I decided to take myself on an adventure. Two books a month for the 2019 year equaling 104 opportunities to learn something I didn’t before.
Books have always had a way of allowing me to go places and realize worlds and truths I wouldn’t have known without cracking open the cover. Smelling it (everyone does that right?) and hearing the crispness when you thumb the pages from front to back. When I had no where else to turn, or I wasn’t sure where I fit in, books gave me the reprieve I needed. Witnessing a protagonist overcome their own personal or circumstantial obstacles opened me up to realizing undiscovered ways of handling my own challenges. Stories gave me new perspectives. New world views. Bigger realities. Books, stories and robust characters stretch my imagination of what was possible.
Reading built the framework for my posture in life; to stay open and continue to learn and expand my knowledge and wisdom.
But here’s the deal. I have stacks of books in my house. Dozens of stories never explored, hundreds of lessons I have yet to discover. Between my kids, my husband, community gardens, community organizing, the general grind of life, the dreams I half carry as I stumble along and the friends I love that I want to hang out with all the time, who has time to read? I mean, I get three sentences in around midnight or 1am when I finally drag my butt to bed and then I am immediately asleep, mouth hanging open, book slipping to the floor and the dreaded disappointment that comes from continually buying the books, but never reading them.
Not this year.
This year I am intentionally putting down work. I am turning the TV off, NOT picking up my phone and going immediately to the Netflix app. I am going to start working through my stacks of books. If I tell you, then maybe I can hold myself accountable.
I have made a conscious choice to select books from perspectives and world views that differ from my own. I have also chosen books that I can learn from. Let’s be honest, I exist in my life at full speed requiring an extraordinary amount of energy and mindfulness. This means, when I’m relaxing, I have been known to choose movies, TV or books that are simple, predictable and easy. It’s because they require nothing of me, so I can easily give it my attention. It’s brainless and that’s why I love it. It’s a flaw however in the way I have chosen to be in my life.
I’m looking now not at how I spend my hours in a day, but how I exert my energy. By doing so, I change the rhythm of my life. I would also then have the opportunity to invest in knowledge and books that will challenge me.
Last thing, the world is full of stories and books, it’s hard to know which ones to choose. If you have ever vibed with who I am, you might enjoy the selections I have chosen. I plan on doing some book reflections here on my website to help promote authors and narratives, but also to be a resource for folks looking to maybe take this journey with me.
Friends, here is to a year of learning, growing, understanding, expanding, loving, flourishing and thriving.