Tuesday, December 21, 2010

2011 - A Year of Challenges (Good Ones)

Beautiful Moving Chandelier at the Winspear Opera House

It isn't hard to tell from the sparse entries on this blog that my dedication level to keeping this blog updated has been, admittedly, low. What can I say? I get home from work and I don't exactly run to the office to sit down and spew engaging, unforgettable content. Instead, I harrumph to the kitchen, throw together the easiest meal I can muster (that is if I've remembered to take out meat the night before, otherwise it's cereal central for the mister) and then plop myself in front of the TV for an onslaught of 30-minute shows that elicit just enough laughter to convince me to watch the next week's episode.

But that life is certainly not what I envisioned I would be doing with myself at 28. There's still so much time left in the day when I get home from work to go on walks, work on projects around the house, cook meals that bring joy to my husband's belly and of all the things I know there is time for, reading is the one I have continually fought myself to do.

I grew up with my nose buried in books. Baby Sitters Club, Boxcar Children, every single Roald Dahl book (the BFG and Matilda were my favorite), a set of children's encyclopedias, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Shel Silverstein poems and Beverly Cleary books are amongst those that come to mind when I think of the treasured times I spent laying on my bed, riding in the car, sitting in front of the TV and all the while, ignoring the world around me in favor of the one that was created in the magical pages in my hand. I'm ready to find those worlds again.

I'm declaring 2011 the year of challenges and my first challenge to myself is to read a book a month. But not just any book. Not a book I picked out after hours of wandering around Half-Price books or a book I heard from a friend of a friend was good. No, that isn't quite enough. I have amazing women in my life. Women who inspire me. Make me laugh. Bring me joy. Teach me. Advise me. Mentor me. Love me for who I am. And those women deserve their favorite books to be read and shared by more than just them.

I've asked 11 of my sweet girl friends to send me the title and author of their favorite book with the intention of reading one a month. Next December I will close out the challenge with a book choice of my own.

I'm excited to see their recommendations and to learn a little bit about each of my friends through their choices.

Throughout this challenge (and some of the others I've issued myself, which I will write about later), I will try to update the blog. I think, more than anything, given that I post regularly, it will serve as a great reminder of the books I read 2011 and how they carried me through the events that were going on that particular month.

Until I begin, which, let's face it, won't be until January, I just want to say Merry Christmas! Many blessings to all of you!

And of course, Happy New Year!

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