I decided to tackle my bookshelves last week. I reorganized, categorized some, discarded a whopping five books. Along the way I made a few discoveries.
Some of my Maeve Binchy books
I’d consider about 21 of my books to be reference books; I’m not ever going to read them cover-to-cover. About 41 are fiction books I’ve read that I just have to keep, including my collection of 22 Maeve Binchy books. I didn’t make a final book count in the house because that would have meant counting my husband’s books and all the books I have for grandkids and other littles that visit. Speaking of kids’ books, I have 13 Golden books, 15 in my set of Chidlcraft from my own childhood, 12 Great Illustrated Classics, a set of 11 “My Book House” books from my father-in-law, plus quite a list of pictures books.
Of the 270 (+) TBR books, here are some breakdowns:
- 11 “Irish” books
- 33 biographical
- 17 “classics”
- about 50 kid/YA books
- 8 short story/ collections
- a variety of 49 fictional books
- and… I think I’m embarrassed about this … 42 books about writing
So, where does all this lead? Hopefully to me stepping away from the computer and TV and reading more. But, when I AM on that computer, I need to be putting one of those 42 writing books to good use.
I’m nearing the end of my second year of substitute teaching here in Alabama and I’ve come to look at it as more than just a job. When I was a full-time teacher, I had so much on my plate and so much on my mind that many days I was too exhausted to think much past the next set of papers I had to grade. Now I’m looking at things from a little different perspective.
Some days I just sit and don’t do much more than take roll and pass out an assignment. Other days might be jammed packed with instruction and discipline. The variety is usually enjoyable. I have learned to be an observer and I try to make connections with students when I can.
From time to time I’ll be sharing my thoughts, observances, and tidbits from the classroom.
“A circle was ugly without you.” -from Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty
Being on the outside of a circle, looking in, is a lonely place to be. I’ve felt that way over the years, but fortunately not too often. It hurts, no matter how old you are. But, the middle school years are the hardest. If you aren’t in a circle, your outsideness really shows.
Today I saw a pretty young girl sitting all alone in a room full of kids who were talking to each other and laughing while they sat together. I didn’t know her or her story, but I wondered. Did she choose to sit alone? Did she just not have a friend in this particular class, but when the bell rang would she meet up with her BFF as she headed for her next class? I sure hoped so. That’s what I wished for. I wish everyone had a BFF waiting somewhere for them. A person who was interested, a person who cared. But, I know that isn’t always the case. So, all the more reason to be kind. And to remember how ugly that circle can be when you are on the outside.
Last September I made a list of my goals for the month. I thought I’d revisit them to see how I did/how I’m doing now.
- Lose 2 pounds. I’ve lost 20 since then.
- Cut out more sugar. I’ve done this, though I need to get back to it again.
- Walk 3 days a week. Nope, but I am walking more and was able to do a 10 mile hike this summer.
- Work on my book at least 5 hours a week. Nope – but I do get to it in fits and spurts.
- Visit my youngest daughter. I did that last October.
- Redeem at least twice in Bubblews. Don’t write for them anymore. They stink.
- Brush my dog’s teeth every day. Nope, poor thing. But I do remember sometimes.
- Plant some flowers. Nope, but I’ve planted herbs I got at Pepper Place and they are thriving. I have chocolate mint, oregano, lemon basil, and lavender.
- Spend an hour a week working on my photos. Nope, but I got some great shots this past year.
- Find two red pillows for the couch. Nope, but I DID get some other great pillows – blues, yellows, and birds.
All in all, I’m okay with the goals I met and the ones I tweaked. I’ll try to crank up the walking and dog tooth-brushing and plant some fall flowers. Maybe I’ll even dust off the manuscript.