Thursday, May 1, 2014

April taught me that your opinion isn't my truth. May shall say...

Thank the good Lord April is over. Thank the good Lord I lasted through the vulnerability gamut. That vulnerability thing is not for the faint of heart.

I did well, for a drop in the bucket sort of period, and was proud of what it meant to be honest about my feelings -especially those one's that are more unbecoming. I spent the month being introspective about how it feels to be hurt, to feel replaceable, to seem unimportant. They were feelings long in lasting, hard in healing, but freed in speaking (and writing).

I realized I struggle with my own opinion's of myself in the light of what other's think of me. When someone makes me feel stupid, I think is that so? I wonder if they know me, see me, understand me in ways more genuine and right than I see myself. But that's damaging.

Acknowledging and evaluating critique is important for growth, but it's vital to remember -right or wrong- those evaluations don't change what's true about you. Though someone can think I'm stupid and make me feel so, I'm not. And, I'm working hard to remind myself of what's true about me.

As April closes, May begins. And with the start of another beautiful month, I realize it's time to remember what I'm doing that's B.R.A.V.E. Hence,

May: the month of responsibility. 

In thinking of what responsible means, how I can do it better, I thought of money -of course. How we own a home and two cars and I could surely use less of what I want and love more of what I've got. So, I'm shopping less and taking the Amazon app off the first page of my phone screen. But responsibility is more than money. It's owning one's shit (ya'll know how much I love to do that). It's realizing where the time flies, it's watching what I'm consuming -nutritionally,emotionally, spiritually.

I'm a consumer says my bookshelves, my bank account, my fridge. Television has always been a lovely "treat" for my soul, but since we've moved I've been too busy to set up my favorite shows on the DVR (minus the Real Housewives of Orange County) and, to be honest, it hasn't made me sad. It's made me a little more free. And that extra freedom has turned into writing more and reading too. Turns out the more I read, the more inspired I feel.

So, less shopping, more utilizing. Less social media cruising, more reading and writing. Less TV, more time engaging. May is the month where I want to be able to say: I used my time damn well. 
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In an effort to give myself a practical measure for just how responsible I am about to be (or not), I've decided to take on Semi-Charmed Kind of Life's Summer Reading Challenge.

  • Read any book that is at least 200 pages long. (5 points) Bossypants by Tina Fey (288 pages)          
  • Read a book that was written before you were born. (10 points)
    Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (224 pages) 
  • Finish reading a book you couldn't finish the first time around. (10 points)
    Emma by Jane Austen (328 pages)
  • Read a book from the children’s section of the library or bookstore. (10 points)
    The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (208 pages) -the sole reread.
  • Read a book that is on The NYT's Best Sellers List when you begin reading it. (15 points)
    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (352 pages) 
  • Read a historical fiction book that does not take place in Europe. (15 points)
    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (336 pages) 
  • Read a book another blogger has already read for the challenge. (15 points)
    TBD
  • Read a book with “son(s),” “daughter(s)” or “child(ren)” in the title. (20 points)
    The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (401 pages) 
  • Read a book that was/will be adapted to film in 2014. (20 points)
    Wild by Cheryl Strayed (315 pages) 
  • Read a book written by a blogger. (25 points)
    When We Were on Fire by Addie Zierman (256 pages) 
  • Read a biography, autobiography or memoir. (25 points)
    What Remains by Carole Radziwill -yes, from Real Housewives of NY (264 pages) 
  • Read a pair of books with antonyms in the titles. (30 points)
    Mended by Angie Smith (224 pages) & She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb (480 pages)
*Only one of my books is a reread. Mostly because there's so many on our shelves I haven't yet read.*

Now that I've shared it here, I'm hoping to make my best of efforts towards all that's here... Though I'm nervous because this is more books than I've read in the last year! I've told myself it's not about getting it all done, but knocking out some major reading and taking in awesome inspiration. And, just to further the challenge, I'm only going to read books that we already have in our rainbow bookshelf (because how responsible is that?). 
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How do you responsibly draw social media lines?
-Asking for a friend. 

19 comments:

  1. Ooh the reading challenge sounds fun! Does it count for books we've recently read or only books we are planning on reading in the future?

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  2. Well, you sure weren't alone in your April experience (and I too am glad that it's over, even though I feel I learned quite a bit about myself). I hope May is a bit brighter for both of us! :) (As far as your question at the end... let me know when you find that answer... that's something I'm still trying to figure out as well.)

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  3. Brittany RasmussenMay 1, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    I LOVED Mended! And The Memory Keepers Daughter, AND the fault in our stars!

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  4. I set a book goal for myself this year and was doing good through the first few months then fell off a bit so I'm hoping the book challenge will keep me motivated to choose a book over TV or more often, the computer! Love your choices-- Catcher in the Rye is one I would love to re-read!

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  5. Katie @ A Beautiful Little AdvMay 1, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Yay for books! You've selected some dear to me, Catcher in the Rye, The Fault in our Starts, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, and The Secret Life of Bees! As far as social media - I'm still trying to figure it out. I sometimes feel like a 21 year old at a frat party on twitter. I'll go days with out getting on other than to promote and then I'm all AHHMAGAWD I WANT TO RETWEET REPLY EVERYTHINGGGG WHO CARES IF I LOOK A FOOL" and then I get a headache and swear I'll never touch it again. I need a balance!

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  6. What a responsible little book worm you are. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on vulnerability, because it's something I struggle with in almost every single relationship I have (except the one I have with Warner, obviously). I find it's a delicate balance between figuring out how to give people what they need versus what you need to feel safe, and I need a lot of safety.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where May takes you, B.R.A.V.E one.

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  7. I loved the idea of a month of vulnerability and now I love the idea of a month of responsibility! Thanks for sharing your successes and struggles - it inspires me!

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  8. My take: do it how you want. But there's rules on the initial link-up page that say they should be started as of May 1st... HOLY HEAVENS I MUST READ MORE. :)


    Please tell me you're thinking of doing it??

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  9. Let's find the answer to social media lines AND the fountain of youth together? Please tell me you have NO MORE PLANS for the rest of your life because this could be challenging. :)

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  10. Yes! You can do it! :) I've actually NEVER read Catcher in the Rye (I blame taking all advanced placement classes and needing to do poetry readings for them)... So I'm excited to read it. -->That's something I never imagined saying! :)

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  11. The Memory Keepers' Daughter is my first read and I"m already addicted... The whole thing just happens to be BLOWING MY DAMN MIND.

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  12. Girl, vulnerability, SO GLAD it's done... Though I have really committed myself to continuing on in those mini-footsteps I took during April. It's just something that doesn't come totally naturally for me which can be it's own kind of exhausting, stressful, scary. I guess that'd be a major reason to keep at it! :)


    Responsibility will surely be it's own challenge, though it feels so much more of a practice thing that an intense emotional evaluation thing!

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  13. YES. All or nothing... How I happen to do most things in life! ;) And yes to the headache... Honestly, I thought I was the only one! :)


    I'm knee deep in Memory Keeper's Daughter and having my mind blown in so many amazing ways... Slash think this might be an "easier" month because it's fun instead of hard! :)

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  14. Oh girl you and me both... I've realized I've got to keep on keeping on in being vulnerable because it's charming and people respond so sweetly and lovingly to it... But that doesn't mean it's my favorite though you are.

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  15. I love this reading challenge. I will have to try it out! :) I need to get more in the word instead of everything else that i do. I need to watch how i spend my time.

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  16. Yes I am thinking about it! I'm currently re - reading the Harry Potter series (started #5 today) so I'll be a little behind but it sounds like fun!

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  17. I hope my challenge helps fulfill your more reading goal! Thanks for joining. :) And I unfortunately have no good advice for drawing social media lines ... I'm addicted!! Good luck. :)

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  18. I'm already ridiculously involved in The Memory Keepers' Daughter... Here's to hoping all of the books are as amazing as that one! :)


    Social media... Oh. My. It's such a challenge. Though I deleted Facebook off my phone and that's helped a smidge. :)

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  19. Time is SO easily wasted. SO EASILY. I've been trying to do a better time realizing when I'm wasting it in those very moments. It's not easy in the least, but it's been really interesting to watch my thought process change! :)

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