I have to be honest: I am so excited to be starting this series! One of the commitments I made to myself this year is to get back to parts of myself that I've let lie dormant. A big part of me that's suffered since motherhood is reading. I love to read. I have a deep-seated hunger for the written word, and it revitalizes me like nothing else. Before Evie, I would devour books in a single sitting - now, it takes a herculean effort to get through one in a handful of weeks. That's why I've decided to be reasonable about my commitment: in 2019, I will read one education book and one just for fun book each month, then share my experience with them here with you, along with what I'll be reading in the coming month so you can join me! Since this is the first installment, today I'll be sharing my February reads with you, and dropping the titles for what I'll be exploring in March!
G and I read The ONE Thing in preparation for our first annual retreat after listening to Jay and his wife Wendy chat about goal setting, priorities as professionals who are married with a family, and how important it is to know where you're going so you know how to act today (give the podcast a listen right here). As a professional, driven woman myself who has been struggling with balancing several "full time jobs" (Simplicity & Coffee, Mother, Wife, Housekeeper...the list goes on and on), I found Wendy's perspective in the podcast so refreshing.
The book covers several different big-picture ideas, with sub-chapters in each of them going over the key points. It's an easy read, but so full of good information! I loved how sensitive the authors were to the importance of personal life vs. work, the key insights in to managing vs creating (spoiler alert: they're both necessary for a thriving professional life!), and how practical the applications were.
I'll be honest, there were, and are, many moments that I felt like I"d never be able to devote enough time to any category to see the change. But, keep reminding myself that counterbalancing is key, and I am in control of my choices - even the choice to let go of a time block in favor of something that I deem more important. I also take the time to realize that each season has a different priority, and right now I'm in the all-too-brief season where Evie is home full time, and I need to soak it up.
Overall, I HIGHLY recommend The ONE Thing, encourage you to listen to the podcast, and even think that taking a weekend for the planning retreat is so necessary! Even if you're solo, give yourself that time. And build in time for play/relaxing like Jay and Wendy suggest! You need to have the space to dream and recharge amidst all that goal setting.
JUST FOR FUN
This is an old favorite of mine, and I was in the mood for a re-read. If you're unfamiliar, The Count of Monte Cristo is the story of Edmund Dantes, an honest but naive young sailor who unintentionally gets caught-up in the midst of Napoleon's attempt to regain power. After having his future destroyed by men who were driven by jealously and fear, Edmond finds himself the possessor of an opportunity to claim a new life - a life full of immense fortune, secret knowledge, and the power to substitute himself for the vengeance of God.
The intricacies of plot and depth of character development are exactly what you would expect from Dumas, and you'll leave this book feeling deeply satisfied but hungry for more. If you've never read Dumas, this is an excellent place to start.
In March, I plan to read One Beautiful Dream by Jennifer Fulwiler (so many recommendations for this one!) and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Shop below and let me know if you're going to join me!!
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