On meeting (and not meeting) my goalsDecember 20, 2014
If you've been reading since I first began blogging last month, you might have gleaned by now that I tend to be pretty hard on myself. I'm an equal opportunity self-deprecator—I'll guilt myself over mishaps at work, late reviews, failures in the kitchen, awkward social interactions and, now, unmet reading goals. I think my dedication to lifelong learning and improvement is both my best and worst quality—I'm ambitious and like to get a lot done, both personally and professionally, but I'm also slow to forgive myself when I don't immediately succeed.
As the days dwindled away and it dawned on me that I wouldn't complete my challenge, my first instinct was to be angry at myself—for not dedicating enough time to reading, for planning poorly, for... well, you name it, and I probably berated myself about it. But I've been trying to remember something that Stefani of Caught Read Handed mentioned in her BookBlogWriMo post... that whole "not stressing" thing (ha!). If I'm going to tear myself to shreds over not reading a certain number of books a year, does that mean I'm actually enjoying myself? Shouldn't I be worried about actually enjoying the content of the books I read, rather than ticking off numbers? (Note: I don't think these things are necessarily mutually exclusive, but you can definitely forsake quality for quantity.)
And the truth is, I have been reading. A lot. Possibly to the detriment of other things I enjoy—my cat, my boyfriend, my friends, other hobbies, even my mental health. I've been so focused on kicking off my blog successfully by getting new content up every day, and making sure I'm reading at a steady pace, that a lot of other things have fallen by the wayside.
Don't get me wrong—I really love blogging, and I love the community of book bloggers that I'm only just beginning to get to know. I just have to remember that I love other things, too, and that my love for this won't last if I'm tearing my hair out over being four (or six) books short.
Karsyn of KaKiKoJoKa summed it up really nicely for me, in a comment on my Bout of Books 12 sign-up post:
My advice for a newbie ~ there is no fail!! Having fun is what matters most, and you're lucky to have a life that's full that you can't read every second of every day. So if you don't beat your goals, that's ok, as long as you have fun.In addition to BoB, this seems like great advice for reading and blogging in general. It was also a wonderful reminder for me that I really do have a full life, and it's important to enjoy it.
So! I'll continue to try to get content up every day, but if not, that's OK, too. I'll keep on reading, but if I don't touch my stack for a day (or two, gasp!), I'll try not to worry. Instead, I'll do my best and try (try, try) to remember that that's all I really have to do.
Does anyone ever feel like this about reading and/or blogging? Also, does anyone have any recommendations for LIGHTER reads I can take on vacation with me? I definitely want to keep reading when I go away, but I'm overdue for some fluffy, fun stuff! :)