So far at least, I think I’m staying true to the spirit of my New Year’s resolutions post, which is to say that I’ve stayed pretty relaxed about what I’m reading and how much and not worrying about whether I’m fulfilling challenges or finishing as many books as I did last year.
I may be taking this relaxed attitude even further in the coming months as I’ve got a busy semester ahead of me and may not have time to do as much reading as I’ve done in the past. The truth is, in pre-blogging days I probably read a lot less than I have been in the last couple years; I probably lingered over books longer and read fewer of them at once. I didn’t keep records then, so I don’t know for sure, but that’s what memory tells me.
The mood I’ve been in lately has me returning to this older, slower mode. This is not to say that blogs have been a bad influence (quite the opposite in fact!) or that I haven’t enjoyed all the reading I’ve done in the last couple years. But I’m looking ahead to the semester right now (which begins on Monday), thinking about the new class I’m teaching and all the work that will involve, about the class I’m sitting in on and all the time that will take, and also about all the exercising I want to do this spring and how I don’t want to quit going to yoga class when things get busy like I usually do, and I wonder how much time I’ll have to read.
I do hate being busy. And you should know that my definition of busy is probably pretty tame compared to most people’s. I like having lots and lots of time to myself that I can fill in any way I want to. I’m not someone who thrives on stress and tension — these things wear me down and make me unhappy.
Anyway, my point is that in order to stay calm and sane, I will need to have very low expectations for myself when it comes to reading and to blogging. If I’m busy I’ll have less time to post, but also less material to post on, as I’ll be reading less.
We’ll see how that goes; I’ve made claims about posting less in the past but have found the number of posts each week creeping up. But I may really need to back off a bit this time.
By the way, the new class I’ll be teaching is a British Literature survey from the Romantics up to the 20C. It should be fun. And I’m sitting in on a class that’s sort of a survey of various art forms — visual art, film, dance, literature, and music — in order to get ready to teach it next year. I’m excited about teaching this class, although not so excited about the time it will take to sit in on someone else’s version of it and the fact that my school is requiring that I do the observation before I teach the class itself (I’ve never had such intense training like this before, not anything like it; I always just figure out what to do on my own). On the other hand, I haven’t sat in on an entire class in quite a while, and it will be interesting to see how another teacher handles things. It may make me want to become a student again.