2018 was actually a pretty great year for me personally. In August 2017, I quit my job to stay at home full time and began my fitness journey and 2018 reaped the benefits of those decisions. Some changes that came here at the end of the year have me reflecting on what I’m doing and how I want to do it and I am also really excited about how my year went.
Fitness-wise, not only do I feel physically stronger than literally ever (I have muscles now!), I joined Camp Gladiator which has been amazing for getting to be part of a fitness community that didn’t judge me for not already being fit while at the same time pushing me to be stronger.
On my fitness journey, I managed to run in a few races this year. By far my favorite was the SavageRace in September! I was not racing to place (I think I ended up 400-something out of 800) but rather just with the goal of completing as many obstacles as I could. While I was not able to finish all of the obstacles, it felt incredibly empowering to be there, be participating, and to complete as much as I did.
Kind of related is my kids’ sports! My daughter is entering her third year of playing basketball right now and it is so amazing to watch her transformation from when she started and I could not be prouder. The little girl that showed up to evaluations three years ago barely able to dribble a ball is now playing smart and beginning to play as part of a team.
My son played his very first season of soccer! And as there was a shortage of volunteer coaches…I got roped into coaching.
You guys, I know nothing about soccer other than don’t touch the ball with your hands. Thankfully, as I was coaching three and four-year-olds, that was pretty much all that was required. It was an adventure through and through and very much a learning experience. (Note to anyone considering this in the future: getting a group of eight 3/4-year-olds to all do the same thing is very much like attempting to herd cats. I never understood that expression before coaching them but now, oh boy, do I ever get it…)
Also this year, I started taking classes to learn Japanese. Because my dad was in the military, I was actually born in Okinawa so I have always been interested in Japan and its culture so learning the language has always been a goal of mine and it feels really good to finally be making progress on it.
The last major change this year for me was that after a year and a half of staying at home with my kids, as of the first of December I have gone back to work. I immensely enjoyed the time that I got to spend at home and it allowed me to get myself and my family involved in activities that I think I would have put off to the point of not doing them had I been working. It got me into the habit of making time and just doing the things that I wanted to do. I am a little sad to be going back to an 8 to 5 job but it was time and a really good opportunity came my way so we decided to take it.
Unfortunately, going back to work means that I have less time for hobbies. With that has come a time of reflection on what I am doing and what I want to get out of it.
We recorded our last 2018 podcast episode on December 13th, giving us several weeks worth of a break from podcasting and blogging. As the time to return gets nearer, I find myself dreading it. I’ve spent the past week or so self-examining to try and figure out why the negative attitude.
I’ve been blogging for almost 3 years and podcasting for a little over 2 of those. During that time, there have been times where I had to push myself to finish individual projects but never have I ever felt this stress and sense of dread that I do now. Book Geeks Uncompromised is my baby and I love it and I love how far it has come. But I just can’t continue the way that I have been.
This started out as a way to build/join a community of book lovers where Greg and I could talk about the things that we love with other people that love the same things. Lately, though, I find myself more results and numbers oriented and that just makes it feel like work. I didn’t use to mind this so much because I had the free time and brain space to devote to it. Since I’ve gone back to work though, my time is much more limited.
I’m involved in so much more than I was when I started this. Fitness, Japanese classes, gaming, kids’ activities, just doing the things that I want to do. So there needs to be a compromise. I love all of the work that I’ve put into Book Geeks Uncompromised and I love being a part of the book community. But I just don’t have the brain space to devote to it anymore.
Reading to review is also different than just reading for pleasure and pleasure alone. I read with an eye for things and feelings to comment on. While this hasn’t at all damaged my love of books and reading, there are maybe some books that I think I would have enjoyed more had I not been pushing myself so hard to hurry and get them read, had I been able to just sit back and relax with each and every book that I held.
This isn’t anyone’s fault but my own. The way that I approached reviewing was flawed and it altered my blogging experience. But it all comes down to…I just want to be a reader again. Rather than scheduling my reading time and forcing myself to have x number of posts per week and watching how many clicks each title gets like a hawk, I want to read on my terms.
A few months back, we changed out podcasting schedule from once a week to once every two weeks. Because of this, I was able to read more books that I had been wanting to get to. With podcast reviews, it is really difficult to talk about sequels so we ended up reading a lot of first books in a series and then I never found the time to continue the series because of the podcasting schedule. Going down to one podcast review every two weeks allowed more time for that. This only helped to highlight to me all the books that I wasn’t getting to.
So for the foreseeable future, there will be no reviewing/podcasting schedule. Greg and I will both still be reading and will still be active on Twitter and Facebook groups but reviews and posts will just come as they come. I am letting go of a need for getting content out on a regular basis just for the sake of having content which will very likely mean far fewer posts.
I will still be participating in Catch up on Classics with Meltotheany and am still greatly looking forward to it! But letting go of my own expectations and stubborn commitment to Book Geeks Uncompromised already feels like a weight has been lifted.
Here’s to being a reader! Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます