Sunday Salon 31: 2010 Looking Backward and Forward

Posted 19 December, 2010 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Life, Reading Nook / 32 Comments

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I’m sitting here on Sunday morning in my La-Z-Boy recliner with a heatpad strapped to my upper back and a coffee in hand (er, close by).  Ahhh, this is the life I think, except I can’t think of anything to write about for today’s Sunday Salon.  I keep a notebook in my purse where I jot down ideas as they come, and I asked around on Twitter earlier this week for prompters, but as of yesterday when I sat down to type up my post nothing felt right.  So I set up shop and hoped something would come to me overnight.  Nope.

Since next Sunday is the day after Christmas and I’m not sure what my schedule will look like next week (so far busy as Scott and I hop around to all of the parents’ homes), I’ve finally settled on the obligatory End Of Year Review post.  I wish I could do a full report–such as vacations taken and adventures encountered, but just like I haven’t blogged about every book I read, I kind of lost track of the other stuff as well.  Maybe next  year, eh?

Janus looking backward and forward

2010 was a strange year for me.  As 2009 came to an end I realized I was spending more time online than I really wanted to be.  I was expecting a baby and preparing for a move to a new house and life seemed to have presented me with new things to focus on other than reading books and blogging.  I didn’t want to find myself losing hours to the computer anymore but instead I wanted to focus on the here and now of life.

In January, right after the move, I had my miscarriage and for a while the last thing I wanted to be doing was reading and blogging.  Looking back I’m not sure what I did with my “free” time but soon I was so busy at work that I couldn’t even think about “free” time.  Gone went my morning and lunch reading/blogging times and since I don’t do a lot of reading at home this meant my reading time got cut significantly.  As I type this I have no idea how many books I’ve read this year.  Guessing between 20 and 25 but I won’t find out until I get up out of this La-Z-Boy and move to my regular computer.  And even then, I’m not sure how accurate my records are since I haven’t blogged about every book I read this year and didn’t keep diligent lists like normal. 

Not knowing how many books I’ve read is actually very liberating.  Since blogging I’ve been so caught up in how many books I’ve read, how many I need to read to fulfill challenges, how many books I haven’t read yet that I want to, how many I’m acquiring, numbersnumbersnumbers, Ineedtoneedtoneedto.  I’ve learned this year that I don’t want to go back to that.  Because what was happening was I was letting go of other aspects of my life so that I could finish one more book.  Please understand this is my own personal thought–I’m not saying that reading lots of books in a year is bad–but it was bad for me and I don’t ever want to go back to the mentality of “I can’t do that because I need to finish this book” or “I can’t because I need to catch up on bloghopping.”  Reading is a very important part of my life, but it is not my life and I don’t want living an active life to come second to reading just one more book.

Whew, I’ve been blogging this for over an hour yet and still haven’t gotten to my list of 2010 reads!  Coffee needs a refresher anyway–so up I get to face the numbers.

Books Read in 2010 (to the best of my memory)

1.  The Puzzle Bark Tree – Stephanie Gertler
2.  One for the Money – Janet Evanovich (mini review)
3.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
4.  The Night Gardener – George Pelecanos
5.  How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly – Connie May Fowler
6.  Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show – Frank Delany
7.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
8.  Will Grayson, Will Grayson – Green and Levithan
9.  Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
10. Admit One – Emmett James
11. Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
12. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
13. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher – Kate Summerscale
14. Just Listen – Sarah Dessen
15. Animal Farm – George Orwell
16. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie – Alan Bradley
17. Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostovesky
18. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Jonathon Safran Foer
19. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
20. The Book Thief – Mark Zusak (re-read)
21. The Odyssey – Homer
22. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (graphic novel)

22 books.  We still have 11 days left in 2010 but there’s a book for work I need to read, so it’s possible this is it.  And you know what, I’m OK with that.  I’ve read some fantastic books this year.  Favorite book of 2010??  Easy.  Dead even toss up between Les Miserables and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.  Both fantastic books that I simply can’t stop thinking about.

I don’t like to make New Years Resolutions because you never know what the new year will bring you. In my case, the New Year is bringing me a new baby. My life will change drastically and its impossible for me to fathom what that means exactly. There are so many things I’d like to do in 2011: finish a quilt for Scott and make one for the baby; read 24 books next year (2 a month); cook one new recipe every month; continue learning more about photography; exercise regularly (which might only mean 3 times a week); spend more face time with family and friends; finally blog about that trip to Europe–but mostly, I just want to live a full life and not be bogged down by this, that, or the other. Life’s too short and moves entirely too quickly. What does this mean for my blogging?  Nothing really.  I love blogging and I’ll do it when I can.  Simple as that, right?

Alright–two hours later I’ve got to hit that publish button and get off my rump.

What thoughts do you have as you look backward at 2010 and look forward to 2011?

32 Responses to “Sunday Salon 31: 2010 Looking Backward and Forward”

  1. A new baby will definitely affect your reading and blogging, I’m sure, but it will be completely worth it. You have a lot to look forward to in 2011!

  2. Yes, simple as that :) I’ve read and blogged less in the second half of 2010 than in the first, and I know that trend will continue in 2011. I’m perfectly happy with that, and I’ve been enjoying doing other things with my time (even if a large chunk of said things are grad school reading and essay writing :P).

    *hugs* I hope 2011 treats you wonderfully, Trish.

  3. I could never give up keeping track of what I’ve read, I’ve done it for 18 years now, but blogging about them definitely fell aside this year.

    I’m not ready for resolutions yet, but the Couch to 5K program is on my list, for exercising.

  4. I like the post a lot Trish. I think I remember reading some of your more anxious posts last year about finding time, so it’s really nice to see happiness with the balance you’ve struck between things, you know?

    Once I finished school this year, i started reading as much as I could just because I finally had the option to do that. At some point I think it’s going to have to slow down, but for now it’s nice to be able to indulge that :)

  5. way to keep things in perspective! Sounds like you found the right balance this year and I am sure you will find that balance again in 2011 as you add in a baby!

  6. I’m really looking forward to not being so book-centric in 2011. People just don’t seem to understand when I say I’m sad that I read so many books this year. Sigh. Ah well. But I am looking forward to leaving what has been a really terrible year behind and moving to the next stage of my life.

    I have to say,though, i do like knowing what I read. I like having that record. It’s very frustrating to have forgotten things i’ve read from a decade ago, that sort of thing. I do wish I’d at least have kept track. I don’t want it to take over my life, but I do want to know.

  7. Did you know that the movie version of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is going to production? I don’t know if I’ll watch it since I love the book so much.

    I definitely think I’ve been online too much this year so next year I plan on being online only when I absolutely need to be.

  8. Amy

    Very healthy approach, Trish and I totally agree! :) I think two books a month is a very reasonable amount. I hope they’ll all be great.

  9. It sounds like you’ve got thing worked out pretty good, and you’ll be all set for motherhood! I can’t imagine blogging intensely with a baby.
    I like your goal of 26 books in 2011. I’ve actually considered making a list of just 12 books that I want to read the most, and read one a month in a coming year. I just don’t know if I can do it!

  10. I’m happy that you have found a way to blog that works for you. I’m really bad at reading resolutions but I enjoy reading about everyone elses’. Hope you have a wonderful year in 2011 in everything that you do!

  11. Trish I have a feeling this up and coming year is going to be amazing for you! You are one of the most genuine individuals I’ve ever “met” on the net. :))

  12. Indeed reading and blogging should be fun!

    I don’t set New Year resolutions too. Life is too unpredictable and plus, who knows if my goal(s) will remain the same, ha!!

    Hope you have a great year ahead, and Happy Holidays, Trish! :)

  13. But the K Bros should count as like 20 books all by itself. Not that I’m placing an emphasis on numbers, I’m just revisiting the agony of that book.

    I think moderation is very important…I can’t let go of the reading (I get a little twitchy…I guess I’m a book tweaker?), but I am trying to be more laid back about the blog. So good for you for finding a balance that’s working. And I like the mix of things in your blog!

  14. I love your grounded approach to blogging, Trish. It seems like you’ve hit your stride and found what works for you. It’s inspiring!

    I do have reading goals for myself for 2011, which I’ll be posting about after the holidays. Other than that, I’m still figuring out what 2011 will look like for me blogging-wise. I’ve been making sure I post every day so that blogging becomes a habit, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that up forever! I started tracking the books I read/listened to in late 2010, and I really enjoy that and plan to continue. That’s as far as I’ve gotten!

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  15. I think I felt this about blogging too. And I love doing it too. Creating a balance is so difficult sometimes :)

    I am glad you have things sorted out :o)

    You know, I will alwaus drop by because I love reading your thoughts…

    I hope the NEW YEAR is going to be a fabulous one for you :)

  16. I love your plans for the new year. I think it’s all about finding balance. I love being part of the book blog world but I think sometimes it does get crazy busy with all the challenges, goals, etc. and before you know it you get burnt out. I’ve been thinking of the changes I need to make as well to just keep my life more in balance.

    Have a wonderful holiday season Trish!

  17. A little sad to say I’ve spent most of my day sitting in front of the computer…but I did want to get responses finished before heading to the couch for some cuddle time. ;)

    *Reviewsbylola – I can’t wait for 2011–hopefully it will be a fantastic year for everyone!

    *Nymeth – Even if we’re balancing with things that might not be as fun I do think a variety in life is important. I hope you have a wonderful 2011 as well my friend.

    *Unfinished – Look forward to it.

    *Lisa – This is the first year in a long time that I haven’t been great about keeping track. There might be some books in Feb/March that I’ve forgotten about, but hopefully not. Surely I’d have remembered by now, huh? ;) Wanna host the 100 Mile Fit Challenge? Think we all need a kickstart.

    *Kim – I still get anxious about not being able to do it all but I keep hoping if I tell myself enough times that it will finally sink in. ;) And yes, get the reading done while you can–some times life allows for it more than others–I’m a firm believer we need to take advantage of what we’re given.

    *Booksync – I love how I’ve fooled you all with this post. ;) Balance is tough and I’m not sure it exists but all we can do is try, right? Happy 2011 to you…

    *Amanda – Even at 73 books I was a bit embarrassed–and while I think 22 is too low I think about all the missed opportunities when I was blogging and reading more. I say this very personally but for *me* blogging and reading was overrunning my life. (and yes, I do like keeping track as well–just got burned out and depressed and stopped–plan to be more organized in 2011).

    *Vasilly – Yes, I did see that about the EL&IC movie–will be interesting since the book was so visual.

    *Amy – It’s funny–a few years ago I would have scoffed at 2 books but sometimes priorities just have to be rearranged. I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

  18. *Shelley – I can’t imagine blogging intensely with a baby either but I see people doing it. Makes me wonder if these people are superhuman? ;) Good luck with your 2011 goals.

    *Samantha – LOL–still working out the details–I wish I had it all figured out. ;) Just need to R-E-L-A-X, right? Best wishes to you in 2011.

    *Christina – Seriously? That is the sweetest comment. And I hope 2011 is amazing for you as well. :D

    *Melody – Yes, that’s the other things about goals–they change! Life is too curvy to set a straight path to follow, right? Hope you have a lovely holiday season as well.

    *Softdrink – Um yes, I’d like to count Brothers K AND Les Mis about a million times each. And I’m glad to know I’m not alone in feeling a bit bogged down and uptight sometimes about blogging. Why do we allow ourselves to feel so pressured or something?

    *Erin – Still testing the waters but I definitely don’t want to burn out again! And your plans for 2011 sounds really great–I hope it’s a wonderful year for you!!

    *Veens – Balance IS difficult and I’m not even sure such a thing exists. Will be interesting with a baby. And I hope you have a wonderful new year as well my friend.

    *Iliana – I adore the book blogging world and don’t want to leave or change–sometimes I just need less pressure or more ME (real life) time. I hope you’re able to find more balance in the new year as well. ;)

    Ok…signing off for the evening!

  19. One of my favorite things about 2010 is meeting so many nice people (I realize we met Dec/09 but that is SO CLOSE to 2010 that I think we can count it as this year). I’m very thankful you are one of them! For many, many reasons, I am really looking forward to 2011. :) And glad you liked that youtube video–absolutely re-post, I have no rights to it!

  20. You definitely have the right attitude. You can’t possibly do everything and blogging does take up a lot of time. You have so much to look forward to next year.

  21. I love your honest posts Trish! Reading and blogging shouldn’t feel like work and pressure and competition. I think your attitude is a healthy one and everyone has to find that right place. I struggled this year with pressures of blogging and returned to working part time after being a stay at home mom. Time and family are precious and we need to find that balance of what makes us happy. You have such wonderful experiences ahead of you as a new mom and parent. Enjoy the moments, they do go by quickly.

  22. Find balance is always so difficult. Looking back over 2010, I feel like I wasn’t really connected with the book blogging community, but I have to continue to tell myself that college and family and friends are the most important things in my life right now. I’m glad to read that you’ve found a balance that works for you.

    I really don’t have major book reading/blogging plans/goals for 2011. I’m just going with the flow for now.

  23. I think your plans for the new year sound wonderful and well balanced.

    Your life will be gloriously changed with the addition of a little one.

    I hope you and Scott have a stress-free Christmas holiday, Trish!

  24. I love keeping track of numbers for fun and have done it for just about as long as I can remember (that and lists and little notations on calendars) but I understand what you’re saying and I’ve been trying to get some balance . . . kinda failing, actually. One of my resolutions for 2010 was to read less and enjoy what I read more because I did think I was shoving myself through too many books to really get enjoyment out of them. And, I think that’s one area in which I succeeded. I definitely read fewer books.

    I don’t have any major plans for 2011, though. I need to figure out what to do with my life, but I’m kind of clueless.

  25. *Meredith – I’m so glad to have met you as well and I hope that 2011 is a fantastic year all around. ;)

    *Vivienne – Blogging takes up SO much time! LOL–and Twitter. Just be glad you haven’t started a twitter account Viv. It’s wretched. But I’ll still enjoy it in doses.

    *Bonnie – It’s tough when you have to reprioritize life and cut out things that you enjoy but take up too much time (mostly talking about blogging). I hope that 2011 is a great year for you Bonnie!

    *Ardentreader – And I think that’s the most difficult part–feeling like you’re disconnected from the online community but if you go the other way feeling disconnected from the real life community. Wish there was an easy answer for how to do it all! Going with the flow sounds nice.

    *Molly – Molly, in small ways your Sunday Salon posts have really made me take a second look at what I’m doing and how I’m approaching life. I know balance is an allusion, but I admire all you try to do with what you’re given. Hope you have a lovely Christmas as well.

    *Bookfool – I do love keeping track of numbers as well, but I notice when I take part in more challenges or do keep track of those numbers I push myself to make them higher. I’ll probably keep better lists in 2011 but for this year it was nice to be a little oblivious! ;) Both your kiddos are out of the house now, huh?

  26. Amy

    Reading and blogging should be fun and never overwhelming, so I hope that trend continues for you. I also hope that your 2011 is wonderful.

  27. I think that you’re absolutely entitled to not have to put boundaries around everything you do. I love that you have taken a step back and are wanting to focus on such great things like the time you spend with people. I’ve been rethinking the number of books I read, etc. and am realizing that it’s not as big of a deal as I have built it up to be. You have so much to look forward to with the baby coming, that I’m excited to see how things move along and change for you! :) Thanks for sharing it all with us!

  28. I think you’ve got the right idea for 2011 for yourself Trish. Ultimately it’s your life and you should do what you’re comfortable with. Besides with a new baby you’re going to have a lot to keep you occupied for a while. lol.

    It doesn’t really matter how much you read; it’s more if you’re enjoying what you’re reading. For me I’m still enjoying the whole hustle of blogging but even with a new puppy it’s hard to keep up let alone a baby. You should never feel like you don’t want to do it – as soon as you do it’s time to stop. I had to when Buddy was sick – I just couldn’t face it all and then after I had to read what I wanted to, not what I had to.

    I think 2011 is going to be a great year for you and Scott! The things you’d like to accomplish for the new year are great! I don’t make resolutions anymore either – the only thing I’m saying for this year is to be the best person I can be and the best mommy to Sammy I can be too.

    Much luv to you my friend! I’m so happy for the way things are going for you right now! You deserve the best!

  29. 22 (23?) books is amazing! With a full time job none the less. I am a very slow reader, and I think the most books I have read is something like 18 in a year… Dont get too discouraged if you arent able to find the time to read as much with a baby. (You wont), just remember that there are different seasons in life, and your babies are only babies once. Spend that time snuggling them. I use to read my books to Emmory when she was teenie tiny. Your amazing!

  30. Rae

    I really really loved this post. Isn’t it amazing how we can let doing something we really enjoy turn into an obsession that haunts us? Good for you for prioritizing and letting go of any guilt that came along with it. (Does that sound weird? I hope it makes sense…)
    I love that you just stated that you don’t like making new year’s resolutions. I feel the same, and every year when people ask I feel like I always need a good excuse for why I didn’t make any. I just find that there are different times in which I feel more inspired to make changes, rather than with the beginning of a calendar year. Maybe I like to work on a fiscal year. :)
    I love Michelle’s advice. Perfect.