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Monday, February 19, 2018

A Bold Reader: Week 7.

I finished a book this past week: the official movie novelization of Crimson Peak. I felt so dorky reading it, but I enjoyed it so much! The book always gives more than the movie. But I won't get into my book/movie opinions now.

Bruce and I are more than half way through Sleeping Beauties!

I didn't replace Crimson Peak. I need to push myself with my children's lit focus. I only have a month left until spring and the shift to young adult it.

I've not caught up with my Bible yet, but I'm getting there. I read a lot of it yesterday, and I didn't read anything else except for my poetry bath. I liked the immersion.

I'm reading Underwater City, Best American Poetry 2010, and New Southern Poets for my poetry baths. I should be able to finish BAP this coming week.

According to GoodReads, I'm still two books ahead of schedule for my goal!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Restoration: Week 6.

A small but restorative moment: I asked Oliver whom he loved, and he said, "I love Mama." His teacher had told me that he'd answered that question that way at school. I felt my dried-out heart welling up.

Josh and I went to his college to use the gym. Our gym is under renovations. I got on the treadmill and walked for 45 minutes while reading a literary suspense novel (The Perfect Girl) on my phone. I hope to restore my physical health, get closer to my goal weight, and perhaps restore or at least protect my mental health. Josh and I will go to the gym twice a week, and I'll walk with Bruce once a week. I did discover that I've lost another 5 pounds!

I finished two books this past week. I feel much more...nourished now that I am reading regularly again. It restores to me such an important part of myself. And I'm ahead on my GoodReads goal for the year.

I watched a movie called Crimson Peak. It was one of my favorite kinds of movies: psychological thriller with a bit of horror. One of my restoration goals is to watch a movie each week. I have always loved movies.

This coming week, I want to be more curious.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Bold Reader: Week 6.

I finished two books this past week! I finished the short book on French capsule wardrobes. I didn't get much out of it; I may read another book on the topic.

And I finished Donald Hall's 400+ page selected poems, White Apples and the Taste of Stone. I've read it night by night for weeks, poem by poem. So I've read seven books this year!

I added Underwater City by Kelle Groom to my poetry bath ritual.

Bruce and I are about halfway through Sleeping Beauties, and I'm enjoying it.

I've been reading the (dork alert!) official novelization of Crimson Peak. I really like it. I look forward to getting back to it.

I've fallen behind with the Bible, but I will fix that this week.

Reading so many books at once is a bold move--and I love it. I feel I'm becoming a stronger reader day by day.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Reading Dance Card.

Choosing the books I want to read and in what order reminds me of dance cards--so many slots per event, each dedicated to a dance partner's request.

I'm reading several books at a time. Once I finish one book, I decided whether to replace it or just reduce the number of books I'm reading at once. If I replace the book, I have to choose the next book, probably of the same kind (fiction, non-fiction, poetry...), with careful thought. I only have so many spaces on my current card. But of course, I sometimes choose a book based on whimsy--a spontaneous dance.

I like looking back at the card (via GoodReads, usually) and seeing what I experienced and how pleased I was with my choices. I can't read everything, and I can only read so many books at once. But lately, I've been able to shoulder an usual number. Right now, my card is full with

3 books of non-fiction (autism, hygge, and grief or trauma)
3 suspense novels
3 books of poetry (two small collections and an anthology)

I finished one non-fiction book recently and decided not to replace it. But I love the expanse and variety. I don't read every book every day, but I try to come close. My dance card is full, but that's only for now. I wait for new literary dance partners.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Choosing Happily Ever After.

On the wall by my side of the bed is a collage of cards and other images. Looking at it soothes and excites me.

One item is a deep purple piece of cardstock with a beautiful dimensional gold sticker that says Happily Ever After. Above it are glitter pink letter stickers I Choose.

I love the idea though I'm not totally sure how to do it. My words of the year have helped-invest, delight, restoration.

I choose to live happily ever after with my partner. I'll protect our time together and take joy in the details of him.

I choose to live happily ever after as a mother, cuddling and dancing and paying attention, trying to be grateful no matter what.

I choose to live happily ever after as a reader and writer. I'll try to keep up this good reading season and keep scribbling.

In original fairy tales, terrible things happen, but the ending is the same--enchanted joy. My happily ever after will be more like an ongoing quest than like a destination. I'll have to find a way to choose happiness in the various aspects of my life every day.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Entertain, Educate, and Enrich.

This is a good trio of words. I think everything we experience should accomplish at least one of these tasks, but preferably two or even all of them.

As a teacher, I knew I had to educate my students, but I hoped to enrich their lives as well, simply by giving a worthwhile piece of advice, a clip from a great movie they hadn't seen, a contemporary and accessible poem, or a new insight about themselves. And when I educated well, it didn't end with the course material; I wanted to teach them a few lovely new words, a new confidence in their strengths, and even an understanding of their weaknesses. On lucky days, I think I entertained the students also--making them laugh or forming their essay ideas into a massive web of words on the board. On the best days, I did all three. Of course, I often failed and probably did none of the three. But I like now having the words for what I was trying to do.

Josh can do all three with me. He educates me when I ask; he knows so much on topics about which I know nothing. Our time together enriches my life, even if we're just watching a silly video together. And he entertains me, well familiar with what makes me laugh.

The best books do all three though they educate gently.

I'm not a teacher anymore, but I'm still a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and advocate. I hope to take opportunities to entertain, educate, and enrich through my roles.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Restoration: Week 5.

This past week, I've found small ways to practice restoration (Practice is one of my favorite words). I finished another book, so I'm up-to-date with my reading goal. With practice, I've been restoring my joy, ease, and identity as a reader.

I've been restoring and satisfying my curiosity. I've been reading about hygge and capsule wardrobes, topics that spark my interest.

I've been working on restoring my childhood interest by reading a collection of American Girl stories. I have such happy memories of reading those stories.

I'm restoring and enhancing my love of musical theatre almost every month by attending a show. This past weekend, Bruce and I saw Les Miserables. I'd seen it once before, about 20 years ago. It's another way to stay in touch with my childhood joys. I listened and sang to those songs so much.

Oliver has let me dance and cuddle with him, so we're restoring our connection. Before Les Mis began, Bruce and I looked at newborn Oliver pictures. It's good to remind myself that Oliver is still that sweet baby.

It was a good week for restoration!