Happy International Women’s Day!
I’ve had some business in my life and haven’t had much time to myself to blog or even to reflect much, but in light of the International Women’s Day Women’s Strike I decided to take some time for myself. And I’m so glad I did! It’s not even noon yet and I’ve already had some great time for reflection.
Most of the blogs and websites that I keep up with on a daily basis are run by women and they have all taken a stand to strike today and not post any new material, and I 100% support that decision. I’m so glad that so many women are taking this day seriously and taking care of themselves. I’ve seen a strike day called “a glorified personal day” and I don’t see anything wrong with that way of thinking. Women are without a doubt overworked and run by their schedules so to have a day about them and not about pleasing anyone else or following a calendar is fantastic!
Here are some of my personal reflections today:
- My Body
- I have not been a very good FitGirl the past few months. I’ve been starting each new round strong and head on, but I’ve not stuck to it and I’ve not held myself accountable like I should be doing. I know that part of my problem is how busy my life has been and that any unscheduled time I’ve had I’ve used to try and recharge my batteries – in my mind, my friendships, and my relationship. I’ve not put in much effort to the workouts and definitely not to the meal plans. As a result, I’ve gained 10 pounds since my lowest FitGirls weight (in November) and 5 of that has just been in the past month. (Too much pizza & Starbucks + not enough MixxedFit). There is a new round of FitGirlsGuide starting on Monday, March 13 and I will be making more time for my health and fitness in the next 4 weeks.
- I’ve also started a fitness seminar in my town called Women Can Run. Arkansas has this state-wide 10-week program (2 days per week) that started yesterday to teach women the proper form, apparel, and techniques to make you a successful runner. I’ve completed several 5Ks but I’ve never ran one 100% and this is my goal with Women Can Run. I will be including MixxedFit on Mondays and Wednesdays when I can so I can try to get back to my health goals.
- I’ve been going to Starbucks too much lately. This is apparent in the 5 pounds I’ve gained this month because this is the only significant dietary change I’ve made. I haven’t been on track with working out for months but I’ve maintained. Starbucks is my biggest trigger to weight gain at the moment, so I’m going to make an effort to cut it out completely for the next 4 weeks. (Which will help me keep some money in my pocket, as well.)
- My Mind
- Learn something new every week and push those around me to do the same. This is going to start with today, International Women’s Day. Here is an article from ONE.org that I really enjoyed: 12 Women Who Changed the World
The day is still young. Go learn something. Take care of yourself. Make changes – in yourself, in your environment, in the world.
I’m getting a little bit of a late start this morning, but that’s because I wanted to be fully rested! 10+ hours of sleep will, hopefully, keep my head clear!
Here is my introductory post!
- Where in the world are you reading from this weekend? Jonesboro, AR
- Have you done the 24in48 readathon before? Yes, July 2016
- Where did you hear about the readathon, if it is your first? The Litsy app!!
- What book are you most excited about reading this weekend? I’m most excited to read Carrie Fisher’s The Princess Diarist
- Tell us something about yourself. I have recently gone on a journey to complete 30 tasks by the time I’m 30. You can follow my progress here!!
- Remind us where to find you online this weekend. I can be found here at my blog, on Instagram @thirtyby30inthirty, and on mt Litsy @Evamic.
I’m not entirely sure if I am still feeling ashamed or if I can safely admit that I’m proud. I completed Jane Eyre tonight. I spent most of my time while reading this book amazed at the modern feel of some of the ideas and personalities found in this story. I completely forgot that this novel was written over 150 years ago.
I was having trouble finding the true sense of a love story until I reached the last few chapters. I could get a sense of love that Jane felt for Mr. Rochester but I could sense that she felt he never quite helped her be the woman that she wanted to become. This was the same realization that Jane went through when faced with a second marriage proposal. She questioned every aspect of marriage if it only meant being what someone else’s ideas were about her. She was definitely a feminist after my own heart. She questioned everything and never settled for less than what she desired for herself. When she finally searched out Mr. Rochester in an effort to clear her anxieties about him, she discovered the many hardships he had endured since her departure from his home. Upon laying eyes on him again Jane’s love was restored and made anew. They both needed hard times and room to grow before they were put in the right place to fully love each other. This is where I wholly and completely appreciated this love story.
As far as my conflicting feelings go, I’m saddened and ashamed by the fact that it took me over 5 weeks to finish one book. On the other hand, I’m immensely proud of myself for finishing my first book of the year. To make up for my timing and to keep my morale up, I’m going to stick to some smaller books for my next few self-appointed assignments. I haven’t decided yet what exactly I’m going to read next, but I’ve got several options. I’ll decide by tomorrow and let you know.
I began this blog and this reading challenge with the intention of really pushing myself to stick to my commitments and to stretch my limitations. I foolishly thought I would read a book in a week and write a blog about it. This would have started out wonderfully if I had not chosen a 600 page classic novel as my first assignment.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely loving Jane Eyre. I started reading it when I was 16 and never quite got into it, so almost a decade later it’s nice to have a different perspective to which I can better appreciate it. Even as a child Jane Eyre is 100% relatable. Her thoughts and insecurities are thoughts and insecurities that I have personally experienced, not just as a child but as an adult as well. As an adult her feminist inclinations are ones that I hold, myself. So far, this has been my favorite and most unexpected passage:
“It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility; they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot. Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a constraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.”
I’ve struggled greatly with finding the time to read regularly. This used to be easy. I’d spend a Saturday off shut up in my room reading a good book from the moment I was awake until I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Emerging every so often for a glass of water or a sandwich. But that was the leisure of a lonely girl without much responsibility. I say lonely not to make anyone feel sorry for me, but because it was the truth. In my loneliness I found comfort in books. As an adult, I’m not nearly as lonely, but I have plenty of responsibilities. Days off are consumed with laundry and house cleaning, going to the grocery store, giving the dog a bath, and doing the dishes. Those are the things I do when I’m alone. When my boyfriend or my sister are home I don’t want to shut them out by diving into my books so I spend time with them: watching a movie or tv show, playing a game, cooking dinner together. And before I know it my day off is over. Full of things that need to be completed and the joy of being with my family, but still over. Never once taking a chance to slip away into my alternate world of literature.
I only request that you be patient with me. I’m enjoying when I do happen to get a chance to read and I’m already making a lot of progress from last year, but it is still a long road ahead. It is my hope to be complete with Jane Eyre by next weekend. This will mark a month since I began my reading challenge and hopefully I can soon mark one down.
Alright, this blog is part experiment, part accountability for myself. I’ve discovered a wonderful 2015 Reading Challenge provided by Popsugar which basically works out to be one book a week for a year. This used to be no problem for me, but I’ve let life get in my way and I haven’t been as much of a bookworm as I used to be. I’m wanting to use this list as my one and only challenge to myself for 2015. Well, I suppose this blog would be the second challenge. I don’t want to just read these books for a year, I want to keep track of what I’ve read and make note of them. I feel like that is so important. So many ideas and thoughts happen to us while we read books, either fiction or nonfiction, and not all of us have book clubs and like-minded people to share those thoughts. Personally, my thoughts come out better in writing. I’ve never really successfully tried a blog before and I honestly don’t expect to have anyone read it, but here’s to a New Year and high hopes! And if someone does happen to find my silly musings, I truly hope you enjoy yourself!
To begin this journey I first explored the App Store to find a good app that would help me keep track of my list and the books I would like to add to it. I decided on BKSHLF because it connects to Goodreads (Goodreads by itself I personally find a little too distracting, I could spend all day on there) and it has a ISBN scanner that works with your phone’s camera. I decided this would be perfect for me because I am constantly seeing things I’d like to read and then forgetting them less than an hour later.
Step two consisted of pilfering through my bookshelf at home during my lunch break. This proved to be quite successful as I found my first 5 qualifying books:
- A Classic Romance — Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- A Book Based on a True Story — The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- A Book from your Childhood — The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (This has always been a favorite, and I’m incredibly excited to read it again)
- A Book I Own but have Never Read — The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I saw the movie before I acquired the book. Most of the time this makes me more interested in the book, but this particular situation had the opposite effect)
- A Book that was Originally Written in Another Language — Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Burton (A beautiful copy I received as a Christmas present this year from my boyfriend)
After work I stopped by my local Barnes & Noble to try out my BKSHLF app and track down some of the books that had caught my eye a few days ago. While I was there I decided that in addition to the challenge, this year I will purchase only one book per month. These books will both fulfill my challenge commitments and build my personal library at the same time without blowing a hole through my wallet, which is highly possible, due to my collector’s personality. The rest of my challenge commitments will have to be satisfied by my local library.
My purchase for January fulfills my nonfiction qualification: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. This book stuck out to me a few months ago online (sadly, I don’t remember where) and during my last trip to my local library my searches for this title proved unsuccessful, so I was pretty excited to find it on the front table right as I walked into my B&N.
My excitement for a new book almost overshadowed the books sitting alone in the corner on my shelf. This is a normal pattern for me to forget the old because of the new, so I’m forcing myself to read at least 2 of the books I already own before I read my new one. I’m beginning this challenge with Jane Eyre, I have a petite little copy of this book that will fit wonderfully in my purse. I suppose I’ll actually go get some reading done now.
Happy New Year, Happy Reading!