Not Really New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve started my year of dedicated reading.  I’ve been enjoying Watership Down by the late Richard Adams. This book had, until now, always eluded my TBR (“To Be Read”) list in spite of it’s standing of a well-loved classic. When the author passed away on Christmas Eve I decided to make that first on my list for 2017.

I’d never really been attracted to novels featuring talking animals. I suppose years of having A.A. Milne read to me as a child, whether or not I liked it, kind of turned me off.  As I’ve grown older I’ve been more variable in my tastes.

At Christmas I had decided to have reading goals for 2017. I had never been attracted to “read as many as you can” type of goals. It seems to me to be more of a stunt than a vehicle for genuinely enjoying literature.

So, for this goal I decided to read a vaguely unspecified number of books (For the benefit of Goodreads I said “12”) but  my goal is mostly to improve my reading habits. My previous “bad habit” was that I would start a book, and whether or not I lost interest, I’d get instantly attracted to starting a new one only a few chapters in. Thus, leading me to have a year of only partially read books.  What’s the fun in that?  I also am not someone who can focus very easily on more than one book at a time.  So this for me, is an adventure in my recreational life.

I will abandon a book, unfinished if I am not enjoying it, though.  That will be my only reason to stop.

So, I have been taking my time since January first, and am 25% of the way through Watership Down. I bought the Kindle version for $5. Which brings me to my next subject in this journal entry, one of the reasons I have chosen e-books over printed books (for the most part), the acquisition of less “stuff”. A journey towards minimalism.

This is also a year of “culling”. Again. Not really a “resolution”, but something I’ve been half-heartedly working on for a while.  Today, I managed to recycle and donate a few bags of things and it is a good feeling.  I have been leaning towards minimalism for a long time. I’ve never felt at home around a giant pile of clutter where I never really “know where it goes”, and as my children have gotten older I’ve gradually been encouraging them, too.

I came across a post in Becoming Minimalist which addresses some of the myths surrounding Minimalism. I agree with the issues raised in that post.  I have no intention of depriving our family of the things that we clearly enjoy, have actual sentimental value for, and or actually use.  But looking around I’ve seen so many items whereby just looking at them makes me exhausted. And yes, I am lazy.  Or am I? I get a lot of energy when taking care of things that mean a lot to me, my knitting, my keyboard, my guitar, but anything extra and I just want to throw it across the room.

My children have actually gone a step ahead of me in the summer. As one of my daughters was getting ready for college and embarking on a new phase of her life, it gave her a chance to reflect on which things she wanted to take with her, keep here at home, and just either pass on to someone else, or throw it out.  She set a very good example and was inspiring to me.   I am looking forward to taking more and more action in having fewer unnecessary things. so I can focus on the possessions that mean more to me.

Happy New Year!