Sunday, February 19, 2023

Just Some Random Things

I thought that perhaps when I stopped posting on Twitter I might write more here, but it hasn't worked out that way. I do occasionally post over on Post or Instagram, but mostly I lurk. I haven't stopped lurking on Twitter but increasingly it feels like I should. 

I thought that maybe I'd waste less time scrolling and spend more time reading, and that has sort of worked out. I am finding it depends greatly on how much I am enjoying whatever book I'm reading. I think I need to get more ruthless about abandoning books that don't grab me in a couple of sittings. It is not like there is a shortage of things to read. 

I have started using my library to borrow ebooks instead of just buying from Amazon. Now that I'm reading more, my habit of just buying the book was going to get expensive. I try to buy the book more often if it is a less well-known author but to be honest it sometimes just comes down to whether there's a waitlist on the book at the library. 

I just posted a comment with some books I've enjoyed recently over at Grumpy Rumblings so I won't repeat them here. I will say a bit more about the books that didn't make the list, though. Over the Christmas break I reread The City and the City by China MiĆ©ville and loved even more the second time through. It is just such an interesting, mind-bending book. So I went looking for something similar. I utterly failed. I found a list of books other people had recommended as similar and while I could see the reason for the recommendation they were both so disappointing that I won't list them here. One hinted at really interesting things in the world they built but never did anything with them, leaving the world feeling flat. The other did a good job world building but fell down on characters. Both wrote women characters that didn't feel real at all. They often read like the enactment of the author's fantasies. It was terrible. I had forgotten what a hard time some sci-fi writers have with writing women or even making a world in which women can have some true agency. Blech.

The closest I came to the William Gibson or The City and the City feeling in reading recently was The City Inside by Samit Basu. This book had a believable and interesting world, believable and interesting characters... but ended without really tidying things up. Maybe there's a sequel planned. If there is one, I'll read it, but I prefer books to leave me feeling like I read something complete, even if there is a sequel.

In other news in my life... I had two business trips in January. I caught a terrible cold on the last day of the second trip and brought it home to share with my family. My husband and I are still coughing - it is a month later for me! - but my kids got over it really quickly. That was a nice stark reminder that we're aging and so are our immune systems. 

The business trips were good, but as much as I like to travel, I'd be happy not to have any more trips for quite awhile. Business travel is its own class of travel and now that my kids are old enough to let me read uninterrupted at home, the business trip has very little to offer me. (I used to enjoy getting to snuggle into bed and just read in the evening - a rare treat back when my kids were little.)

Work continues to be intense, but I am slowly getting a handle on things and am cautiously optimistic that by the time it is beach weather here I will actually be able to deliver on my promise to take more half days to take Petunia to the beach.

Now that I only cough occasionally and not constantly, I am trying to get back into my exercise routine. So I think I'll sign off and go out for my Sunday morning run/walk. It is a glorious day here. I hope you are all keeping well!

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Hello 2023

Happy New Year! 

I have had such a bad run of success with New Year's resolutions/intentions/goals that I decided to try something different this year. I wrote a list of all the things I'd like to improve upon. I did this quickly, without thinking too much about it. I figured this would get me the list of things that are most on my mind. Then I looked at the list to see if there were any themes. And there were - three themes emerged:

- Own my age

- Make healthier habits

- Enjoy life more

My plan is to try to let these three themes guide my decisions in 2023. Petunia wanted a specific "wellness journal" for Christmas. My sister and I got our wires crossed and both bought it for her. I was too lazy to take the one I bought back, so I gave Petunia the cash and kept the journal for myself. It is not at all what I'd have picked if I went shopping for such a thing, but it will do. I needed something like it to track my diet and sleep as I try to identify possible triggers for the supraventricular tachycardia episodes and so I will use it for that and also for setting monthly goals for my three themes. We'll see if that helps me actually do the things I want to do this year!

What do the themes mean? Well, owning my age is the category that encompasses things on my list like "find a new 'uniform' now that my old one isn't so flattering anymore" (my "uniform" is my go to easy type of outfit - I had one for casual and one for work. Both need updating.) Making healthier habits is probably self-explanatory. It includes things like "do something active for at least 10 minutes every day" (I feel so much better, physically and mentally, when I do this!) and "decrease my alcohol intake" (it crept up in the lockdown phase of the pandemic and I never did a post-pandemic reset - now is the time). Enjoy life more has things like my ever popular "take more walks on the beach" and "read more" - but also "actually do all the things on our family fun list" (our performance in 2022 was abysmal). 

We'll see how this system works. Maybe if I do well with it, I'll be shopping for a wellness journal of my own next December!