Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hello again. Inside my weird brain + some books

Well, it's been awhile. A year and some change, to be exact. I don't have big plans...or really any far as it comes to "blogging again." But sometimes you get itchy to write, and when that happens, my fingers must obey. So here we are.

We're 2 days away from 2018, and I haven't set any "real" goals. This feels so liberating! The longing in me to do life "right" (which has been there as long as I can remember) has always told me that structure and plans and clearly defined rules and steps for life are THE way to go. The only way to go. But, seeing as 2017 has been there year of deconstructing, of allowing the Lord to completely bowl over much of the faulty scaffolding that's held up my faith, and my life, up until now - I'm going rogue. (Did I just quote Sarah Palin?)

So, as January stares me in the face, I have no bullet list of goals. Just desires, hopes, and prayers. Just some burgeoning dreams that I want God to fan into flame, not my hyper-alert sense of Christian duty. And for me right now, a neat list of goals feels like duty, and not like life. Maybe someday they'll feel like life again? But for now, I want to make way for God to keep exploding my neat little world so that I can learn to truly live by His Spirit, not by my rules.

Ok...that got philosophical real quick and all I meant to do was share about reading.
I decided earlier this week that what I love even more than staying up late and binge-watching Stranger Things with Brian (which I do love, quite a bit) is getting a little bit more sleep so that I'm not a tired, crazy monster the next day. So I'm trying to cut myself off from TV around 9pm, and read a bit before bed. I love reading AND not being a jerkface from staying up too late, so I figured I'd give it a try.

Since I decided this...three days ago...I've finished one book and started 3 :) All thanks to the Overdrive app on my phone and Kindle! I decided to audiobook it for a few of the more heady books I've been wanting to read, and then ebook it for the ones I'd love to cozy up with. But no rules here for me! If I want to quit a book, I'm going to quit it. And if I decide I want to listen to it instead of read it, I'll grab the audio version. And keeping track of it all on Goodreads so that a) I can actually remember the books on my "want-to-read" list and b) satisfy the list-loving monster in me just a little bit so that it doesn't get too hungry and take out an entire village.

The extra cool thing is that all of these books I'm reading or listening to for free! Had a free Audible credit for one, and found the rest via the Overdrive app through my local library.

So, the books:

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines and a ghost-writer who hopefully got paid a lot.
Consensus: Enjoyed it! I'm not a Gaines SUPERFAN, but I have been to their Silos and was curious to read the book after the recommendation of my mom. Chip reminds of Brian in all the best ways! And I was genuinely inspired by Joanna's story - of being a structure/stability lover (me!) who, in a supportive environment, worked hard to achieve big dreams. I read it 1.5 days. #ihavealife

Listening to:
Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush.
So far: I'm a sucker for a memoir by authors who feel somewhat accessible and am loving that the Bush twins themselves narrate the audiobook.

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick.
So far: Again with the author-narrated memoir. I can't help but compare her to Mindy Kaling who I adore - and to me, she's not quite as endearing. But we'll see how this one goes.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
So far: Confession - I've never read this book before! I'm just not super into classics, even though I love to read. I like my reading mostly to just be for fun, and not understanding words or picking through out-of-date sentence structure just doesn't' sound fun. But after all the Christmas feels, this one felt like diving into. I'm hoping that not every chapter is filled with such intense descriptions of Jo's plays, but it helps to imagine Kirsten Dunst and the ever-relevant Winona Ryder (GO STRANGER THINGS!) playing these iconic roles.

Next Up:
The aforementioned not-super-into classics person in me has some even more major confessions: I've never read To Kill A Mockingbird or Pride and Prejudice all the way through. I'm going to "cheat" and listen to these ones on audiobook.

The pre-2017 version of me would come up with an apology of sorts for being a 30-year-old American woman who hasn't read these classics. But the almost-2018 version of me can happily admit that since Harry Potter's foray into literature in the 90's, nothing else has sounded as fun :)

Ok, that's a wrap! Thanks to the three of you who will read this. Hi mom!

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