Not so small wins

She would be the first to tell you, life has not been so easy for the Alice the past few years. Suffice it to say, her world has shrunk down to a space that feels rather limiting for the time being. And for such an expansive soul, that has been a hard, hard lesson. And as it is her story to tell, not mine, I’ll leave it at that in this space.

Still, she’s got an irrepressible spirit. The way she can find a way to carve out some light and hope and agency, a sense of possibility, an idea of future, even from what can feel like a relentlessly oppressive present. She said, “mom, let’s do reading journals this year.” Ok. I read about a dozen “real” books last year (I don’t count the books I won’t even admit to on my Goodreads shelf. Those ones that are like candy – consumed in a day and forgotten in about half that time). It was a stressful year and you really see it in my reading. So I’m game to do better next year. Reading is one of the places I’m so keenly aware of the finiteness of our time on earth. So many books so little time, as they say.

So I pulled out a journal and wrote a header: 2023 book goal: 25. And numbered 1 to 25 down the side so I can write in my books as I read them. I guess this is how a left brain person tackles such a task. Done and done.

My artist had a different idea. She scoured the internet for inspiration, and this is the start to her reading journal. As usual, she blows me away. My sad little list vs. this meticulous and gorgeous creation? I declare her the winner of a contest she didn’t even enter. No matter how many books she reads.

I know New Year’s resolutions are at best considered trite, at worst vaguely unhealthy, but I still love setting a goal in the darkest time of the year that says at least I have the hope for Something in the next year. When life feels impossibly small, setting even a small big goal can feel like a lifeline. So here’s to 2023, hope and many more books to read.

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