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On Stepping Back

December 31, 2009

I didn’t mean to take a blogging break over the holidays. It just kind of happened. I also haven’t been reading much; I might even not finish a couple books I’m in the middle of by the stroke of midnight today (shocking, I know!). And you know what? My world isn’t crumbling down.

I love blogging, and I love bloggers, and I love books, and I’m not going to give that up. But at the same time, I think I need to step back a little. This year has been pretty awful for me health-wise, and books and all of y’all kept me sane. I am deeply grateful for that.

Yet I’ve found that the more regularly I blogged, the more I felt like I needed to blog daily. The more blogs I visit, the more it feels like I have to visit and comment on. The more books I read, the more books it feels like a I have to read. Evolutionary biologists talk about the ‘Red Queen’ syndrome, after the monarch of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, who says:

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

And that’s rather how my reading and blogging have begun to feel.

I need to prioritise other aspects of my life in 2010, and I don’t think I can do that without finding some sort of balance. I don’t yet know what that balance will be, but it doesn’t seem enough to give myself ‘permission’ to read and blog less. I think I need to set actual limits on myself. So, I shall only be allowed to do book blogging-related stuff four days a week. The other days, I’m not going to even open my Google Reader, or brainstorm post ideas, or work on my Library Loot post. It’ll be quiet time. That being said, I’m going to try and see if I can find a balance with Twitter; I was using it so much for awhile, that I just went cold turkey off it, but I miss it. So I’ll be aiming for a happy medium there. It’s more difficult for me to set limits on my reading; should I do it by number of books per week, or page count, or something else entirely?! I’ve spent a lot of thought on this though, and I’ve come to an idea about hours/week. I’m not going to share with you how many hours I decided on, and it’s more of a guideline than a general rule, but I’m happy that I’m limiting myself. It’s time to discover new passions, and new people, and as wonderful as books are, I don’t want to be eighty and have my proudest accomplishment be that I’ve read X number of books. Instead I want to say “I’ve read incredible books, and loved incredible people, and seen incredible places, and felt incredible gratitude.”

This is all a long way of saying that my New Year’s reading resolution is a bit of an anti-goal. But this decision feels right, deep down in my bones. I’m prone to excess; since I was little, my parents have been telling me that we don’t live in a black-and-white world.

And now, I’m off to play with the awesome digital camera my parents got me for Christmas! :) A 12x optical zoom, 10.1 megapixel magical delight, with a GorillaPod to help. Somehow, I suspect I’ve got the makings of a new hobby.

I’m looking for inspiration! What do you love to do outside of reading and blogging? I recently re-discovered my love of making collages. :D

110 Comments leave one →
  1. December 31, 2009 6:32 am

    Good for you, Eva! Each of us has to try to find that balance in our lives, don’t we? One thing that the internet and, at this time, blogging has done for us, I think, is to find that there are individuals much like us out there. The ones who are are “prone to excess”. I am much like you in that regard.

    I am turning back to blogging this year, but with the idea that my sharing of my life in that way will be at my own pace and not at a pace set by looking at what others do or have done. I am embarking on the goal of “taking care of me” in 2010, whatever that may mean.

    Good luck and I’ll see you around the blogosphere or if I don’t, I’ll imagine you off happily pursuing other interests. Have a lovely New Year!

    • January 2, 2010 9:29 am

      Are you an Aries? I tend to blame my excess on that. ;) And your theme for 2010 sounds great!

  2. December 31, 2009 6:45 am

    Enjoy that great camera!
    Balance is good – I strive for that as well. Happy New Year : )

    • January 2, 2010 9:29 am

      Thanks-I’m excited to learn more about it! And Happy New Year to you as well. :D

  3. December 31, 2009 6:52 am

    I had a evry similar phase a while back where blogging and others wonderful blogs were getting more of my time than reading which seemed to be the wrong way around. Now I comment on posts I like not every single post by every single blogger or ones I have something specific to say. I also gave up on google reader and my never ending twitter as its addictive and gets too much now I do it every few days if again I have something to say. I also have mad blog post days where I write three and tend to be a week or so ahead so that I can just take a few days off here and there.

    I think just read when you want to read and blog when you want to blog, if you dont do four days a week so what? Your readers will still come back whenever you do a post honest.

    Enjoy the camera and some rest. My love outside reading, and also my other job as well as reading, is writing so I cant escape hahaha. Blogging is like a daily writing exercise for me as well as being a wonderful way of meeting people.

    • January 2, 2010 9:31 am

      I’m not sure I could give up my GR completely, but I’m sure Twitter and I will be more distant acquaintances than besties. ;) I love how you look at commenting and blogging and all of that…I think we all have times when we just need to step back a bit.

  4. December 31, 2009 6:57 am

    Blogging, like everything else, can become overwhelming at times. I have felt the same way you do many time this year but I finally have arrived at the conclusion that I don’t have to post daily and I don’t have to make a chore out of blogging or reading. It’s definitely easier that way.

    • January 2, 2010 9:31 am

      My problem is that I really enjoy posting daily, but then I end up prioritising my blog over other things that I really need to get done!

  5. December 31, 2009 7:23 am

    Stepping back when blogging seems overwhelming sounds like a good idea. I’m always afraid that my favorite hobby, reading, will turn into some sort of obligation, which would take the fun out of it. If blogging less will make your life (and reading) less stressful and more enjoyable, then that’s a good thing.

    • January 2, 2010 9:32 am

      I don’t think reading could ever feel like an obligation for me! But I understand the fear-that would pretty much ruin it. :)

  6. December 31, 2009 7:33 am

    I’d rather read than do almost anything else in the world, but I completely understand the stepping back from the online world, blogging, Twitter, whatever. We’ll be here whenever you feel like visiting and sharing! :-) I can’t wait to see some of the pics you take with your new stuff!


    • January 2, 2010 9:32 am

      I’d rather read than anything else too! BUT, when I’m reading instead of doing other things that I really need to get done, that’s a problem. ;)

  7. December 31, 2009 7:38 am

    I hope you find that balance, Eva! Happy New Year!

    • January 2, 2010 9:32 am

      Thanks! Happy New Year to you as well. :)

  8. December 31, 2009 7:49 am

    Sounds like a plan! Balance is something I seek, but often do not find!

    I even started a blog called Obsessions and Compulsions, in which my goal is to find that balance.

    Good luck, and Happy New Year!

    • January 2, 2010 9:33 am

      Good luck finding your balance too! :)

  9. December 31, 2009 7:50 am

    I did this very same thing a couple of months ago and I highly recommend it. I always say if you don’t like something about your life, do something to change it.

    I’m with Simon really. I’ve never used a reader and I don’t try to read every single post on every single blog I follow. I do try to get to them all once a week or so. And I don’t try to post something every single day anymore.

    Enjoy your new camera. Maybe you’ll post a few pictures sometime.

    Happy New Year

    • January 2, 2010 9:35 am

      I use a reader to keep up w/ my very favourite blogs. :) But for the past few months, I mainly visit/comment on the blogs of people who comment on mine, and I think that’s working really well for me!

  10. December 31, 2009 7:57 am

    Balance is so important and so hard to obtain – good luck, I hope it works for you. I’ve had to do something very similar (though using a different technique) in the last few months.

    • January 2, 2010 9:39 am

      I know you’ve been concentrating more on your writing, right? Balance is so difficult!

  11. December 31, 2009 8:10 am

    I was thinking about you because I saw you hadn’t posted and remembered you’d said you’d post on all your books by midnight tonight!

    I’m glad your unexpected blogging break was good for you. I think you blog tons and I’m always impressed but I completely see what you are saying. It is so hard to step back. I have been trying to do so (and finding new things to do, like projects on my house and with my son) and it feels rewarding. Checking blogs and/or writing posts has become a little bit of candy at the end of a long day…as is reading a good book.

    I’ll miss seeing you around the blogosphere, but I completely understand. I hope the new year brings you good health and lots of satisfying hobbies, like photography and crafts and so forth!

    • January 2, 2010 9:39 am

      I got a little cocky, right? ;) But I figure I’ll just review the books during Sunday Salon, and it’s not a big deal. I LOVE how stepping back has made blogging more of a treat for you; I’m hoping it’ll do the same for me!

  12. December 31, 2009 8:30 am

    Good luck…and enjoy that new camera!

    Happy New Year!

  13. December 31, 2009 8:34 am

    Eva! I think that this is a fantastic decision. You are such an amazing woman and have so much to offer to the world. Yay for exploring and developing other areas of You! Plus, as you progress in your degree and begin interning -wow – you are going to be amazingly busy!

    How did you like Wong’s books btw? He has a string of videos that are shown as staff development in most schools for new teachers. They’re a bit dated (as is the book, imo) but the structure and technique is valid.

    And I know that I’ve asked this a bazillion times, but you’re going for elementary education, yes?

    • January 2, 2010 9:41 am

      Thanks so much Christina-you brought a big grin to my face. I’ve seen his videos during my summer training session, so the book wasn’t a surprise, but I really like all of the practical suggestions. :D (I do snicker at the motivational, totally dated stuff, though!)

      And yep-I’m all about elementary ed. :)

  14. December 31, 2009 8:36 am

    Good luck with your goals! I love that Red Queen quote. It’s so true.

    Outside of blogging, I like to sew and crochet. I used to scrapbook a lot too but that fell by the wayside.

    • January 2, 2010 9:41 am

      Thanks! I enjoy sewing and crocheting too, although it’s difficult to do when my fibro acts up. I’ve never been a scrapbooker-I’ve been afraid I’ll get addicted to it and spend all my money on all the gorgeous papers and stuff! lol

  15. December 31, 2009 8:46 am

    I love reading your blog but I can totally understand the need for balance! Good luck with finding what works for you!

    • January 2, 2010 9:42 am

      Thanks Zee-it means a lot that people enjoy my blog. :)

  16. December 31, 2009 8:50 am

    Blogging got easier for me after I set limits on myself — one review post a week, and three posts a week. That way I had things to work for, but not so many things that blogging felt like work or like it wasn’t fun. I think stepping back is a huge, important decision, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to do that. Good luck :)

    • January 2, 2010 9:42 am

      I don’t think I could limit myself to one review post a week! But four posts a week, I”m hoping, will free me up a bit more. :)

  17. justabookreader permalink
    December 31, 2009 8:53 am

    I hope you find the balance you’re looking for in the new year. It’s hard sometimes to step back but very necessary. Good luck!

  18. December 31, 2009 8:55 am

    I find I have to do the same thing with reading. I set myself of 50 pages at a time. This means I read my 50 pages then cook dinner, or do laundry, and say hello to my family! Otherwise I either do only reading or only domestic things. Balance is the key!

    • January 2, 2010 9:43 am

      I’m with you on the fifty pages thing! Although I often try to read while I’m cooking, lol. Then I realise that’s silly and break out my audiobooks instead! ;)

  19. December 31, 2009 8:55 am

    I hope you enjoy playing with your new camera, I also got a new one although mine is very different from yours, its 1960s style with a proper film to load. It takes pinhole photos as well as ones which are layered on top of each other – going to be a steep learning curve figuring out how it works!

    I’ve you enjoy collage have you checked out Teesha Moore, she has cool art journals and collage stuff including instructions and hints on you tube.
    I’m making this year more creative – collages, scrap booking, making mini books, photography and creative writing, as well as learning to knit and crochet. I’m going to have a little project to learn something new each week and journal about it.

    • January 2, 2010 9:44 am

      Wow-your new camera sounds like fun too! And thanks for suggesting Teesha Moore; I haven’t heard of her, but she sounds like fun!

      Knitting and crocheting is a bunch of fun, but I was taught how to do both in person, so good luck teaching yourself. :) Love the idea of a craft a week!

  20. December 31, 2009 9:35 am

    Your new camera sounds cool! I think your goals for this next year sound very reasonable, Eva. And healthy. You have to take care of yourself first–both mentally and physically. I wish you the best and look forward to what 2010 has to offer here at A Striped Armchair.

  21. December 31, 2009 9:56 am

    Finding balance is difficult. I had to cut way back on Twitter myself, so I understand. Good luck!

    • January 2, 2010 9:57 am

      Twitter is a total blackhole…you get too close, and it just sucks you in! lol

  22. December 31, 2009 10:02 am

    I am also giving thought how to add balance to my life with regards to reading, blogging, and other interests. It sounds like you have made the right decision for you and that is all that matters :)

    I have the hope that someday I will purchase an SLR camera and become a decent amateur photographer. I hope you post some of your photos over the year.

    • January 2, 2010 10:00 am

      I think this is the time of year for re-evaluation. :) My photography skillz right now are non-existence, so I’m light years away from needing a SLR! lol

  23. December 31, 2009 10:32 am

    Good for you Eva. I hope you find lots of new passions in 2010. I love to scrapbook, so I am always taking photos for my pages. I am hoping to learn to crochet this year.

    I hope you have a fabulous New Year.

    • January 2, 2010 10:02 am

      You’re so good at scrapbooking too! Crocheting is great fun, and I think it’s easier than knitting. ;)

  24. December 31, 2009 10:32 am

    Eva, I do believe this: “I’ve read incredible books, and loved incredible people, and seen incredible places, and felt incredible gratitude.” has just become one of my most favorite quotes of all time!!! Seriously, I may just have to adopt that as my new goal-mantra, too. I’ve got the “loved incredible people” all sewn up for sure…and one of those incredible people is you!

    • January 2, 2010 10:04 am

      Right back at you with the incredible people I’ve loved! :D

  25. December 31, 2009 10:41 am

    Outside of blogging, I love to cook. I love to write. I love to crochet! I too have gone a little overboard in the blogging this year and do need to tone it down, but the truth is it’s okay because with school I really only feel like I can have one hobby to devote myself to. Maybe once I leave school and start working it will be different (in three years, haha). Twitter is a lovely distraction when I want it, but I need to be able to close it and turn it off. Good luck in your efforts Eva, but I still hope to see you around in the new year! I hope 2010 is better for us all :)

    • January 2, 2010 10:05 am

      I lurve cooking too! And crocheting, when my muscles are feeling cooperative; I’ve been crocheting since I was like9, hehe. :)

  26. December 31, 2009 11:56 am

    Yeah, I know what you mean, sometimes you just gota take a break from book-world and the blogosphere. Gotta have balance, so true! But yeah, outside of reading (which I do a LOT of) I like to run every other morning or so with my dog and when I don’t run we go for long walks (gotta get me some exercise!) and I love to play Guitar Hero and Sims. I must say I’m addicted to those games. But yeah, enjoy not reading so much, but don’t keep yourself from reading either!

    • January 2, 2010 10:05 am

      I want to start going for daily walks this year (I wish I had a dog to take with me!). I think it’s so important to get outside for at least a littl ebit every day.

  27. December 31, 2009 12:10 pm

    Er, this may not be in the spirit of your resolution, but I’d love you to post pictures of your collages if you get a chance! I’m dreadful at arty things. When I start to feel I’m doing too much internet/book stuff, I break out my (self-taught and thus not very impressive) carnival skills: making balloon animals (for defenseless young relatives), playing guitar & reading people’s Tarot cards. It’s fun to learn how to do a new thing!

    • January 2, 2010 10:06 am

      I like collages because I’m awful at drawing! Tarot is SO much fun…I used to do it all the time, and lately I’ve barely done it at all. Thanks for reminding me!

  28. December 31, 2009 12:52 pm

    Eva, sounds like you have a wonderful outlook for 2010. I think reading and blogging is wonderful but it does disconnect us from the “real” world so we do have to set limits. I suspect we will be having the honor of seeing some really cool photographs up on your blog this coming year! Hope you have a great New Year’s Eve.

  29. December 31, 2009 2:03 pm

    Good luck to you, Eva!

  30. December 31, 2009 2:25 pm

    Reassessing and finding balance is an important ongoing activity – good for you Eva. Find what pleases you.

    Aside from my school work I love to walk, cook, watch movies (usually of a particularly director or actor over a period of time).

    Hope 2010 is full of good things – good health being one of them!

    • January 2, 2010 10:07 am

      I’m a huge fan of classic movies too; it’d be neat to become a bit more systematic about my movie watching. And thanks for the good health wishes!

  31. December 31, 2009 2:31 pm

    I have a tendency to let things get out of balance, too. Good for you to recognize that that has happened and take steps to get things turned around. Collages? New camera? Sounds like a great combination for a new activity. I love to cook and bake and find both to be a chance to be creative.

    • January 2, 2010 10:10 am

      I love cooking too! And I think I’m going to start to explore GF baking more this year…I’ve finally gotten out of the mourning phase, and now I’d love to just be able to make GF yumminess. :D

  32. December 31, 2009 3:22 pm

    Best of luck with keeping things in balance — it seems to have such an important effect on health. I fully support your decision! Sometimes taking a step back opens new paths that we weren’t even aware of. It will be a good things. Hugs and well wishes for the new year.

  33. December 31, 2009 3:53 pm

    Eva, your plan seems a very wise one. I, like so many others, love your blog, but blogging- and reading- should be fun and relaxing, not an obligation. I hope you’ll have fun with your new camera.
    In my case, I don’t often have much time for blogging, because sports (dancing and tennis) and reading take most of my free time. I also enjoy photography, writing, baking, making bead jewellery, and drawing.

    May your 2010 be a happy, healthy, wonderful year!


    • January 2, 2010 10:11 am

      I love your blog too, so I’m glad you find the time for it. :) I’m so impressed that sports are your main hobby! I really want to take up walking this year. :D

  34. December 31, 2009 4:03 pm

    Blogging is addictive. I also find that the more I do it the more I want to do it. I know that this level of blogging can’t carry on forever and that there will come a point when I’ll need to cut back a bit too, but for now I’m enjoying it too much.

    I understand your need to cut back. Finding a balance between all the aspects of our life is hard. I hope you manage to find a system that works for you.

    Best wishes and happy new year!

    • January 2, 2010 10:11 am

      That’s how I felt for most of 2009, so I say enjoy all the blogging you want! :)

  35. December 31, 2009 4:50 pm

    I think that sounds like an amazing goal for 2010! I never thought about collage before. Hmm.

    As far as things that interest me outside of reading and blogging, I have a ton of interests but I’m finding it hard to find the time to dedicate to all of them. Here are some:
    -cooking (especially for other people)
    -knitting and crocheting (I’m planning to learn how to use my sewing machine in 2010 so I can stop sewing everything by hand)
    -arts and crafts a la Martha Stewart
    -card games (although I’m not so fond of the money-consuming collectible card games anymore)

    I have a bunch more but those are the ones I’ve been playing with recently. I hope you get to explore lots of different opportunities that come your way! Happy New Year Eva!

    • January 2, 2010 10:12 am

      I love sewing and knitting and crocheting and cooking too. :D I really enjoy games like Euchre and Pinochle, but I don’t have anyone to play them with!

  36. December 31, 2009 4:57 pm

    Here’s hoping you have a healthy and wonderful 2010, Eva. Good luck :-)

    • January 2, 2010 10:12 am

      Thanks Aarti! I’m so glad we’ve connected this past year. Although you still owe me those veggie Indian recipes from your mom! hehe

  37. December 31, 2009 5:35 pm

    I understand Eva, more than I can say! My thoughts and time were too consumed for a while there with the blog; taking a step back literally and mentally was an important step for me. I feel much more lighthearted about it now. No pressure. Take it easy Eva, and enjoy LIFE!

    • January 2, 2010 10:13 am

      Thanks Tara! I miss your more frequent posting, but this way I’m even more excited to see you pop up in my google reader! :D

  38. December 31, 2009 5:38 pm

    As a photography fiend I must say “go for it” with the new camera! It is so much fun and digital allows you to take really bad photos or experiment and then delete and no one but you need to be the wiser!

    Balance is so important. And, the number of books you read does not make you who you are. Strive more for interesting and interested among others. Enjoy!

    • January 2, 2010 10:13 am

      That’s why digital rocks! lol So true about the number of books you read not defining you…although I’m embarassed by how many I read this year.

  39. December 31, 2009 5:44 pm

    I totally get it. I hope it works out well for you, I hope you enjoy the new camera, and I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. :) As for hobbies, well to be honest I’m just as addicted to TV as I am to books but I don’t think that’s an incredibly productive hobby. I personally need to carve in more time for both working out and cooking healthier foods. I scrimp on taking care of myself physically in order to do other things like read and blog. That’s something I need to work on this year.

    • January 2, 2010 10:14 am

      Thanks Heather! I love my favourite TV shows too, hehe. :) And I HAVE to get back into daily yoga and I want to start taking daily walks. *sigh* There’s just so much to do!

  40. historyofshe permalink
    December 31, 2009 6:17 pm

    Good luck with your resolution! I hope to see some of your collages ;)

  41. December 31, 2009 8:16 pm

    I’ve also taken a prolonged blogging break since I’ve been home, and I actually have found it really refreshing, too. I’ve always been amazed by the people who find the time, energy and creativity to blog daily, so I think your decision to cut back and spend time exploring other interests and passions is a really good one. You know that for me I also really love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, so maybe 2010 will find you sharing some of your GF recipes with us! ;)

    • January 2, 2010 10:15 am

      My first baking goal of 2010: delicious GF croissants!

  42. December 31, 2009 8:46 pm

    I go through phases where I am more prolific, and have more quality posts than other times for this exact reason. At the end of the day, blogging is supposed to be fun, so do it when you want to do it, and don’ t the rest of the time! No pressure, no guilt.

    Happy New Year Eva, and here’s to a better 2010.

    • January 2, 2010 10:15 am

      Thanks Marg! I’ve loved getting closer to you this year. :D

  43. December 31, 2009 9:15 pm

    Eva, I am so glad you posted to let us know how you are. If you need to set limits, do so because we all understand the need for balancing real life with blogging and reading. I think I need to be on Twitter less but I do want to blog more often about the books I read. I really don’t have a life outside of being a mom and blogger but I do love making collages and daydreaming and cooking and taking walks. I also love writing in my journal. Take care of yourself.

    • January 2, 2010 10:16 am

      I think sometimes ‘having a life’ is defined too narrowly, you know? I mean, I don’t think my blogging friends are somehow less real than friends I get to meet for coffee! Mainly, I just need to make myself take time to get healthy, instead of reading and blogging all day! lol

  44. December 31, 2009 9:15 pm

    I’ve had to cut way back on blogging, and my reading as of late has been only of the more “fluffy” variety. I haven’t blogged about it, but like you and others I’ve had to find a balance that works for my family, me and my job. I think it is wonderful that you are pursuing other things that interest you and making those people connections — you are right, it is so important. Take care of yourself and your health and have a happy and most wonderful 2010!

    • January 2, 2010 10:16 am

      Thanks Terri! I hope 2010 is wonderful for you as well. :D

  45. December 31, 2009 10:34 pm

    A very healthy resolution, Eva. I’ve been finding more balance in my own life, and the journey continues. Hobbies outside of reading: hanging out with the family, time with the pup, cooking, and I’ve discovered I like scrapbooking. Who knew??

    Happy new year!

    • January 2, 2010 10:17 am

      Awww-I love your hobbies! I TOTALLY want a dog, but I have to wait until I have my own place…my parents aren’t big pet people. *sigh*

  46. December 31, 2009 10:35 pm

    I think whatever decision you make, if it makes you feel good, then go for it! I personally have just rediscovered my love for reading, and so I’m probably going to be reading more in the new year.

    That said, I’m pretty sure you’ll find an equally addictive hobby with your camera. At least, that’s what happened to me when I first got my own digital camera. =)

    I don’t do much collaging, but I’m into making little models out of cardboard. And hand-made cards for all kinds of occasions as well. It just feels awesome to spend time working on something, exhausting those creative juices, and after that, sitting back feeling happy and content. Like you’ve accomplished something, y’know?

    Here’s wishing you a great great year ahead.

    • January 2, 2010 10:18 am

      Cardboard models sounds so awesome! I totally agree that doing creative things gives you a great feeling. And I hope you have a wonderful year rediscovering how wonderful reading is! :D

  47. December 31, 2009 11:15 pm

    I think everyone is trying to deal with that balance problem! I wish you all of the best for the New Year!!!

    • January 2, 2010 10:18 am

      I agree; it’s not exactly a unique problem! lol

  48. January 1, 2010 12:54 am

    Your goals sound thoughtful and reasonable. Since I’m going to be off a lot during the next 3 months, I’ll probably do more reading and blogging then will cut back again when the semester starts in march. Happy twentyten!

    • January 2, 2010 10:18 am

      That makes sense! I look forward to much more from Tuffi over the next few months. :D hehe

  49. January 1, 2010 8:59 am

    Eva, I’ve been trying to find a balance for years, it’s very hard. Actually, I admire you for your excess – you are a super-bookworm and a super-blogger. Your reading input and blogging output boggles my mind. I want to be more like you. And I can completely understand you wanting to pull back and find time for other pursuits. When I was near you age I read over 300 books in one year. I only read 40-50 books a year now in my fifties. I’m looking forward to seeing how you balance things, you are an inspiration to all that follow your blog.

    I should mention that I don’t read your blog regularly because following you is like following a hurricane – it’s intense. But I like to visit your site now and then to be inspired. I found your summary of books you read for the book challenges very inspiring. You make me want to try a book challenge, but I’ll only do one. That’s my balance.

    • January 2, 2010 10:19 am

      Thanks Jim! I hope you enjoy your book challenge if you join in. :)

  50. January 1, 2010 5:55 pm

    I’ve stepped way back from blogging, too. My family took two summer vacations in a row and I noticed that the people who are dearest to me noticed and appreciated me blogging less, while my blogging buddies seemed to do just fine without me. I’m still looking for the right balance. I’d like to do more blogging than I’m doing right now, and less than I was doing a year ago.

    I hope 2010 will be the year your health improves dramatically and that you find many new things and people into which to put all your wonderful energy!

    • January 2, 2010 10:19 am

      Thanks so much for all the wonderful wishes! I hope you find your perfect blogging balance soon. :D

  51. January 1, 2010 11:09 pm

    I feel frustrated that I don’t have more time to blog, lol! But also that I don’t get to read as much as I’d like, either.

    I think collage will be a great outlet for you. I love doing things like making artist trading cards.

    And, your new camera sounds great. Enjoy it and I wish you a happy and healthy 2010!

    • January 2, 2010 10:20 am

      Thanks Valerie! And we still need to meet up; I’m sorry that I’ve been so flaky. I’ll e-mail you soon! :)

  52. January 2, 2010 8:41 am

    I’m glad you’re doing better, I know you had a hard end of 2010… was worried about you, and am glad you’re a little better now, at least :). I’m terrible about hobbies… does computer programming count? You’re very smart I could teach you ruby on rails, if you want, and you could build web apps :D.

    • January 2, 2010 10:21 am

      Thanks-I’ve missed chatting with you Jason! Web apps, huh? I’m rather tempted…but that would lead me to spend more time on the computer! LOL I’ll think about it. :)

  53. January 2, 2010 10:14 am

    So very well said Eva. I just wish there was more time to do everything…and that we didn’t have to make hard decisions. ;)

    • January 2, 2010 10:21 am

      I agree Amy! But I could never give up blogging completely; I wouldn’t want to. Y’all enrich my life so much. :D

  54. January 3, 2010 11:25 am

    I took a big step back in December myself, but I’m not sure it was enough, somewhat unsurprisingly! I don’t think I found the root of my frustration yet, but I hope I will soon. Good luck with finding your own balance, Eva. I think your goals sound very worthwhile.

  55. January 3, 2010 5:27 pm

    I hear you! I am definitely striving for a balance too after overcommiting myself in 2009.

    The main thing I want to do differently is to feel ok about abandoning books that just aren’t doing it for me. And of course not to tie myself down with too many obligations.

  56. January 4, 2010 6:42 pm

    One of the reasons the number of books I’m reading per year has dropped significantly (by almost half this year from 2 years ago) is that I picked up knitting. I love books, but I also love knitting! Hard to pick between the 2 sometimes!

  57. January 6, 2010 12:53 pm

    I’m spending this afternoon thinking about balance and goals myself. I get off work in 10 minutes and will be holing up at a table at Borders to do some long range planning and thinking. I need to change my focus a bit and I think some quiet time to really THINK about it is what I need. That said, I hope you find the balance you need this year as well.

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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