I’m not fond of resolutions. At the turn of each new year it feels a bit daunting to come up with new intentions that I may or may not stick to. I hate the pressure and don’t like letting myself down if I don’t accomplish the things I set out to do.
But despite my negative feelings towards resolutions, at the beginning of this year I decided to write out some goals for myself and what I wanted to focus on. Something to reference back to and reflect on.
I like reflecting.
While some of my goals are personal, one unexpected resolution that I was able to commit to in the crazy toilet paper shortage year of 2020 was reading more. I say unexpected because every year since I don’t know when, this has always been a goal of mine. And every year I have always made excuses not to read. Hence my reasoning for not liking resolutions.
But this year was different in more ways than one. I don’t have to tell you that.
How It Started
I started the year blissfully captivated by Michelle Obama’s memoir Becoming on Audible and from there, the magic happened. I felt inspired, I learned a lot, and I loved the journey that my imagination took me on.
When March rolled around, the pandemic hit, and lockdown happened; full blown anxiety kicked in. Like many others, I became consumed with the news. Everywhere I turned, more scary news was on the horizon. Uncertainty lurking at every corner.
A living nightmare for someone who already struggles with anxiety, coupled with being highly sensitive and an empath. At all times, there’s a good chance I’m processing way more from my environment than others. Instead of twisting it into a negative connotation, lately I’ve been naming them my superhuman qualities.
Not only was I trapped within my own thoughts, but now I was trapped inside my own home too. Nothing could have prepared me for this time. There’s only so much emotional eating, exercising, and TV watching one can do.
Books it was.
The Turning Point
In April, the Zoom calls were starting and I started reconnecting with some friends back home. We all needed something to cling to. Something to keep our minds distracted from the current events that were consuming us. A social affair to put on our calendars.
After nights of conversation, someone suggested a book club. A new concept for most of us. It got us all excited and gave us something to look forward.
From there, my interest in reading really blossomed. Colleen Hoover’s book Verity will do that to you. My list of books to read became long and it gave me motivation to finish one and pickup the next.
By the time summer hit, I had done away with watching TV and the news all together. I had to prioritize my mental health first. Even scrolling through social media was becoming too much. Especially during periods of heightened anxiety, which felt more often than not at that time.
So books it was. And books it has been the rest of the year.
The Slowing Down of Time
I’ve always appreciated reading physical books. There’s something about holding the actual book and the smell of the pages that’s calming for me. And, it’s a dang good excuse to get away from technology. Something I take pride in being old school about.
If there was any year to gain a new hobby like reading, the year of COVID and 2020 has certainly been the right one. From hot, self-care baths while reading to late night page turners, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting lost in the pages. It’s been the perfect distraction and natural cure to my overthinking mind.
The slowing down of time has really helped me to slow down too. And I can’t say that I’m mad about it. Ironically, another one of the resolutions I made this year was being more intentional in my life. This year has allotted for plenty of extra intentional time with my kids and husband, but more importantly, intentional time for myself.
It is a daily requirement of mine to find moments in my day where I can withdraw and recharge. In a year that I’ll remember forever, I’ll also remember the peace and calming feeling of flipping through pages and getting lost in a whole new world. And for that, I’m forever grateful.
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