Shiny Objects

Why yes, I am easily distracted by shiny things and challenges.

Why yes, I am easily distracted by shiny things and challenges.

New Year challenges, that is. I have a few 2018 challenges I’m following this year. One is my annual Goodreads reading challenge. Going for 48 books this year.

I’m doing another reading challenge—this one is based on reading 12 books in 12 different categories. I did it last year and loved it so I am doing it again. I also added a few extra categories of my own:

  • A book I read every year, i.e., a favorite book
  • A book of any genre that addresses current events
  • A book in a genre you usually avoid
  • A Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award winner
  • A book nominated for a major literary award (Man Booker, National Book Award, or Pulitzer)

And finally, this challenge. My niece tagged me on Instagram and I accepted the challenge. So far, it’s been so much fun to get rid of stuff. Of course, it’s only Day 5. Let’s see how I’m doing on January 26.

Oooh look at these shiny objects . . .

 I’ve been reading . . . A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and my annual read of Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. I’m also listening to the audiobook version, narrated by E.B. White, and it is so good!

I’ve been watching . . . Life in Pieces, Season 2. It’s a quick, clever, and funny show to watch when I don’t have a lot of time. Been wanting to watch Alias Grace on Netflix but I just don’t ever seem to be in the mood for something so dark or serious. Has anyone watched it? What do you think?

I’ve been listening to . . . the greatest albums by women—back to the list.

  • Ofra Haza, 50 Gates of Wisdom (Yemenite Songs): I had listened to this album back in the late 80s, when it came out. At that time in my life, I was kind of in my “punk rock/alternative phase,” and some artist I was listening to at the time included a mix of her song “Galbi.” Being Turkish, I loved the mix of pop and Middle Eastern melisma. I love the Middle Eastern style of singing, although it’s not for everyone.
  • Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band: Ok, so I know she is considered “cutting-edge” and a “pioneer” in performance art and music, but I’m not really into this experimental style of music. I tried but I just didn’t like it.
  • The B-52s, The B-52s: When this album came out, it was so different from anything else out there. While it’s not my favorite B-52s album, “Rock Lobster” is a classic. And I always liked that two women—Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson—seemed to be front and center of this band. Their style—musically and otherwise—set the B52-s apart from other bands.
  • Solange, A Seat at the Table: I was pleasantly surprised by this one—I think I like Solange’s music better than her sister’s. While there wasn’t one standout song for me, there wasn’t a song I didn’t like. Great soulful funky R&B music. (As much as I did like this, I still don’t think it should’ve been on the list instead of Cher.)
  • Fanny, Fanny Hill: Wow, how did I never hear of this all-female 70s rock band before? Seriously good, and it’s clear they were pioneers of rock and roll for women. I like the harder rock songs but also the softer ones like “You’ve Got a Home.”

Have a wonderful and warm weekend!


(Photograph taken by Ela Aktay)

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I came across the Minimalists last year. I read one of their books and listened to some of their podcasts. Actually, I think I was already a minimalist but it was great to see a community out there and I did get rid of some stuff. I pick and choose their podcast episodes. In one of their more recent ones they referenced an older one, episode 69 Values. I liked that so much I actually took notes and am making notes on my values.

New Years resolutions/challenges, I was never in to making them but as I get older I started the concept of themes. I think themes works for me.

I didn’t even realize the Minimalists had a podcast. I will definitely check it out, especially the episode on values. I’m curious to hear it since I think our values guide us–in good or bad ways. Thanks for the recommendation!

I like the concept of themes for the year. What theme or themes are you using for 2018? Every year, I choose a word as a theme for that year (look for an upcoming post about that). Themes are nice because they can serve as an overarching guide.

I am nearing retirement and I have heard for years you have to know how you are going to fill your time. I have never had a bucket list. So I just kept thinking about it along with the minimalist idea that I really don’t need much to be content. All of a sudden themes came to me. Maybe themes isn’t the right word, but it works for me. My current list is
Use my mind, body and heart
Be curious
Use my imagination

One of the main things I got out of the values discussion is if you are not living by your values, you are going to be discontent. So I followed what they talked about in the podcast and made a list of values in four different categories. Looking at the list was a wow moment for me. Just a few simple adjustments to live more in line with your values was amazing.

Thanks Dave for sharing your themes–sounds like great ways to live. Love those “wow” moments. Amazing, isn’t it, that once you identify your values, things become clearer or simpler?

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