I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I do know one thing I’m planning to do in 2013: not read so many dang books. I read a lot when I have tiny babies, especially since with an iPad and Kindle, turning pages while trapped under a baby is easy. Last year I had time to read in the middle of the night (thanks, Paul!) and time to read while pumping at work (3x a day at 20 minutes each is an HOUR per day I was reading at work!) I set a goal of reading 100 books in 2012 and by June I was blowing that goal out of the water. I think I was at 71 already.
I figured to make my goal relevant again, I’d just re-set it. Half of the year left = read 50 more books. So I changed my goal to 120 and suddenly found out that since Paul had just turned one, reading wasn’t going so smoothly. I was spending much more time picking up after my (walking!) one-year-old than sitting on the couch nursing. Thomas started handling a lot of the night wakeups (yay for Daddy!). I no longer pumped at work. A little over 8 books a month started to seem like a…lot. (As a comparison, I read seventeen books in May.)
By the time November and December rolled around, reading was a big struggle for me. After 102 books already that year, I was pretty sick of reading. I wanted to watch TV. Page through a magazine. Anything but look at the stack of library books taunting me. I wanted to stop thinking about how 11/22/63 should totally count as 4 books and how my goal had turned into “read 120 books I can review on Goodreads,” meaning the five I couldn’t didn’t count.* (So, yes, I read one hundred and twenty-five books in 2012.)
I considered dropping the goal back to 100 and saying ‘done!’ I just couldn’t. I set this wacky goal and I was GOING TO MEET IT. No matter how much it made me hate reading! (Not counter-productive at all!) I did meet my goal, on December 30th and was very relieved to be done with it. Now reading is for pleasure again, instead of feeling like homework. We’re eight days into 2013 and I’ve only finished ONE book. It’s so nice to have permission (from myself) to read one chapter before bed and have that be IT for the whole day. I think I’ve established that meaningless goals are probably not a good thing for me. Resolve to be a better parent? That’s a good thing. Resolve to spend all my free time doing one thing? Not so much.
*Three were books I just couldn’t admit to reading where anyone on earth could see. (Guess what they were!) (NOT IN MY COMMENTS SECTION.) The fourth was the beta version of the Office Crush book and the fifth was a book written by a relative of mine that I really don’t want to review.