Posted by: Katie | January 15, 2010

A new year

It’s a bit scary to me how quickly time is passing by. The last two weeks have simultaneously felt like no time has passed at all and that it’s been a month, at least. Part of this is probably due to last week being my boss’ last before she assumed her new position, and this week being our first without her.

Moving beyond that, I am not one to make resolutions because I have found they don’t work for me.  However, with the changes at work, and with being in my current place for almost a full year now, I have decided it’s time to look at the way I do things and make sensible changes where I can. One of the first things I did was last weekend. I took a good chunk of Saturday and dedicated it to weeding my clothes. I ended up taking almost three full black garbage bags over to our local Goodwill. After running some other errands, I spent what remained of the afternoon sorting through what remained and organizing them into “theme” areas like: sentimental connections I can’t quite get rid of at this point (namely t-shirts/sweaters), summer, short-sleeved t-shirts, dress clothes, winter, etc. It felt refreshing to go through all of it and prune the “collection”. I can now see what I own and make informed selections on what to wear.

I also took the time last weekend to weed my cookbook collection. This is actually the start of the annual book collection weed. I’m going to go slowly, but I expect to have it done by April if I really stretch it out. I now have my cookbooks down to their assigned shelf. It is just this edge of tight, though. I’m not going to worry about it right now though as I did very good with getting rid of what I did. This is also in support of my efforts to eat a more healthy diet. It’s still tough as I hate to cook just for myself, and most of what I’m finding I like to eat doesn’t appeal to me as leftovers. On this weekend’s agenda is also giving the “Eat Your Books” site a spin with their free trial. I heard about it from Angie on Twitter, and if it stands up to her recommendation, I’ll probably go for the lifetime membership after the free trial. I’m more than willing to pay for services I like and appreciate which is why I have two lifetime accounts with LibraryThing (who recently hit the 1M registered user mark).

Speaking of LibraryThing, one of my aspirations for this year is to read/reread/listen to (RRL) 104 books. I.e. double that “52 Books in 52 Weeks” meme. Why do I think this is actually possible? I got in the habit of recording what I read in my one LibraryThing account as part of my tenure on the Reading List committee (they’re meeting right now, in fact, to name the 2009 books). I was only on the committee one year because that year happened to also be my first year in this position, and let’s just say they were not mixing well. I wish I had kept a reading log prior to being on the committee, however, I had never found a way of doing so that worked for me. Doing what I did in LT did, so I just kept up the habit. My first year AC (after-committee), was spent recovering from reading burnout. I had read and skimmed probably close to 175, if not 200, books when I was on it in 2007. In 2008, I felt like I was not reading at a speed anywhere close to what I had done previous to my committee work, but because I hadn’t tracked what I read, I couldn’t compare. As it was, I ended up with 57 books RRL. So, even with what felt like decreased productivity, I still broke the 52 in 52 point. This past year, I hit 97 that I managed to remember to record. There was a period during and after a 2-week road trip vacation that I almost lost the habit, and missed a few. To me, all this means that 104 is a reasonable aspiration.

I’ll wrap this up with what else I hope to accomplish over the next few months and what books I’ve got on my “watchlist”. To wit, I’m trying to get myself better organized. Last weekend I picked up a number of bins I plan on using for collating various groups of “things”. I’m going to work out a schedule of tackling these various organization projects in batches. What I have on my schedule for this weekend is clearing out the papers that have accumulated over the last month and toss what I need to toss, put all of my receipts in order and log them in preparation for doing my tax return, and sorting through my craft room. I figure one organizational project each day over the weekend. I’m also going to spend part of one day finishing the scrapbook of the wedding of my best friend from college which I was in over the summer, especially since the photographer’s photos finally came in the mail today. Another day will have some knitting time built in, probably on Monday. I’ve got some cooking to do as part of the claiming of a Christmas gift “certificate” I gave my office manager, which means part of tomorrow will be spent at the store getting ingredients. Finally, I’m also kicking my other self in the patootie and will be getting back on the horse that is fiction writing. I’ve been off it way too long. I’ve started with a small daily goal and plan on working up 50 words at a time until I hit what I think is a good productive average that still allows for the fact I work a full-time job, and a sometimes part-time job.

All right, books on this month’s watchlist (some of this is bleedover from the end of last month):

  1. Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan (have it from the library)
  2. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (have it from the library)
  3. Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl (have it from the library)
  4. A Marquis to Marry by Amelia Grey (have it from the library & am currently reading)
  5. Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (have a hold for paper and audio at the library)
  6. Sizzle by Julie Garwood (have a hold for paper and audio at the library)
  7. Blood Ties by Kay Hooper (have a hold for paper and audio at the library) (1/26)
  8. Street Game by Christine Feehan (debating on whether to buy or put a hold on it at the library)
  9. The Elusive Bride by Stephanie Laurens (will be buying when on sale – 1/26)
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