My parents raised me to believe that being 15 minutes early was being on time. I have not always mastered this ideal, but they would have been proud of me for showing up at the airport a half hour early. My husband was flying in from a business trip, and I arrived to meet him in plenty of time.
My Kindle was fully charged and an easy swipe from my purse, but after the 90-minute drive I was content to let my eyes drift and people watch. I grabbed a cup of airport coffee and positioned myself in one of the best seats available to watch the arrival of passengers.
I’m not the most approachable person. I do enjoy other people. I just don’t have that gift to draw in others. So I was surprised when an older lady plopped down in a seat right next to mine, while other seats were empty.
She opened a book and began reading. I glanced at her, mentioned that I enjoyed reading too, continued to stare down the passenger arrival hallway, and took another sip of my average coffee.
“Yes,” she warmly clucked. She had a real love for reading. She chattered on, revealing that she reads at least 100 books every year. Turning my gaze from the arrivals hallway, I shifted in my seat and studied her as though she had horns sprouting from her head. Who does that? Who reads 100 books every year?
She was a retired…librarian.
Got me to thinking. It was December, and the opportunity to make New Year’s Resolutions was right around the corner. I decided that if she could read 100 books a year, I surely could read 52. I’m not retired, but I’d only be at half her pace. Just one book a week.
Whenever the favorite pastime question has come up, I’ve always responded reading. And yet, I wasn’t. Not as much as I would like.
Life has been busy, earning a living and raising a family. It’s been a privilege and a joy to first be a parent to my own children and then to care for my elderly parents, but my caretaker role has subsided. My kids are grown, and my parents are gone.
There was no excuse to let another year quickly vanish, without thinking about what I really wanted to do with it. I wanted to read more, to read 52 books in one year.
It’s now June.
I’ve read nine.
I should be at 24. It’s been a lot tougher than I thought it would be.
On the other hand, I’m on track to read 18-20 books this year. I can’t remember the last time I read 20 books in one year. It would have to be the college years, but textbooks don’t really count. Being driven to read from fear of penalty is different from reading for enjoyment and pure love of learning.
And so, I have accomplished something. I’m way behind on my New Year’s Resolution goal, but I’ve achieved more had I not set any resolution at all.
I had a second New Year’s Resolution to start a blog. For me, writing ranks right up there with reading. Can’t get enough of the written word. I planned to blog weekly.
I’ve been posting just once a month.
I’m brimming with ideas, but can’t escape the fact that these ideas must be put on hold while I perform my day job. My home office and cozy sanctuary where I can read, think, learn, research and write remains empty, all too often.
On the other hand, I actually have a blog started. This isn’t my 24th post, but it is my sixth. That’s six more than I would have accomplished without committing to a New Year’s Resolution.
I did get something done.
The reading and blogging have been good for me. My days are better, happier with these goals of mine. I feel more like me.
And so my fellow New Year’s Resolution makers, we’re almost halfway through the year. I hope you’re on target with dreams that were crystal clear in January. But if you’re not, cut yourself some slack and think of all you’ve accomplished anyway.
Feels good, doesn’t it?