Redefining Self-Care

A friend shared this video recently and it does such a beautiful and funny job of talking about something that I’ve been thinking about for a while now – the balance between self-care and showing up.

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My Year in Review

I’ve gotten behind on my book reviews – since my last book post I read La Belle Sauvage (which no one I know has read yet and it’s driving me crazy) and Parable of the Talents, both of which I have lots of thoughts about. Right now I’m getting close to the end of The Poisonwood Bible, which I love, and I know I’ll have a lot to say about that, too. After that I plan to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. 2017 was a great reading year for me – I was really inspired to go outside my usual sphere and read books that I wouldn’t have picked up before. Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 challenge was a big help in choosing books, and I plan to use their 2018 list to help me keep widening my horizons this year.

I think “widening my horizons” was my running theme in 2017, along with my goal of “learn more, do more” – and in 2018 I plan to just keep trucking down that path.

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Life Outside the Pillow Fort

It’s been a dense several weeks. Every month, half of my giving budget goes to recurring donations and half I give out depending on what’s going on in the world – it’s getting harder and harder to choose which cause or disaster relief effort most needs my money. Two years ago, before I started paying attention to the world outside of my bubble, I would’ve known about Las Vegas and Houston; I might’ve been peripherally aware of Puerto Rico and Mexico City, but I definitely wouldn’t have known about the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar (one of the causes I donated to last month) or so many other things happening, both in this country and around the world.

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Fahrenheit 451 – I Seem To Be Revisiting Way-Too-Relevant Old Scifi Books Lately

I’m really behind on writing about books – I’ve finished four since the last book post I wrote, and I think next time I’ll do a round-up because I can cover most of the others fairly briefly, but I’ve got more to say about this one, so I’m giving it its own post.

I read this book in high school and have intended to revisit it for a while. I used it to fulfill Read Harder Challenge #3 – read a book about books.

If you’ve read this book, you don’t need me to explain why it’s a classic or why it’s more than a little creepy to read today, over 60 years after it was written. If you haven’t read it, read it.

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Charlottesville, Protest, Ongoing Work and Symbolic Nazi Punches

Today wasn’t my first protest, but it wasn’t far from it – and it was my first protest of this type; something formed quickly in direct response to a particular incident. I posted a while back about how my focus has been on volunteering/education rather than protest and direct action, and I’m fine with that, everyone finds their own work – but I said that I wanted to stay open to opportunities for protest, and this wasn’t something I would’ve been okay with sitting out.

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The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Last week I finished reading The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. I’m trucking my way through Book Riot’s Read Harder 2017 Challenge – I’ve completed 13 of 24 now – this book fulfilled Challenge #9, Read A Book You’ve Read Before.

I read this book for the first time when I was a teenager – I don’t remember exactly how old I was; maybe 13 or 14. There were elements of the book that really stuck with me, parts of the characters that never left me, but I remembered very little about the details of the plot and the themes. What I did remember was just enough to make me realize that there was probably quite a bit that I hadn’t fully understood when I was a young teenager. Lordy was that ever true.

(There’s a bit spoilery bit but I’ve got it behind an accordion!)

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What JJ is Reading