The Adventures of Anastasiya Didok

Life and faith in a nutshell.

Category: Uncategorized

Update

I haven’t written since April (oh my!), which doesn’t surprise me, because I rarely stick to writing on a regular basis. However, this time around there’s a reason. I switched jobs. I stayed in the same industry, but was offered a promotion at another company and have made the decision to move. Although I love my new job and the challenges that my new role brings, it’s been eating up every single bit of my mental capacity, resulting in me coming home absolutely exhausted and unable to possibly think another thought! It’s been three months now though, and time to get back to writing. I’ve fallen behind on 52 book series, and have also (with my husbands’ approval) fallen a bit off the wagon with not reading, which was my New Year’s resolution for the year. Although I don’t believe I can make up for lost time, going forward I am hoping to continue writing about books! Fingers crossed that it happens!

Why A Real Book Still Beats The Kindle and Other Readers

We’ve all heard about the romantic notion of picking up a book and the feeling that flipping through the real pages gives to a hardcore reader. It’s so romantic to curl up by the fire with a volume on a rainy or snowy day. Or to find yourself in a coffee shop, sipping on the java, with a novel in front of you. Or to lay on the beach, the warmth of the sun tickling your skin, sunglasses on, lost in the most recent tome.

My reason for the real book beating all the Kindle is way less sentimental than that. Although I’ve also harbored the romantic ideas of myself reading in the scenarios above, the reality is a bit different. I don’t think I’ve ever curled up by the fire with a volume. I’d be too lazy to start a fire on my own, and if there’s someone else who started it, chances are I’d rather talk to them than read. I also have no patience for reading in a coffee shop. I don’t think I’d ever actually push myself out of the house to go to a coffee shop just to read! Chances are I’m meeting up with someone at that coffee shop, which leaves no place for a book. And the beach scene… I’ve brought books along. I get too hot, the hair gets in my eyes, the wind blows the pages all over, and the sand that flies on the pages gives me this icky feeling like when you scratch your nails on a chalkboard. Brrrrr!!! So why do I still think the real book beats The Kindle?

My reason for the real book beating all the Readers is practical. The only place I read is in the bathtub. And if I haven’t dropped a novel in the water, I have at least made the edges wet by being too lazy to use a towel every time before turning the page. I don’t take my cell phone in the tub with me, so why would I take an electronic anything else (such as a Reader?) This is the same reason why I don’t like hardcovers and fat volumes. They are too heavy to hold in the tub.

This is why a real book still beats The Kindle.

Why I decided not to read. My 2014 New Years Resolution.

My 2014 New Years resolution is not to read books for a year. That’s right. I am planning to not read a single page of printed literature in 2014. The bible will be an exception, as well as any books that my husband suggests we read together. (Articles and blogs are ok). That may seem like an unusual resolution, but as always, I have my reasons:

1. I need to honor my husband. My husband doesn’t like when I read. This probably sounds like a controlling statement, but there are no such intentions behind his reaction and he actually has a point. I can “get lost” in a printed book in a matter of seconds. Although that doesn’t seem like a big deal, I tend to shut him out because I don’t typically share what I’m reading about, and much less how I feel about what I just read. In his words, my reading makes him feel “left out.” Although novels don’t typically bring much harm, it gets pretty bad when I decide to read a self-help marriage book. I can suddenly find myself identifying with a paragraph, and he can walk in on me sobbing and mad at him when he hasn’t done anything and I was his normal happy wife five minutes ago. So it only makes sense that my reading would annoy him. In addition, I nag him about reading the same books. And who likes to be nagged? Needless to say, if he does pick up the volume that impacted me, he already has negative associations with it, and doesn’t receive the information in it objectively. It’s time I allowed him to lead me in this aspect of my life that takes up such a huge chunk of my time.

2. I need the time I spend reading to write. To make it an even sweeter deal for hubby, I am going to dedicate this year to writing about books, so he can find out what I think about them (I hear he reads my blog posts. Hi honey!) In my recent find on the Becoming Minimalist blog, I found a great article about uncluttering books! The author advises to assess how each book makes you feel and to write about it. Then decide whether to get rid of it or to keep it. I decided to take that advice, and instead of spending the time reading, to write about the books I’ve already read. I am going to call it the 52 Books series, and am going to commit, for the first time in my blogging career, to write one post each week about one book. I hear consistency is key to having a successful blog, but to date all I’ve promised my readers is to be inconsistent. And I think I delivered on that promise pretty well, since this is my fifth blog, and the gap between the first two posts on it is a year wide. This is going to be my attempt to be consistent. So I pick (what’s today?) Thursdays for my 52 book series. Currently all my books are in the basement. We just got a bookshelf, so instead of moving all the books upstairs right away, I am planning to do it one at a time.

3. I need to reassess the value of books in my life and why I hang on to them. I grew up in a household where there were hundreds of books, and other households’ “intelligence” level would be measured by the amount of books they owned. I now realize that that’s not necessarily a good indicator of anything. However, I still have a fear that if I don’t display hundreds of volumes at my house, people will think less of me. I think it’s time to let go of that fear, as well as judging others by the amount of books they own. Besides, it’s not quite applicable in this day and age of Kindles and reading apps.

4. I need to clear my mind. I realized that I am quite easily influenced by what I read. The result is confusion and clutter inside my brain! I rush from one extreme to the other, either determining that I need to achieve what the author has, or become like a character I’m reading about. Because I read so much though, it is practically impossible to achieve that many things and become like that many people in one lifetime. I think at this point I’m confused about who the heck I’m supposed to be and what I need to focus on achieving in my life. For the first time ever yesterday, I took a bath without a book. I just relaxed and processed my thoughts. And what I discovered was surprising. I got a lot more clarity, and realized that I need to learn to identify what I am thinking about and to process my thoughts and emotions in moments of solitude instead of filling them with more information. This resolution will be a sort of uncluttering of the mind.

5. I like the feeling of accomplishment. The only resolution I’ve ever not kept was to read through a massive volume on shoes. I did not care for the feeling, and since then have kept my resolutions accomplishable. While everyone else will be slaving on their reading lists, I will sit back, relax, and feel great at the end of the year when I accomplish my resolution once again!

Happy 2014!

A Year In Review: 2013

Since I have been MIA pretty much since getting married, it would be fitting to say a few words about my 2012 before we head into reviewing 2013. In 2012 I made a few difficult decisions in order to get my life back on track, which immediately put me in the “fast lane” in terms of life changing events. It’s like God was waiting for me to put my stubbornness aside so He could propel me into what He had in store. So in 2012 I went from single to married in a matter of months, planned a wedding, got promoted, went on an impromptu honeymoon around Europe, moved twice, and eloped to Canada for a day for Christmas (also unplanned). We joked that we are trying to get pregnant in order to “do it all” before the end of the world. And what do you know, December brought a wonderful surprise. I didn’t think any other year could possibly beat that. But 2013 definitely did. Here is what happened to us in the past year in order:

We moved 3 more times
We took a “baby moon” to Arizona and Nevada and visited Phoenix, Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas
I got promoted again
My husband got promoted twice
We bought our first house
We had a baby
My grandmother passed away
My sister-in-law got married
I went back to work
We paid off three credit cards and all our medical bills, leaving us just one last credit card balance and a mere month away from being debt free except the mortgage!

Each event above deserves a separate post of course. I will get going on that as soon as I feel inspired! Needless to say, I am pretty excited for 2014, although I hope that the pace slows down just a tiny little bit. Although I love excitement and most events above were positive, the year has been pretty stressful, and I am hoping to get some rest in 2014.