Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Reading

Today, Daphne and I went to the library to turn in our last batch of books and to check out some new ones.  I love the library.  I love it so much that I have even almost completely gotten over feeling all germophobic every time I go there.  Perhaps this is because we have a brand spankin' new super clean library here in town and it doesn't have that weird smell like the one in our neighborhood in Texas.

Anyway, the library has started its Summer Reading Program for kids, which made me happy because this was a summer staple during my youth.  I got Daphne all signed up.  She has to read 50 books this summer and write them on her reading log, and when she does, she gets to choose a free book. (I believe Borders and B&N are both having similar summer programs, but those places are quite a drive from here.)  Plus she got some little trinkets just for signing up.  We have already polished off three books.  Forty-seven to go! Woohoo!

I sadly turned in my copy of The Happiness Project.  But it will be good for someone else to get to read it.  Apparently, there are quite a few Loudoun County residents in the market for happiness.  When I went on line to request the book, I was 38th in the queue.  I think there are three copies floating around the county, so it only took a few weeks for me to get my turn.  I do think I am going to buy a copy eventually.  The paperback doesn't come out until December, so maybe I'll ask for it for my birthday or something.  It will be good to have it to refer to during downward groove spirals.

As I mentioned before, parts of the book are sort of hokey.  Other parts are common sense.  But overall I enjoyed reading it, could relate to it, and found some good strategies for increasing my serenity here at home on a daily basis since a quiet month alone in a cabin in the woods in Maine with some yarn, needles, books, a canoe, and the sounds of loons is not a real option.  And that's totally OK.  I LIKE being at home.

The main thing I was inspired to do after reading the book is to get rid of clutter and chaos, because that is what tends to bring me down.  I started this yesterday in Daphne's room.  In three hours, her room was clean, neat, and organized.  I gave two bags of clothes to my neighbor, packed up another bag for the Salvation Army, threw away some very old things that were just taking up space (think containers of diaper rash cream from three years ago and the like), and packed away some winter stuff that should still fit later in the year.  It was hard work, but I cannot tell you how good it felt to tackle this chore.  Over the summer, I am going to do the rest of the house, and I can't wait.  In fact, as soon as I finish this post, I'm starting on my desk drawers.

Gretchen Rubin, the author of the book, made resolutions throughout the year that she dedicated to her project, so I am going to make a few here and try really hard to keep them.  I think trying to do these things will, at least a little bit, improve the overall quality of life for me and for the people who have to deal with me.  So here goes:
  1. Complain less and be generally less negative.  There are no lions after all.
  2. Spend less time on the computer.  There will be at least one whole experimental "Power Down" week this summer...probably sooner than later.
  3. Enjoy Daphne as much as possible even when she's being annoying.  Try to turn her annoying behaviors around into something more fun.
  4. Eat better food and take more walks.
  5. Stay up later.  Try to encourage Kev to stay up later too. 
  6. Get up earlier.
  7. Find some kind of an interesting or fun class to take.
  8. Listen to music more.  Especially while cooking.
  9. Have more family band time.
  10. Let things go.
OK...so that's a pretty good place to start I think.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, off to attack my desk.  Better take some trash bags...

1 comment:

Gye Greene said...

Not gong to a cabin: Totally. I'd much rather stay at home and putter about (e.g., tidy).

Tidying: Impressive! And ($158 post), sounds like you found some nifty stuff.

#1: Interesting. Your blogs are typically upbeat -- so this must refer to your in-person interactions.

#3: Good luck with that. ;) Intractable children (particularly mine) just get my goat.

#5 + #6: So, basically be more sleep-deprived? ;)

#7: Aikido. Unless touching strangers weirds you out.

#9: Rock on!

Good stuff. :)