Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome to 2011

Hey, all! Liz Johnson here.

I'm honored to get to share with you on New Year's Eve. This is one of my all-time favorite holidays. There's something so wonderful about looking forward to a fresh year. The slate is clean. The opportunities endless. One of my favorite literary heroines, Anne Shirley, is famous for saying, "Tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it." And that wish is never as real to me as it is on December 31. Tomorrow is fresh--and with it the rest of the year.

Now I've never been one for making resolutions. They seem so easy to
break. I mean, you're practically expected not to follow through. But I do like the idea of setting goals and challenging myself. Stretching out of my normal routine.

Last year that revolved around my unhealthy book-buying patterns. I had a terrible tendency to go to my local Christian bookstore, Barnes and Noble, or even Walmart and buy three books but only get around to reading to one. What a waste of both money and perfectly wonderful books that just sat on my bookshelf. Unread. Unappreciated. So last Christmas I committed to not buying a single book for myself this year.

Tonight my dad asked me how I'd done. Truthfully ... well, I wasn't perfect. When I saw the spread of L.M. Montgomery books for sale at Green Gables when I visited Prince Edward Island this summer, I plum forgot. I snapped up five new books on vacation. And then I picked up a couple Christmas novella collections back in October--to help me research what I needed for the novella that I'm working on. But other than that, every book I've added to my collection this year has either been a gift, trade, or purchased with a gift card.

I even took it a step further and gave away nearly 25 books from my shelves--giving them homes where someone will love and read them.

For a bibliophile like myself, 2010 was certainly a test. But I'm glad I did it. What an encouragement to know that I can walk into a bookstore and leave empty-handed. I hope practicing that self control will help me show restraint in other areas of my life, too.

So what does 2011 mean for me? How am I challenging myself this year?

I'm giving up cable TV.

This is huge for me. But I'm ready. I'm ready to save $50 a month and countless hours of wasted time. Who knows what I might get done without a perpetual distraction? And that money? I think I can come up with some good uses for $600.

So how are you planning to stretch yourself in 2011? Have you made resolutions? Set goals?


PamelaTracy said...

Not buy books for a year. Wow. The writer in me screams NOOOoooo.
Yet, I feel the pain. When I was in high school and the first two years of college, I read 3 or 4 books a week for pleasure. Then came junior and senior year. No time to read. But, I kept buying books. See, going to the bookstore was my balm. Then, getting my masters, again, no time to read. When I finished my education, I had more than a thousand books in my tbr pile. Most are still there, patiently waiting. They are very lonely in my office closet.

Dana Mentink said...

Hmmm. I would have to say that my goals are to watch less tv and get more excercise. That would probably be a good goal for 2011.

Liz Johnson said...

Pamela, glad to hear I'm not alone as a sometimes compulsive book buyer. :) But now that the year is over, my first trip to Barnes & Noble did produce 2 new books for my tbr pile. :)

Dana, good luck meeting your goals and stretching yourself this year. :)