It’s no longer happening – at least, not in the way I originally planned for it to. The thing is, it’s not that I don’t want to read those things I piled up for myself. I do. If I had my way, I would read every damn book I saw. But, as Lemony Snicket once said, “It is likely I will die next to a pile of things I was meaning to read.” And this has been my problem. I’d been going through most of my higher education at full speed ahead, with little regard for my own mental, physical, and emotional health. All those bad habits finally caught up with me, because this summer was the first time in a long time that I didn’t absolutely have to be working. It was the first time I wasn’t taking a full load of summer classes, or working several jobs at once. I had time to just…sit. Seemed great in theory. Not so great in practice. I ended up just kind of stewing in all of the bad habits I’d spent years building up, and I was so run down that I slept for almost fifteen consecutive hours because I had zero energy. And it was then, after waking up from what I’m pretty sure was a small coma, that I decided I didn’t just want to make a change – I needed to.
The first step was a complete overhaul of my summer plans. You see, it takes twenty-one days to build a habit, good or bad (and only three days to break that habit). This month, I’m spending the first twenty-one days building new, good habits. So far I’ve managed to realign my sleep schedule so that I’m going to bed early (for me, anyway) and also not sleeping in late. I’ve also made time each day for some light exercise – mostly just walking a 45-minute loop through town and about another half hour working with the heavy bag in my spare room. It’s not a lot, but some exercise is better than zero exercise. The only thing I have yet to start whipping into shape is my eating. I’ve been planning and portioning my meals more carefully, which is GREAT, don’t get me wrong, but I still have a tendency to snack. Snacking will be my undoing, I’m sure of it.
I feel like I’m bragging. That’s not my intention. What I’m trying to say with all this is: I am finally starting to take better care of myself. And I’m really proud of myself for doing it. So, I’m sorry if this reads like, “Oh, look how great and healthy I am, ooh la la.” Not my intention.
MOVING ON Y’ALL. The #SummerStack. Oh, this cursed thing I created. The books on it are great, and one day I will have undoubtedly read all of them (perhaps several times). But as it stands right now, a lot of the stack will have to be temporarily abandoned. I dropped a lot of books off of it, mostly for my sanity’s sake, but I’ve added a few other books into the mix. Things I picked up mostly on impulse, because I’d heard good things, or because they were by authors I like. Most of the new additions are memoirs – as an aspiring memoirist myself, I like to see how other contemporary writers are doing it. So here’s the updated list:
Remnants of the Old List
The Unfortunates – B. S. Johnson
The Rainbow – D. H. Lawrence
To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
Anti-Oedipus – Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari
The Four Loves – C. S. Lewis
everyone’s an aliebn when ur an aliebn too – Jomny Sun
Odd Birds – Ian Harding
scrappy little nobody – Anna Kendrick
My Fight / Your Fight – Ronda Rousey
Nabokov’s Favorite Word is Mauve – Ben Blatt
Havisham – Ronald Frame