolling” and then numbing out to Netflix and Rise of Kingdoms (a game on my iPhone), so this January I was intentional about picking up a book and reading it instead of defaulting to my 2020 preferences.  

Thanks to the classes currently underway in the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, I set two main reading intentions this year.  

  1. To continue experiencing new things via reading, discovering a good mix of genres for me.  Last year, I delved into audio books.  This month, I read sci-fi.
  2. To read some of the books on my Unread Shelf – these are books that I own (physical or digital) that I haven’t read.  I have too many for my preference.

Let’s see how I did in the first month of the year.

Read

  • The Late Bloomer’s Club by Louise Miller. This was January’s pick for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club.  It was cute and cozy and I liked the ending.
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger by Lisa Donovan. I named this one of my Best Books of 2020. You can listen to me gush about this on a recent episode of What Should I Read Next, Episode 268 (I start up around the 9:17).  At the time of that recording, I had not finished this and to be honest, I was scared to, afraid that it wouldn’t end on the high that I had been riding the whole time.  It did.  I’m so glad. 
  • Transcendent Kingdom Ya Gyasi. I started this one last year but found myself struggling. It’s not my typical read.  Then Chelsey, a fellow team member and cohost of The Novel Pairings podcast, remarked in the same aforementioned What Should I Read Next episode that she read this like it was a memoir and not a novel.  I read a lot of memoir so I decided to give that mindset a go. It worked. I finished.  Yay!
  • The New Corner Office by Laura Vanderkam. One of my goals is to work through my half-finished reads this year and get them off my Unread Shelf.  This was one of those. I listen to Laura’s podcast, The Corner Office, that has similar content but I wanted to finish this quick read.  I did.  This is a Kindle exclusive. You can check it out here.
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes. This was the flight pick for the MMD Book Club in January. And it did go nicely with The Late Bloomer’s Club.  Cute and  cozy; it was also a pleasant read. 
  • The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyers. I am working on my confidence this year and saw this on my shelf.  Pulled it out and read it in the mornings. Another off of my Unread Shelf. 
  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. My team member, Brenna, recommended this during the same podcast, mentioned above. Her description sent me scurrying for my library website to place a hold.  I don’t read sci-fi/fantasy normally so it was hard to get into. It took a while to become acclimated to the unfamiliar world. But, since I was doing it as a #buddyread with my other team member, Donna of I am Your Rabbit fame, I persevered and by 48% in, I was hooked.  This is the first in a four book series.  Book 2 is currently sitting on my nightstand.
  • Bookshop Memories by George Orwell. This is actually an essay that was published in 1936 but Goodreads counts it as a book and so will I. You can read the essay here.
  • The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson. Thanks to William Morrow for the advanced reader’s copy of this one.  This is not my usual jam but if you like a novel that explores class, racism, and a complicated family history, this will be your jam and is worthy of your attention. 
  • The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict. This is the current pick for the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club. 

So, in total, I read 10 books. To be fair, I had started 4 of them in 2020 but Goodreads counts the dates that they are finished and so I will too.  I also read 4 books from my Unread Shelf and if I wasn’t intentionally making an effort, those 4 books would still be sitting on my Unread shelf so I am very pleased with this progress.  

As usual, I am linking up to Anne Bogel’s Quick Lit post and if you are here because of her, thank you.  

Also, quick question, do you guys like to know what I am currently reading in this post or is the round-up of what I read last month sufficient?

Thanks for being here and as Anne would say, “happy reading”.

…enjoy life