Good Reads?

I resolved to read 25 books this year and so far, I’ve read five. That’s not that much but I’ve been struggling through books. Unfortunately, I have some books on my to-read list that don’t quite jump out at me. But I’m determined to muddle through.

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Here is what I’ve gotten through in the last two months:

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Three out of those books fall under the category of ‘feminist literature’- they were interesting reads, to say the least. While all three women are heavy-weights in the Feminist Movement arena, reading these books remind me of the importance of intersectional feminism, and how each of us has our own definitions of what it means to carry that label.

Did I agree with everything they wrote? No. Did these books kick my ‘spirit into high gear’? No. For me, these books are compilations of raw and honest essays that provide more ‘food for thought’ in areas I can relate to. These books keep the conversation going and I think that’s the biggest takeaway.

The other two were easier reads, thankfully. The David Nicholls book was turned into a movie many years ago, starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. I read it on the plane ride to Miri and I found it quite enjoyable. Weirdly enough, I like David Nicholls’s other book, ‘Us’, better than this one. Still a good read in the end. I may watch the movie 🤷‍♀️

I bought My Not So Perfect Life because I wanted something light and fun, and Sophie Kinsella typically delivers on that front. It’s a chick-lit book that Kinsella fans would enjoy. I liked it. Sure, the plot got a bit too convenient towards the end, but that’s kinda what you expect from her work, so it doesn’t ‘disappoint’.

I am always happy to click READ on GoodReads and see the bar on the side move forward. I’m ‘2 books ahead of schedule’ for my 25, so that’s nice.

I hope you’re getting along with your resolutions this year, and if you’re reading anything particularly scrumptious, I’m up for recommendations. That is, once I’ve finished the other four books I have on my list.

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I Resolve

Also known as I Use All The Gifs

Once upon a December …tumblr_molp4utquv1r7sa6ro1_500

NoPE, back to the point:

Once upon a December in 2015, I wrote down a few ‘2016 things’ which were like resolutions but weren’t quite resolutions. Now let’s review them:

Only use my laptop at a table (at least most of the time)

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Making my bed in the morning

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okay this was one was most of the time. So, maybe?

Not blogging daily

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I definitely did not blog daily. I was relatively consistent with the week-to-week stuff. I posted at least once most weeks of the year. That’s something.

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that’s January 2017, not 2016

Keeping track of my spending

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Does keeping track of what you spend on count? ha. ha. ha.

Saying a prayer every morning 

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Yeah. I’m awful.

10 minutes (at least) of exercise on a daily basis

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Kinda. I spent a lot of time walking in Melbourne. But not when I was here. Okay, so no.
Keep a food diary

tumblr_nqa9xewrw51s3bhqso7_r2_250Nope. Nope, nope. Nope.

So, clearly, I did extremely well in the ‘things’ department. I’m so good at this game, huh? Will this stop me from making new resolutions this year?

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I’m totally gonna do these ones. Right? Right.

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So, 2017 resolutions!

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Number One is to take more photographs. 2016 was a great year for that because I spent almost five months abroad. I would like to continue taking pictures and actually posting them somewhere, be it here or my much abandoned Instagram account. I know I’ve not got a ‘special eye’ for things but I would like to figure out the manual settings on my camera and take pictures of stuff. Also, I’ve decided that if I go somewhere new, I am determined to get over myself and take a photo with me in it. I’ve always been highly self conscious and prefer to take photos of others, but it would not kill me to get a photograph of myself now would it? I need to take more photographs with friends and family because honestly, we could all die at any point in time and it would be really sad if we never got to commemorate those moments.

Secondly, I would like to make one video per month. So that means, 12 a year. With the time I have had in the last two months of 2016, I have figured out how to animate things a little better and to make reasonable edits. I am no expert, but this is something else I’d like to improve in. I don’t quite know what the 12 videos will be about but there will be 12.

Third of the list is to read at least 25 books this year. I do keep track of my reading on my GoodReads account and I have a good number of books from last year that I have not finished. I intend to read/complete reading at least 25 new books. That number is rather low but I predict that when I start working, I will likely not have the time to read as much so, 25 is a doable number. If you have a GoodReads account, do let me know so I can follow you back and spy on what you’re reading.

The fourth thing is to curb my spending by only buying something new if I finish something old. For example, buying a new book only when I’ve finished reading all the ones I’m carrying forward from 2016. I want to be more intentional and conscious with what I buy so, frivolous spending needs to stop. Instead, I shall keep a ‘wish list’ of sorts and buy what I can when it is the right time.

What comes next is a little ‘fun’ resolution. A Funsolution?  One of the Gilmore Guys hosts, Demi Adejuyigbe, challenged himself last year to watch 100 movies that he has not seen, where there has to be an actor in common between movies. To quote his example: “I started with THE REVENANT, so I’ve got DiCaprio, Hardy, Gleeson, Poulter, hell even Haas movies to choose from next.” This is probably going make me hate watching movies by the end of it but I should like to see how far I get with this before it blows my brains.

I am stealing the sixth resolution from Sanne of booksandquills, and learning the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. This is something that’s probably going to be simple-ish except that I have to actually memorise stuff. I have always found it very cool when people use the NATO Phonetic Alphabet in movies and TV Shows, so it will be fun to learn.

On the more “frivolous” side of things, I want to learn how to use make-up properly and to get used to using make-up. Yes, that’s kinda “superficial” but at the same time, people enjoy cosmetics and the point of make-up is to enhance what you have, and in a sense, it is a necessity for certain events in your life. I have had a weird relationship with make-up since I was child and it was mostly negative, which I have grown to learn is the wrong way to think about it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good and present yourself to the world in a way that helps you feel more confident. So, in 2017, I want to figure out what works and does not work for me, and to actually use the products I have bought out of my tendency to spend when I’m upset.

My eighth resolution is to do ‘an act of kindness’ every day. I know, that sounds a bit prissy. But the point is to learn to shift my perspective outward while spreading something positive. It may not be big things but it will be something. It is suppose to help with anxiety and depression, and generally makes you a happier person, and I have decided that that, being happy, is my overall aim for this year.

Number nine is to use the Calm app on my phone every day. I am trying to focus on ‘being better in my head’ and meditation is a proven method. I intend to take time out and use the app on a daily basis to help with my mental health issues. I learned about mindfulness at school, so it is time for me to put it into practice.

And the final resolution is the classic, exercise, and eat better thing. I must say that since I’ve been back, this has been something I’m working on. When I was in Melbourne, I walked a lot. I had to walk to the train station and the bus stop regularly, so I did lose a bit of weight. I am continuing that practice by walking my dogs now that I’m back. My pug is not too happy about it because she doesn’t want to walk a full round much less twice a day, but I’ve been dragging/motivating her slowly. The eating better part is a pain because being home means I have full access to the oven which means baking is not out of the question. I’m working on that.

So yes, those are my ten resolutions for 2017. I think I will be able to complete most if not all of them because I actually really want to. That’s the trick with resolutions, right? You have to enjoy the things you do in order for them to work?

I would like to hear what you have planned for 2017 in the comments or on Twitter or wherever else. Have a good weekend ahead! x

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