Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Makes You Springy

Peach Blossom, Becker Vineyards, Stonewall, Texas
This last week was Spring Break for most Texas schools. It is always a time for me to get caught up on those things I find important: reading, writing, cleaning my yard up, straightening my house, doing piles of laundry, and maybe even taking a little day trip or two. This year was no exception. I actually really enjoyed not having to live by a particular schedule, but still having time to do what needed to be done to make my life easier to function this week.

I do find it interesting that I am more eager to get things done in the spring than in any time of the year. That whole “spring cleaning” thing is really true for me. I get more items recycled during the spring than I do any other season. It’s a letting go of what isn’t needed. A freedom from things.

This leads to another idea I’ve been ruminating over for a few months, probably since reading Paris Letters. I need to make my life more flexible. I need to only have what I really, really want to have and will use. Like most Americans, I have way too much stuff. Too many clothes, dishes, knick-knacks, books, furniture, etc. I definitely need to get rid of “stuff.”

My first foray into downsizing will be my books. I was looking among my personal book collection and seeing that I had many paperbacks and hardcover books that I just don’t need to keep around. I was excited to be reminded about a website that I once contemplated using called BookCrossing. Weeks ago I ordered labels to go onto books that I plan to “plant” around the city, or wherever I happen to be at the moment, such as the Texas Library AssociationConference in San Antonio at the end of April, and set them free to other people who will read them. I have so many books that I want to do this to. I may also put them in one of the “Free Little Library” boxes around everywhere. So many paperbacks to spread around! I should be receiving my labels in a few days. I’m pretty excited about this! I have a great stack of books ready to go.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

In the News: You Could Read 200 Books in the Time Spent on Social Media

I caught this article on Facebook the other day that said that, with the amount of time people spend on social media, they could have read 200 books in a year. I totally believe this. There are plenty of days in my past that I’ve had a time suck on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest (not so much Twitter, though. I am not great at Twitter). This has been especially prevalent the past few months, since the election. I would obsess over every article coming out about the current administration.

Since so much of my marketing for my businesses and my own personal writing comes from being on social media, I feel like I have to start limiting myself to just a few minutes a day for both business and pleasure. I spend so much of my day with Facebook just open in the background. I actually just stopped to close it. It’s going to be about time management. Less time reading useless stuff, more time reading literature and writing. This is easier said than done.

I spent the last week practicing this. I was extremely busy at work and with my business, but I used my spare time that I would normally just surf Facebook by reading a book. I finished a 256-page book in 4 days without just sitting down and reading for hours at a time. It was in about 10 to 20 minute increments probably ten to twelve times a day. I will admit, it was an Agatha Christie book (Cat Among the Pigeons), so it was a quick read anyway, but I was surprised at how quickly I did get through it.

Now, if only I could convince myself to write this way! I must work this into the mix, for sure.

So, here’s the goal: Less Social Media, More Books!