The Joy of a Good Book

I love books. I love reading. I love curling up with a book before bed or during a lazy saturday afternoon in the sun. Anytime I’m able to spend quality time with a book I enjoy it, but especially if it’s a good book. I have many favorite books that I reread often- I think of it like having a chat with an old friend. Even though I may have talked to that person before, each time we talk I get something new out of it. And each time I reread a book, I get something new out of it.

I also enjoy reading new books, though many of them fall into the read once and then move on category, there is always the possibility that a new book may become an old favorite.

Some of the books I’m reading now include Zoobiqiuty by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Katherine Bowers, A Year in the World (one of the old favorites!) by Frances Mayes and Gulp! Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach. What are you reading these days?

Big Deal Event vs. Small Local Event

I honestly more often prefer the small local version of an event. For example, I live nearby the big car show, the Concourse D’Elegance. This is a major international car show. And yet, I’ve never been. But I do go to the local car show at the Fiesta in my small town every year. Why? Well, aside from the obvious answer that it’s cheaper, easier and mush less fuss, I also like the small events better. There’s a different feel to a local event, as compared to a huge big deal festival with people coming from all over the country to show off their cars and look at other fancy cars. I like the smaller, much more convivial events so much better.

25 under 25

As a consummate list maker, I’m kind of shocked I haven’t done more of this listmaking about goals before. Of course I have the proverbial “Bucket List” all written out, but it includes more big picture things; things that would be hard to do in one year. But the idea of a smaller set of goals, some of them the same goals and some different, that I would set to achieve before a specific date, appeals to me to. So here is my list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25- I’m a few months late starting this as my birthday is in April, but I things that’s okay 🙂

1. Live in Italy

2. Visit a state I’ve never been to before

3. Learn and memorize two new songs on the piano

4. Post on this blog three time a week while in Italy

5. Comment regularly on 5 blogs I read, as a blogger myself

6. Go dancing!

7. Apply to Grad school

8. Visit Florence

9. Visit Munich

10. Publish Sandy Connors’ Book 2

11. Be able to back squat my own body weight

12. See 2 operas and 2 plays

13. Read a novel in French

14. Eat 10 brand new foods

15. Go rock climbing

16. Watch 3 Best Picture winning movies

17. Go wine tasting where I live

18. Know my Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Heart Rate- and have them in a healthy zone

19. Skydive

20. Read 2 plays by Shakespeare that I haven’t read before

21. Find and buy the Perfect Jeans

22. Begin a regular practice of Meditation

23. Learn to cook the perfect chicken- crispy on the outside, still juicy inside, and well seasoned

24. Finish writing Sandy Connors book 3

25. See the Pantheon in the rain!

Doable? I think so! I’ll keep updating about when I achieve things!

Red Roofs of Dubrovnik

Red Roofs of Dubrovnik

There were so many picture perfect moments on my trip through Croatia, Slovenia and Italy. This is just a taste of one of those moments- on the second day, I walked around the top of the walls barricading the Dubrovnik Old Town from the sea and from the land. The views were spectacular…both across the town and out to sea. I loved seeing all the red tile roofs of the town down below me, as this picture shows.

Priorities

Everyone has priorities. However, sometimes they go a bit askew. I know my do.

An interesting exercise to see how your priorities match up with what you spend your daily effort (physical and mental) on is this: fill out four columns- Happy, Worry, Balance and Priority. In the Happy column, write down everything you’re grateful for- friends, family, your job, your health, music, art, etc. In the Worry column, write down your stresses- money, family, health, etc. In the Balance column, write down anything that brings you peace or balance in your life- maybe running or painting or cooking or meditating. Then, in the Priority column, list the items from the other three columns in the order of what you spend the most time and effort on each day. Where do things from you Happy and Worry columns fall?

I went through this exercise, and lo and behold, out of the top ten items in my Priority list, eight were from my Worry list! That’s not a very happy balance. It’s definitely a wake up call to realize that I’m spending so much mental and physical effort on things that worry me and cause me stress.