A number of bloggers that I follow choose "One Word" to strive for each year. It's a simpler version of setting resolutions, I suppose. You pick a word that speaks to where you are at the moment, and where you would like to head in the coming year.
As to where I am at the moment, my workload for the job for which I am actually paid has increased. Juggling that together with family responsibilities, especially during the holiday season, has been challenging. The phrase that has been most often on my lips (or at least in my head) for the past couple of months is: "I don't have time." As in:
- "I'd like to wash my hair today, but I don't have time to blow-dry it."
- "I wanted to personally wrap gifts and mail them to my family members, but I didn't have time, and had to have things shipped directly."
- "I should write a blog post about this incident, but I don't have time."
- "I want to read that book, but I don't have time."
My reading is down. My blog is sorely neglected. I find it nearly impossible to relax, because I'm always thinking about this or that "productive" thing that I should be doing. And I am tired of feeling like this.
I've read a number of books in the past year about focusing, making time, changing habits, and being indistractable. Assimilating the advice of these various smart authors and thinking about how I feel right now, one word definitely comes to mind. The word is LESS.
- Less trying to sneak in checking work emails when I'm with my daughter.
- Less running around after said daughter, trying to keep my house tidy.
- Less forcing my introverted self to socialize more than I can handle.
- And lots more.
I am unsubscribing from a number of blogs and email lists that I have been reading, in the interest of streamlining. When I think about doing something extra around the house that doesn't really need to be done (or at least doesn't need to be done solely by me, right now) I think "Less!" and try not to do it. I'm going to try to do the same thing with work. I don't know if any of this will help, but I'm trying...
As for my blog, I'm ready to make a change that I've been thinking about for quite some time. I'm going to stop accepting review copies. I've been reviewing so few books for the past year that this won't be a visible change for my blog readers. But I've continued to receive some books, and it's past time for me to notify the so generous publishers that they should stop spending resources on me. I'll probably still write the occasional review, but if I want a book enough to review it, I can buy it or check it out from the library. I'll still talk about books that my daughter and I are reading, and we will surely read from the stack of books that we already have for many years to come.
If I'm successful in applying LESS to my work and personal responsibilities, then I will continue to share my own reading, my daughter's literacy milestones and bookworm moments, and articles about nurturing the joy of reading in children.
My hope is that if I strive for LESS of the things that aren't strictly necessary and/or are wearing me down, I will have more time for things like reading and sleeping and spending quality time with my husband and daughter. That's the goal, anyway. I wish all of you success in the coming year and decade in figuring out how to allocate your precious time. Thanks for reading!
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