Challenged by Challenges

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My reading life has changed a lot over the last few years. I started blogging about books in 2007 and almost immediately discovered the fun and pleasure of a variety of organized Reading Challenges. The first one I participated in was Carl V’s Once Upon a Time, and it was a really fun way to discover books and authors unknown to me, and it also introduced me to many wonderful blogging friends. I was hooked on challenges from then on.

I still love reading challenges, but my life has changed a lot since those early blogging days, and I find myself not finishing my challenges…for many different reasons. I take them on with good intentions! Last week, I was reading The Ivy Tree for Anbolyn’s Mary Stewart Week…one book in one week. No problem? Well, I am only half way through the book, and that celebratory week ended yesterday and I’m not ready to review.

The scheduled, organized, motivated Reader inside of me just quails to admit that I didn’t finish another challenge. But the pragmatic, look-at-the-big-picture part of me says, “no worry…write a review or post a comment when you DO finish…life’s too short to feel guilty or self-pressured…and it was an enjoyable challenge, nonetheless.”

So I’m going to practice being kinder to myself about my reading. I still want to participate in those wonderfully creative challenges, but I am going to give myself permission to enjoy them whether or not I finish them the way I intend when I sign up. My life is full of books and reading pleasures. But it is also full of friends and family, Grandboy, new knitting projects, gardening, going for walks, and enjoying our new town and our new life. The real challenge for me is finding a balance so I can enjoy all of these wonderful parts of my life!

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8 thoughts on “Challenged by Challenges

  1. Cath

    I think the key thing you mention is balance. There are so many things to enjoy, and grandchildren are not children for long. It’s scary. It’s taken me a while to realise that no one comes after me if I don’t complete a book challenge. Apart from Carl’s challenges I’m doing two others this year. One I’ve loved and have just one more book to read before 2014. The other I’ve only read 2 of 6 and will, in all probability, not finish. So be it. Like you I know there are other things in life.

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  2. Lisa

    I keep reminding myself that reading & blogging are supposed to be fun, a break from stress, not stress-inducing! I think you’re very wise to focus on the balance.

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  3. Nan

    I bet your niece would say ‘uh oh, another #retiredpeopleproblems!! I recently dropped my Sherlock Holmes Challenge when I saw I had been reading one short book for months. :<)

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  4. Les in NE

    I don’t do challenges anymore, either. I did participate in a read-along a couple of months ago and while I’m glad I read the book, I doubt I’ll partake in another joint-read. I prefer to read what I want when I want.

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  5. Robin Post author

    JoAnn, I hope it doesn’t take me 3 weeks to read it! I’m seriously distracted by my new knitting project — a baby hat for one of my nieces! At least it’s a little project. 🙂

    Cath, we always seem to be striving for balance in everything we do! I think “so be it” is a great approach.

    Thanks, Lisa. I totally agree with you…it IS supposed to be fun and stress-free. Good words to remember.

    Oh Nan, I just laughed when I read your comment. Since my niece put that hashtag on my facebook page, I keep finding more and more things that totally fit that description! I hope you and Tom are enjoying many of those #retiredpeopleproblems, too!

    Kelly, I am so enjoying your photography! Your pictures are beautiful. Are you doing it professionally now?

    Les, I don’t think I could keep up with a read-a-long. Much of the time now I just mosey along through my books and enjoy the immersion. I seem to have lost that drive to finish fast and move on to another one. There’s always another one waiting, but I’m not in such a hurry anymore. Maybe that’s another #retiredpeopleproblem ??

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