Let The Ball Drop

So here we are, at the close of one year and the beginning of another one. I guess it’s time to think about the resolutions, right? That’s what it seems like everyone does at this time of year at least. I understand the appeal—a new year offers some kind of blank slate in the eyes of many. But I think just making resolutions for the sake of making them, or not actually thinking about the follow-through, is just a recipe for disaster. This is probably why I keep going back and forth on my opinion of New Year’s Resolutions, as well as whether or not I am successful in mine (if I make them). I could probably eat my words on this by the end of 2018, but I would like to give resolutions a serious try again. Well, no. Yoda might tell you there is only do—so I guess I have to think along the same lines! Time to get down to it then…in no particular order, here are my resolutions for 2018:

Physical, Digital, Mental Decluttering

This started out as different resolutions, but I realized they are about the same thing really, which is decluttering my life. The physical decluttering is obvious. I simply want to go around my home and throw out, sell, or donate the things I no longer want, use, et cetera. This includes going through my clothing (again) and actually evaluating if I wear each piece.

Digital declutter is very similar to the physical, in that I want to go through all of my computer files (both on my main computer and my older ones) and clear everything out. I need to run through all the muck and only keep what I want or need to.

Mental decluttering might not be something you are familiar with, unless you happen to be a fan of Sarah Knight’s books. I happen to own all three of them, and while I’ve only read them for fun, I think they hold quite a bit of solid advice. So I want to take this advice and really go for a mental decluttering. This includes only spending my time, energy, and money on things, people, et cetera I actually enjoy, getting my life together, learning to say no…you get the picture. I actually highly recommend you give her books  try. For those curious, they are: The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F*ck, Get Your Sh*t Together, and You Do You. I have a review up for the first two, just click on their respective titles, and you’ll get the third shortly into 2018.

Sleep Is Healthy, You Should Get More Of It

Somewhere in the past two years I started an extremely unhealthy sleeping pattern. I would consistently only get roughly 5 hours of sleep a night—6 if I were lucky. I would also find myself waking up during the night (for a variety of reasons). I’ve known this sleeping pattern is unhealthy for quite some time, but I also found I was unable to break the cycle. Thankfully, some of my circumstances are changing in the New Year, and they are forcing me to change my sleeping habits in a good way. I might not always get 8 or 9 hours a night, but I am hoping to achieve a minimum of 7 hours each night. It’ll take more than just the routine change coming up, but also the discipline and such to know I need to put things down at the end of the night and leave myself enough time to sleep. Maybe this means I get less done each night—but my body needs me to stick around.

Floss Every Day

Should we do it? Yes. Do we? Rarely. I always set out with good intentions on this one, truly. I know I want to keep my teeth healthy and granted they are for the most part (only one cavity from years ago), but I also know I need to do more in order to keep them healthy. This means actually flossing every day, or at least more often during the week than I do now. I’ll try for three times a week at the beginning and increase that minimum bar as the year goes by. Should make it manageable?

Drink More…Water

Simple, but effective. I know I need to hydrate more—not doing so has led to some killer headaches I could have avoided otherwise. So it’s just a matter of putting in a little more conscious effort. Maybe I start by drinking a glass immediately when I get out of bed in the morning. I won’t put a number on this one, because it depends on my level of activity on each day, but I figure an extra glass or two should be helpful as a beginning.

20 Minute Morning Yoga

Okay so I’ve tried meditation, however briefly, and found I could never settle into it. It was ineffective for me. Now, maybe I made some mistakes in it, I am open to that possibility, but I remain sceptical about its usefulness. But I know I do enjoy yoga, so why not use that instead? My new morning schedule will give me more time, which means I am fully able to fit in a 20-minute yoga session each morning. I think I’ll probably create it myself based on the poses I already know. I will also start by setting my success bar at three times a week in the beginning. By May though, I want to be up to every day.

2018 Is A Jar Of Good Things

At some point in January, I’d like to start a jar of good things. By this I mean writing down the good things that happen to me during the year on little slips of paper and putting them in the jar. Then I have two choices: I can either open a paper when I feel like I am struggling or just open all of them at the end of the year and reflect then. I haven’t made the choice yet, but hoping I will at some point soon so I can start this!

Time To Disconnect

I spend too much time on the Internet, watching television, picking up my phone but not actually doing anything with it, et cetera. I think it’s about time I actually carve out proper time without technology. My thought here is to choose one day a month (on a weekend, because I work) where I can completely disconnect from technology like my computer, phone, and television. I will obviously allow the appliances to make food, tea, and such in my home. The only concession I will make in regards to technology on these days is the alarm on my phone to wake me up in the morning, and the possibility of an emergency (e.g. if my parents call me). Aside from that? I’ll have to find something else to occupy me.

Did You Know I Speak French?

Seriously, I studied French for roughly eight years in school (including some time in university). Unfortunately, however, my French skills seem to have fallen to the wayside and, while I can still understand it and speak some, my abilities are definitely rusty. My goal for 2018 is to actually dust off these skills. I know I have a set of textbooks with formal lessons to help with this, but I’ve also decided to add reading French books to help. I plan to start with books I’ve already read in English, but hope to progress to ones I have not read in English by the time 2018 ends.

Get Out Of My House

I spend way too much time doing things on my one. It’s how I read so much, watch as much television as I do, et cetera. While I enjoy all of these things, I’ve also come to realize doing so much is a detriment to many other things I want to accomplish in my life. This realization has come up quite often in the last year, much to my mental health’s chagrin, so I know it’s time to shift things. I don’t know how much more I want to get out, but I want to do more things. I want to go places, eat out with friends, and maybe even go out for Happy Hour sometimes. I don’t have all the specifics laid out, but I do know I need to make more of an effort otherwise I am liable to end up a crazy puppy lady.

Visit The Farmer’s Market

I’ve known about a local farmer’s market for just about the same amount of time I’ve lived in my current place, and yet I have never actually gone to it. This year, partially in connection to getting out of the house more, I would like to make an effort to go on a regular basis. My current line of thought is to go once a month, except in the summer, where I would increase that to every week. I’m not going to force myself to buy something every single time—after all, I don’t actually know what the selection is going to be like yet—but I think this would be a lovely thing to try.

Catch A Live Play

When I was in high school, we took a class trip to see two plays at a famous festival (one musical, one Shakespeare). It was a wonderful experience. As luck would have it, I only live about an hour away from where this festival takes place. So why not pick a day and go catch a play this year? I have seen the playbill and there are a number of cool options—not sure what I will pick just yet, but I think it might be fun! Haven’t seen something live in a very long time.

Read For Quality

During 2017 I have been trying to read as many books as possible. I wanted to beat my previous record of 101 books in a year. I know it’s the last day of the year, but I still do not have a final count, though I left my record in the dust a little while back. Having said that, I don’t think I want to do this again. It’ll be a habit to break, I’m sure, but I actually want to shift my focus. I want to read books for their quality rather than their quantity. For instance, I’ve been putting off reading one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books simply because I know it will take up quite a bit of my time. It shouldn’t be like that. I should revel in what I read. Savour it. Thus, this resolution!

 

Well, I think this is it for my list this year. I might think of more, but who knows. Besides, I think this could be a pretty hefty undertaking. Not sure what I’ve gotten myself in for! But now I would love to know…are you making any New Year’s Resolutions? What are they? Why are you making them? Share all in the comments below!

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Savvy Readathon

How many books can you read in 12 hours?

For the moment, I am coming in at three books.

Today I have been participating in The Savvy Reader’s Readathon, which will run until 9pm today. It has come at the perfect time for me, considering I feel as if I am personally behind in my goal for the 50 Book Pledge this year. Okay so 38 books, which is my current number, is not bad, but I want to read at least 102 this year, and I am behind the mark on where I was this time last year. In any case, this Readathon has given the perfect reason to sit down and read for an extended period of time. Any extended period of time for reading is a prime opportunity for me to shoot ahead. Once I get on a roll, I really get on a roll.

So far today I have read Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, and I just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. My next read, I’ve decided, is going to be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I am unsure if I will finish this one, considering its length, but I will give it my best shot!

In terms of a review, well, you know I am in love with all of the Harry Potter novels. I remember writing a blog series on them during my last re-read in 2015. As for The Underground Railroad…I am still processing this one. That said, I definitely think it surrounds an interesting subject matter!

Now, it’s time for me to get back to reading. You can follow along with my progress on my Twitter feed (@jess_groom). The official hashtag for this event is #SavvyReadathon, and you can hear about everyone else participating if you search for this hashtag. Feel free to join me and the others in reading! It’s fun, I promise!

Facebook Page for Walking The Forest Floor

Hello everyone!

I have a quick announcement to make. I have created the official Walking The Forest Floor Facebook page, so click on the link and give it a like! I will be posting links to my blog posts as I make them, and will also be sharing interesting articles and such as well. You can also send me messages through the page with questions, recommendations for books I should read or topics to cover during my Time for Tea posts, et cetera. Currently, I am working on designing long-term graphics and such for the Facebook page, which I hope will be reflected in this blog site itself as well.

In addition to the new Facebook page, you can also find me on Twitter (@jess_groom) as well as on Instagram (@walkingtheforestfloor). I hope to hear more from you readers! I will be back again this Tuesday with a new Time for Tea post. Let me know what you think of them, yes?

See you on Tuesday!

 

Blog Categories

Hello everyone!

I have something I want to address today regarding a change to my blog. I have just added “sub items” in my blog navigation to help people filter through posts to find the ones gathered under a specific topic. If you hover your cursor over Home at the top of every page when you visit this blog, you will now see a drop down menu. This menu is a list of the categories of blog posts I have.

Announcements is where you will be able to find the posts talking about any new blog projects such as announcing a blog series as well as informational posts like this one!

Archive is where all of my old content will go. At the moment, I am working on archiving any content written before 2014. I am not done doing that just yet. Once I do archive content, it will disappear from the other categories.

Book Discussions is where I am going to host all of my book blog series like The Chronicles of Narnia one I am doing right now, the Star Wars Week posts, et cetera. Here you can filter just to Book Discussions, or go a little further and only look at the Harry Potter discussion posts I did, as an example.

Book Reviews, of course, is where most of my posts will be, since I do a review pretty much every Friday. I am saying pretty much here, by the way, because there are some exceptions to this.

In the past, I have written about television shows and movies I watch. They are now hosted under the category Television and Film. While my blog is mainly focused on books and will remain so, I welcome any suggestions on movies or shows to watch and write about. Bonus points if they are adapted from books!

The next category is Literary Discussion, which is where my book/literature/fiction related posts will go. You will be able to find out what is coming up for this section on the On My Bookshelf page. As of right now, I am trying to post every second Monday for the remainder of 2016.

I have also included Plays as a category, as I have seen a version of Coriolanus and do have an interest in stage productions in general. I may be shifting my review of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child over to this category soon, because it is technically a play.

The broadest category in this list is Writing. Like Book Discussions, I have put in sub-categories. Specifically, I have added Creative Writing (where any fiction, poetry, et cetera I write will go) and Non-Fiction Writing. There is also a lot of content only within Writing. Note, however, that this category is likely to shift a bit over the coming weeks as I revisit the posts and shift accordingly. At the moment, it is my equivalent of the Miscellaneous category you will see just about anywhere.

New Literary Adventures

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Hello readers! I hope you have been enjoying reading my book reviews. If they have introduced you to new books, let me know what you thought about the books! If you like to hear specific things about books I have not covered much in my reviews, feel free to let me know and I will see what I can do in the future.

However, I want to focus on something else today. I have been thinking about expanding this blog lately, and I think I have figured out how to do that while staying connected to books, literature, et cetera.

I am designing some posts based around topics like how I read so much, analyzing book covers, talking about favourite authors, and any other interesting things related to books, reading, and writing. My hope is to start posting in August. I would advise you look at my posting schedule page for the exact dates. You can also check out my Twitter (@jess_groom), as I intend to announce the first posting date there!

Regardless of the exact start date, I will be posting every second Monday, at least for the rest of 2016. If these posts seem to go over well with you, the readers, I would continue them beyond the end of the year. Does this sound like a good deal to you? I look forward to our discussions!