I’d like to take a Mulligan. Can I get a clean slate?
I started 2021 feeling incredibly hopeful. I knew that it wasn’t going to be the magical end of the pandemic but I felt invigorated and I had big plans. BIG plans.
Which went downhill very quickly.
Was it the never ending cold and snow? I love winter more than the average person and even I was sick of it by mid-month. Or perhaps the realization that I had passed a year without seeing my family? Maybe it was my work funk spilling into the rest of my life. Whatever it was, instead of reading more, February found me forgetting to do promised posts and deeply buried in several ARC books that I just could not seem to get through. One DNF is fine. But the pile of things that I couldn’t seem to finish reading was becoming unacceptable. My reading went from “mood reading” to “no reading.”
Everyday I would sit down with one personal goal: write a post. And, everyday that goal would just get deleted. I was trying! Really, truly, I was. But, suddenly, every post sounded exactly the same. Even my comments to other bloggers felt disingenuous. I needed to step back. So I did what everyone else seems to do during this time – I started taking an afternoon walk. That’s when I saw this….
When I saw this tipped over snowman on my walk and I was like, “same, girl!” Were they banging their forehead against the truck? Had they fallen backwards dodging life a la limbo? All I know is that I related deeply and personally.
If this whole post sounds depressing, rest assured, this funk was more in the whiny but-I-don’t-waaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnaaa than sad and blue. I was still exercising, generally happy, doing things etc. I just wasn’t reading and, when you love reading, that one thing missing from your life is huge.
….Wait, is this what people feel like when sports are cancelled?? Oof. If that is true than I owe a lot of people more patience.
So, how to dig out of my hole? Well, first I started by filling it with the ARCs that I couldn’t get through. As much as I admire people who read books first and build buzz, that just isn’t me right now. Honestly, it probably isn’t me ever.
Then, I took my whole pile of “currently reading” and re-shelved them. I returned books to the library. I cleaned my slate. When I had a chunk of time, I picked up a book that I wanted tor read right then in the moment and I sat down to read. Was it really that simple?
I mentally got up 400 times. I thought about Pinterest, my new bullet journal idea, a cookie I could make, and even things I should be cleaning. But, I kept going back to the book and eventually, I remembered how to sit still and sink into the reading.
This was last week and I read the most beautiful book. One of my 2021 reading resolutions was to immediately post a review. This stupid idea, which was meant to keep me organized, was actually sucking all the fun out of reading. Who cares if I review when there is a total lack of enthusiasm? Nobody.
I’m giving myself the grace that I always give other people. I’ll be back March 1st. I don’t have big plans, I have regular joyful ideas and I hope to begin again, fresh and enthusiastic about my reading.
Tell me, please! How do you take a step back?