I am grateful for a wonderful life, loving friends and family, the blogging community, good health and the ability to do the things that I want to do, or at least try.
Happy New Year to all of you!!!
My song to close out the old and welcome the new is:
Don’t Rain on my Parade
Don’t tell me not to live Just sit and putter Life’s candy and the sun’s A ball of butter Don’t bring around a cloud To rain on my parade Don’t tell me not to fly I’ve simply got to If someone takes a spill It’s me and not you Who told you you’re allowed To rain on my parade! I’ll march my band out I’ll beat my drum And if I’m fanned out Your turn at bat, sir At least I didn’t fake it Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it! But whether I’m the rose Of sheer perfection Or freckle on the nose Of life’s complexion The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye I gotta fly once I gotta try once Only can die once, right, sir? Ooh, life is juicy Juicy, and you’ll see I’m gonna have my bite, sir! Get ready for me, love ‘Cause I’m a “comer” I simply gotta march My heart’s a drummer Don’t bring around a cloud To rain on my parade! I’m gonna live and live now Get what I want, I know how One roll for the whole shebang One throw, that bell will go clang Eye on the target, and wham One shot, one gun shot, and bam Hey, Mister Arnstein, here I am!
I’ll march my band out I will beat my drum And if I’m fanned out Your turn at bat, sir At least I didn’t fake it Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it Get ready for me, love ‘Cause I’m a “comer” I simply gotta march My heart’s a drummer Nobody, no, nobody Is gonna rain on my parade!
Take better care of my cuticles by using cuticle oil at least 4 nights a week
Make something from scratch every week- pasta, bread or dessert
needlepoint or crochet for an hour a week
once a week take one work of art that I saw and read/discuss it
Finish first draft of work in progress
Write for ten hours a week
enter four writing contests throughout the year
gym five times a week
Times crossword at lest 4 times a week
read 85 books
blog at least five times a week
remember to tag my blog posts
Insta once a week…. (she says wondering how long this phase will last)
12,000 steps five days a week- 8,000 the other two
live theater or music once a month
museum every week (Met is the goal) finishing up viewing all the galleries
nature every week (Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the goal)
a movie a week in theaters
get rid of 30 items a month on road to decluttering
watch my daughter present her thesis
watch my daughter graduate
go on one awesome vacation of at least five days
I always have things that I set aside to read for the new year.
My books of the year will be :
The Road to Le Papillon: Daily Meditations on True Contentment by Shannon Ables
52 Ways to Walk: The New Science and Timeless Joy of How, When, Where, and Why by Annabel Streets
My page a day calendars will be:
Inspire by TF Publishing
Art- 365 Days of Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
I am also a little tired of my journaling and gratitude procedure. Instead of free writing in the morning and taking stock at night, I am going to try a version of 10 things. As I like lists, in the morning I’m going to write ten things, afternoon ten things, evening ten things. I like lists better and I am not getting satisfaction out of the way I’ve been handling it. I still plan on including best and worst moments of the day, what I’m grateful for, but I plan on being much looser about it. I’m probably (I’m not 100% sure yet) going to do my Saturday posts in this format as well…but I’m still thinking it out.
I made an instagram goal to post a picture every day.
I like the idea of insta better than actually instagramming. Will I attempt to try instagramming next year? You will just have to wait till tomorrow to find out!!
My book goal was 85 books
I read 128 books this year.
My movie goal was to see all the Oscar nominated films
While I did not see one of the Oscar nominated documentaries, I am taking the win for seeing everything else that was nominated
My goal was to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art once a week
While I did not go every week, I think I made it 49 weeks. I call that a win. Last year I was at gallery 160 in my quest of visiting galleries in numerical order. On my next trip I will be at Gallery 700
I had my mammogram this week. I am grateful that they got me the results within two days. I am grateful for my fatty but malignancy free breasts. It doesn’t matter what month it is- have your girls checked out!!
My journal prompt for this week was INTUITION. Here’s how it was used in the books that I’m reading:
For example, if your low back is sore and tired, get on the ground and stretch, roll around, ball up, do some yoga, or whatever you intuitively feel will help. Pedram Shojai
It was unlike Sam to show such restraint, but he intuited that he needed to proceed slowly. Gabrielle Zevin
“I’m fine” may be accurate or filled with denial. Often we must check in with out intuition to correctly interpret the statement.
Countless words have been written in praise of hunches and gut instincts, and while such intuitions can easily lead us astray, even the most conservative epistemologist will grant that on occasion, in ways that can’t all be dismissed as coincidence, they are spectacularly correct. Kathryn Schulz
She not only had a quick intellect but an intuitive judgement of men and their motives. Jon Meacham speaking of Mary Lincoln
Clearly, as Barr had intuited, there was something about Van Gogh that had tapped the national mood. Hugh Eakin
Charles Darwin lamented in his autobiography that he didn’t have the capacity for intuitive understanding or memory. Fumio Sasaki
Unlike the mind, which reasons and explores, the soul is our spiritual seat- pure, direct and intuitive. Eveline Helmink
Here’s how I thought about INTUITION
Intuition and manifestation- what’s the difference?
As of 12/17, I had read 127 books. I realized yesterday that my Goodreads total had been skewed because it somehow included some of the books my Husband read on Kindle. I had a little bit of a panic attack knowing that it would affect my “numbers” but I have chosen to breathe deeply and let it go…If you think this was something easy for one as literal minded as me, you would be wrong.
But back to favorites!
My favorite FICTION books: (in no particular order-)
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman (mystery)
Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
Bodyguard by Katherine Center (beach read)
Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
The Maid (Mystery)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
My favorite MEMOIRS:
What My Bones Know: A memoir of healing from Complex Trauma by Stephanie Foo
In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom
My favorite PERSONAL GROWTH
The Zen: The Art of Simple Living by Shunmyo Masuno
Comfort Book by Matt Haig
Book that I was most surprised by rereading:
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Books I got the most blog posts about:
Conversations on Love by Natasha Lunn
We Came, We Saw, We Left by Charles Wheelan
Book that had one nugget of advice that I needed to hear:
Leopard is a Neutral: A Really Useful Style Guide by Erica Davies
The Art of Stopping Time: Practical Mindfulness for Busy People
how to/personal growth
The Novel Project: A Step by Step Guide to your Novel, Memoir or Biography
novel writing guide
fiction/women’s fiction/mental health/quirky
Kurashi at Home: How to organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life
I, Mona Lisa
historical fiction/Mona Lisa
The Family Game
The Key to my Heart
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
women’s fiction/family dynamics/mothers and daughters/immigrant experience
Inciting Joy: essays
personal growth/book club
The Roughest Draft
Tomorrow– I love this book. It’s about friends and relationships and collaboration and so much more. This book gives you all the feels about being human. Just get it from the library and try it…
Art of Stopping Time– Practical solutions for being more mindful of your day to day. There is nothing too preachy about this- just little insights into how you can go about life with perhaps a little less stress and angst. I’m a sucker for books like this, and this fit the bill for me
Novel Project- This is a how to guide as to how to go about writing a novel. This is a very practical book, and I appreciate its straight forward approach to novel writing. This is the best how to book that I have read.
Meredith– I have a penchant for female characters who have to overcome a trauma or obstacle or dysfunctional family drama, so this is right in my wheelhouse. Told with charm, this is about what people need to do to survive. if you like Eleanor Olyphant or books like that, try this out…
Kurashi– For the most part I was underwhelmed by this book. What saved it for me was the worksheets in the last chapter. They are a great way to think about organizing one’s day. But other than that, this book is a pass
Mona Lisa– the story is told through the eyes of Mona Lisa. I’m not a huge fan of the inanimate object gimmick book, but this has some nice moments. Book spends a few too many chapters with Leonardo, which I guess it had to, but they started to drag. I liked the more modern chapters.
Family Game– Average psych thriller about a woman marrying into a rich family. If you read enough of these, you get to know what’s going to happen…it’s time for a new genre to take us by storm.
Key– I like the protagonist and I feel for her story- a little. Then she just gets annoying and I didn’t care about her story anymore. The love interest is one dimensional, as are the characters friends, who float in and out of the novel, making it hard to care about any of them.
Fortunes- Lackluster story about mothers and daughters and sisters of the same family. Too soapy to be enjoyable
Inciting Joy:– Gay is an excellent wordsmith, he has a unique voice and style. and there is a lyrical beauty to his essays. He makes very provocative statements, that do get you thinking. That being said, his style is not for me. I felt like he was writing at me, not to me. He also utilizes footnotes, in some cases the footnote section is longer than the actual essay: I don’t like this as a format. If your essay doesn’t explain things well, rewrite the essay.
The Roughest Draft– This book started out with an interesting premise- writing partners who wrote a bestseller stop speaking and no longer write together. And the book starts out with some clever dialogue and situations. But the last 75 pages are a joke, as if the authors were trying to hit a word count, because really, the book should have ended about 8 chapters earlier than it did. Pass.
My Ranking/RT Critic/RT Audience
semi autobiography of Steven Spielberg/family drama
Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro)
animated, children’s classic
based on a true story/armed forces movie/story of Jesse Brown
rom com/love story/tear jerker
based on a true story/armed forces movie
Empire of Light
Fabelmans- Good story about a part of Spielberg’s life, but not earth shattering. Fine as far as family dramas go. You can wait for streaming- I don’t understand all the oscar buzz.
Pinocchio– Gorgeous animation and solid retelling of the Pinocchio story. Be forewarned, there’s a dash of fascism thrown in this version that I don’t quite remember from the Disney version, so maybe not for younger kids. Deserves an academy nod.
Devotion– story of naval aviators. Heartfelt and subtly made film about a friendship. Tells the story of Jesse Brown, the first black naval aviator. Well told. Wait to stream.
Spoiler Alert– This is no where near a perfect movie- the pacing is off, which makes the flow flip flop. However, I enjoy love stories, so this was up my movie alley. Charming characters. Wait for streaming.
The Inspection– story of a man who felt he needed to change his ways in order to survive, so he decides to become a Marine. Solid acting performances and heartfelt story. Wait to stream
Empire of Light– This movie had lousy reviews, but people liked Olivia Colman’s performance, so I saw it. Well, no performance can save this lackluster, boring, plotless mess of a movie. No lie I started to fall asleep. I have no idea what the point of this movie is. What a pile of garbage. Avoid it if you can.