An Enormous, Heartfelt Thank You

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Every day I get on here I am simply amazed at the outpouring of people who dedicate time to reading, commenting, liking, and conversing with me on this blog and my new YouTube channel as well.

I have had some personal stuff come up over the last few weeks, making it very hard to convince myself to write and film as much as I have in the past. Mental health is something I have had to work tirelessly towards and it’s harder at certain times than others.

So I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. The fact that even one person gets on here and reads anything that I have to say has been incredible, let alone the many, many readers I talk to throughout the week.

I am doing my best to stay on top of everything and to keep writing as I take care of myself as well as moving my family a few states north over the next month. If a post or video falls through the cracks, as they have over the past week, I am sorry. Thank you again, for reading.

How to Read More as a Busy Adult

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I have seen a viral post going around the internet that basically states ‘I read so much as a child dozens and dozens of books, and now I am lucky if I finish one book a year.’ That isn’t the exact quote, but that is the thought behind it.

This is completely, 100% understandable. I can personally relate to this myself, and it took a while to get myself out of that rut as a ‘grown-up.’

Who has the time? Honestly-between working at least 40 hours a week, cooking, cleaning, taking care of pets, social lives, children, and keeping yourself sane, it really doesn’t seem like reading is or should be anywhere near the top of the list.

For me, it is an absolute necessity. I can’t live without it. Reading and literature are living, breathing life for me. So I make time, no matter what is going on. However, even if you are not quite as involved in it as myself, you may be interested in just keeping up on reading even just a few books a year to keep yourself sharp.

So whether you want to read as much as humanly possible and immerse yourself in literature and learning constantly, or you just want to sharpen up your reading skills slightly in order to read a little more than a book a year, I have some tips to share with you.

This is an important skill, and reading even a little bit is a fantastic way to keep your mind sharp.

 

The first tip I would give you is to always have something to read.

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This is the single best piece of advice my father has ever given to me- don’t ever go somewhere without two things to read. That way if you finish the first book/magazine/newspaper/etc, you will have something else.

Because of this, I get way more reading done, even on busy days. Rather than always pulling out my phone and watching garbage (which I have a tendency to get sucked into), I am able to engage myself in something better.

Now, even if you don’t want to lug around some huge book all day, bring an eReader, a magazine, whatever it is that you enjoy! That way you are never stuck without something to read.

The second piece of advice that I have for you is to keep track of what you read.

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Whether you use Goodreads or just make a list- it can be satisfying to keep track of what you read and see how you progress throughout the year.

If it is just to motivate yourself to read more or to see what sort of material comes up the most, keeping track of what you read can be a great way to inspire yourself to push harder.

My third and last tip would be to engage with other readers. 

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The hardest thing for me as a reader is having no one to talk to about it. If you have people with similar reading tastes, or even just likes reading in general, it’s easier to read regularly and then discuss it with someone.

If you don’t have a lot of people around you to discuss what you are reading with, do what I did! Start a blog to review books or even a YouTube channel to talk about reading and literature. Once I did that for myself, not only did it provide me with a fantastic outlet, but it motivated me to read more challenging works and more often.

Those are three of the best ways I have found to read more. You do of course have to want to read and engage with literature, but if you need a little help-these tips should do it.

What motivates you to read more? 

 

Exciting Life Update!

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If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember when my spouse and I decided to sell our school bus.

Since doing that, we have made plans to move up north to Ohio for a few years, and in the process begin building a tiny house as well.

Well, yesterday we signed a lease for an adorable little three bedroom house in Ohio. It has been a stressful, long process finding a place that would allow us to bring our big dogs in and has all the features we needed.

So May will be our last month in Virginia, and we could not be more excited.

I apologize for such a short blog post this Sunday, but due to all the travel, work, and family time, it has been a crazy week!

Once we are moved in and settled I will share some pictures of our new little home.

Thanks for reading!

An American Marriage / Book Review

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“But home isn’t where you land; home is where you launch. You can’t pick your home any more than you can choose your family. In poker, you get five cards. Three of them you can swap out, but two are yours to keep: family and native land.” 

I finally got around to finishing this book last week, and wanted to talk to you all about it. To be honest, I liked this infinitely more than I thought I would, and I have been feeling that way about a lot of books that have come out in 2018.

The story follows a young married couple, Roy and Celestial. They are young and happily married for about a year and a half before their world is completely turned around. Roy is arrested for a crime he did not commit, and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Over time, things change, and people move on. The rest of the novel tells the story of two people who are lost and how they deal with how their lives are going.

The book is told in three different perspectives- Roy, Celestial, and a close friend-Andre. This was my favorite part of the book. You get to see every point made from every possible perspective. It made the story much more detailed and rich, and allowed you to go into every situation with more perspective. There are points in the story where it is easy to ‘choose sides,’ and the different viewpoints made it easier to realize how important each one was.

This book was well-written, heartbreaking, and incredibly thought-provoking. It gave incredible insights to the intricacies of being married, racial profiling and being a person of color in America, the legal system, and the lengths you will go for someone you love.

There wasn’t one single aspect in this book that left me unsatisfied. I was very nervous towards the end of the story because I wasn’t quite sure what the final pages would hold, but it turned out in such a perfect and somewhat unexpected way.

Does it turn out in the perfect, ‘traditional’ way? No, it doesn’t. But for me it felt like the only way for the story to end.

This was a book that will have me contemplating it for the considerable future. I would highly recommend it for any fiction fans.

 If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!

Rewarding Yourself

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This week isn’t really going to be a lengthy post, I just wanted to give you guys a brief life update and some thoughts on being nice to yourself.

Over the past week I got a full time writing job.

In case you don’t know me personally, this is pretty much all I want out of life. I love to write, and getting paid for it is the dream.

Something I struggle with and strive to be better at is patting myself on the back when something good happens. It’s SO easy to punish myself when I mess up, or something goes wrong in my life, but not when I succeed.

Why is that so hard?

Part of me feels that I just don’t deserve it. Another part of me thinks that if something decent happens, it has to be dumb luck. While I know in my part that neither of those things are true, it’s a hard mental block to pass over. This year is about love, acceptance, and forgiveness of myself, so it’s something I am determined to overcome.

Any advice that any of you have is welcome for this.

I worked hard, I went through a lot to get this job, and I got it. Yay! As part of my resolution to love myself better this year, I am finding a way  to celebrate.

Not quite sure how yet, but positive recognition is important and it’s something I will be giving myself.

How do you reward yourself when something good happens? Is it difficult for you as well? I’d love to hear your thoughts.