Well-Rounded Summer Reading for 2015

Kicking off my
Kicking off my “summer” reading last month in San Diego
bibliophile: n. a person who collects or has a great love of books.

This describes me well. These days I seem to read at least two books at once, and if I am loving them, you are sure to hear about it. My master “to read” list is sitting at a hefty 205 titles. I check my Amazon wishlist regularly to see if any titles I have been eyeing have gone on sale so I can snatch them up immediately. I will sacrifice sleep to finish a good book.  If I’m not reading, something is seriously wrong.

I made a goal to read 25 books in 2015, across the categories of Non-Fiction/Memoir, Fiction, Business/Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, and Relationships. I picked five in five different categories because I tend to “read to steal” – I like to read how I like to write. It makes me a better writer, and books by authors who blog also tend to be faster reads. However, I want to balance that impulse with other genres in order to be a more well-rounded reader and writer.

Because I love goals and the start of summer is as good a time as any for some new ones, I thought I would share what is on my current summer reading list.

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On Losing Those Last Ten Pounds

image source: Flickr Creative Commons, lauraboo222
image source: Creative Commons, lauraboo222

Every January, we make resolutions to get healthier.

Well, January has come and gone. How are we doing with those resolutions, folks?

While looking back at the goals I set in 2014, I was surprised to find that while I was still active last year, I did not cover nearly as ground than the year the before. I finally tried spinning classes (and loved them), so that accounts for some of it, but according to my Map My Run data, I completed about 30 workouts less. It was kind of disappointing to see those numbers go down, but I have still managed to maintain my weight (within a constant 5-7 pound fluctuation).

2014 Workouts

The weather has been in the teens here lately, and it has been next to impossible to get motivated to move outside of the minimum required to live life. I ordered cold weather gear from Under Armour at Christmas so I would be prepared to take on running in the cold, but when it dips into the 30’s and below, I just can not bring myself to do it. I don’t know, burning lungs just are not my thing, you know?

Now, I am not totally sedentary. Lucky for me I live in one of the most walkable cities in America, so lately an average day has me covering over 2 miles to get to work and run errands. I am still making (relatively) decent food choices and trying to not indulge every single winter carb craving that hits me. Eating protein is still high on the dietary priority list, but getting in my green vegetables has definitely been a challenge. Sugar and I have yet to entirely break up. I don’t use it in my coffee or tea, but if there are sweets in front of me, I will rarely say no.

Here is the thing. I know I have about 10 more pounds to go until I reach my “goal” weight, what I weighed when I moved to Hoboken four and a half years ago. But my clothes (mostly) fit, I generally feel ok. Exercising less has allowed me to write more. I hate that I feel like I have to choose, but it seems like it often comes down to deciding to pour my energy into writing or exercising.

I find myself thinking, “You know what? I would rather carry around that extra 10 pounds and let my body be a little softer and become a better writer than be proud of my exercise regime but be a half-hearted writer.

That makes me feel somewhat guilty. It seems like the thing I should do is dedicate equal time to both – be both a regimented exerciser and a great writer. But I have not yet found a way to balance both equally – one always gets the short end of the stick. Writing and exercising for a lengthy amount of time in the same day is often unrealistic for me. So do I switch back and forth? Do I just make healthier (stricter) food choices? Everything I read says I need to write every day, and writing is a much longer, emotionally involved process. How do I stay holistically healthy in the midst of dreary winter?

Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle versus up-keeping creative workflow? Have you found a way to balance the two?

2015: A Year to Practice Presence

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I want to show up for 2015.

Last year I vowed to use my time intentionally. I was tired of living life only sporadically examined, days and seasons whizzing by as I wished I had spent them better. I wanted to plan better and follow through.

My pace of life drastically changed when I no longer had a full-time job. But I often felt like I was still spinning my wheels, trying to gain traction and move forward. Intentionally setting goals was not enough to make sure I accomplished them.

We need real reasons to stop and notice and be thankful and grow.

Continue reading 2015: A Year to Practice Presence