Friday, December 29, 2017

The Few Books I Read in 2017

At this time last year, a friend of mine posted a photo of the STACK of books she read in 2016. It was incredible; I think she read at least 20 books. I was so inspired. "I'm going to do this next year!" I remember telling myself.

My big plan started in January like most new year's resolutions do: with a strong start. I think I knocked out two or three books that first month alone. And then I only read two more for the rest of the year. 

Well, I tried. 

As much as I love to read, sometimes it's just hard to find the time. I'm working toward better results next year, though: I received a healthy stack of books for Christmas, and I'll be building and installing my own Little Free Library in my front yard next year. It will be hard to resist a good book when I walk past them each day!
I read just a few books in 2017, but I loved them all.

Here's some info on the books I read in 2017. (In case you can't tell, I'm a biography nerd.)

"Theodore Roosevelt" by Lewis L. Gould
I love history, and I find the Roosevelts interesting.

"Scrappy Little Nobody" by Anna Kendrick
Picked this up at a Goodwill store when I was traveling in Indiana for work. Read it when I was bored in my hotel; it was a fun, easy read. Didn't really stick with me, though.

"Around the Way Girl: A Memoir" by Taraji P. Henson
I fell in love with Taraji when I watched the first season of "Empire." This is a gripping story, and she's an incredible woman.

"The Wire that Fenced the West" by Henry D. and Frances T. McCallum
A great research book for my barbed wire project.

"Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice" by Scott Helman and Jenna Russell, reporters for The Boston Globe
Moving account of the Boston Marathon bombing. Highly recommend.

What did you read in 2017? Any recommendations for 2018?

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Reflecting on this crazy year

Spent some time tonight reflecting on this last year.

This year had an interesting start. It's something that I don't talk about too often, mostly because I just get frustrated. I'd been working hard at a job I loved for many years, and was even recognized for my hard work in a BIG way in January. But when the time came for me to finally move up and prove myself, the support I needed wasn't within that company. I didn't see any reason to stick around any longer, if I wasn't going to go anywhere.

I decided to cut ties and moved on to a totally different job, where I found myself in the awesome company of....animals. Maybe not "technically" the best use of a journalism degree, but for the first time in a while I am SO happy and I feel so appreciated and needed. It's amazing.

Meeting people, taking photos, researching, writing...those are some of the coolest, most rewarding things I do in my world. I may not have a journalism career, but I reap the rewards of that hard work every single day. I love where I’m at, and what I’m doing, even if it’s a little different than what I originally planned. I love everything I do, like the blogs that I write on, and the Facebook pages I work on. Heck, this year I even gave two public presentations AND unveiled a historical marker. Those are easily some of the coolest things I've ever done in MY LIFE. I think I gathered up that courage just because I was happier than ever.

All I can say is, find what you love, and do it, even if it's not the most conventional way, or the way you saw yourself doing it. I made happiness my goal this year, and miraculously enough, it worked. (Hope that wasn't too preachy. Sorry.... I'm a writer.)