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End of the year thinky-think

December 13, 2015

I’m pretty sure if I go back, I’ll find a post like this every December: I’m X number of books behind my yearly goal, I feel like I haven’t Y, I’ve failed at Z.

I depress myself. I set slightly more reasonable goals this year, but only in the sense I lowballed my straight-up “how many books?” number. (Down from like 400 to 100. I will probably finish the year with a little over 300 books read, including graphic novels and all the children’s books I read for storytime.) I set a goal for 50 from the in-house TBR pile (which I called “shelf reads,” because they’re on my shelves when they’re not packed into boxes because there are so many of them I’ve run out of shelves. I’m at 42 now. I can probably finish 50 by the new year, but these last couple weeks will feel like a chore.

I blew far past by new-book reads because I work at a library where I can call dibs on stuff, by 30 or so books, the books I “should” have read off the shelf, which are also new. I mean, I was even at the point where I took out a book once or twice and then went, “Oh, right, I have this at home from BEA.”

Scheduling books isn’t working. Not scheduling books isn’t working.

The end of the year always makes me feel crummy about everything I haven’t done. I know I’m progressing in a lot of my goals, and I’m even meeting my book goals, but I still, after all these years, haven’t thrown off that feeling that I am wasting all my time ever. The new tablet/hybrid/whatever is not helping, because it SUCKS and is now underlining everything I type in red for no reason that I can figure out.

Oh, so going to another paragraph helps. Whatever THAT means. Buuuut I’m past the time I can return it, and I don’t know what I could return it FOR that would cost the same and get me as much that wouldn’t exacerbate my dizziness. That’s been the problem with laptops the last three or four years. There’s something about the refresh rate or something, and you can’t mess with it. Only the Retina screen from Apple didn’t make me nauseated. Fortunately, most tablet screens are on that level now, but I also need the laptop-like OS to run things like Scrivener. So here I am, with a half-working computer that doesn’t have any of my documents on it because I don’t trust it since it lost those 5k words during NaNoWriMo. (I got to 25K with NaNo, which is another reason I finish every year feeling like I’m a failure.)

Oh, now the audio menu won’t disappear and every time I type it’s lowering the volume (not that I’m listening to anything) and it won’t let me minimize any windows. Surface, y’all!

So, anywhoodle, I should probably be reading instead of writing this, but what’s my year without being miserable about my year? Usually around this time I’d be cementing my reading goals for the next year, but I think I’m going to put “100 books and shut up.” For one thing, I’m running four book clubs and helping out with a fifth. AND I’m in a sixth book club, sort of. At least, I’m trying to be but I get so busy and tired. In any case, trying to use only my own books isn’t likely to work. I still think it’s important to read the new books coming into the library because the kids appreciate and sometimes even rely on my suggestions. So do many of the adults who read in YA, and the sf ones too.

But I do like reducing the amount of books in my house. I was thinking about maybe moving many of them to the library but really, that’s just changing whose shelves they’re on, you know? It wouldn’t actually change whether I would feel like they were hanging over my head. Which I do. So I could get rid of ALL of them but I wouldn’t like that either. I can’t win. I’ve created a no-win situation here. I could read all the time, I guess, but then I’d just think of another place in my life where I’m lacking. As always, the answer to all this is the toughest: break the internet addiction I created twenty-plus years ago.

Hm. Now THAT is a goal…and it’s barely reasonable in this day and age. But what would that even look like? Would I feel even more lonely? I do all my scheduling online. How would that affect my ability to keep up with what I’m doing? Also, one of my besties lives a few miles down the road, but the other certainly does not, and she is getting married later this year. While I’m not in the wedding (she loves me so much), I still want to be there for her, and I can barely hear a thing on my phone, so chat is still the best way to talk to her. How can all these things mesh?

Okay, so I’m forming a goal here, I think. I have to think some more, though, and get back to you on how it’s going to end up.

(And then I’ll probably just fail at it, too. But trying is good, right?)


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