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Intentional Focus February – Week 3 – Reading

February 17, 2020

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“Hi friends, how did your second week of the month go? How has it been practicing being intentional this month? We started our goal of clean eating with the Whole30 this week and while I may have already slipped up Friday (oops) by drinking what I thought was an unsweetened tea drink (it wasn’t), it’s overall going pretty well. 

This week we want to share with you our third overall goal for the year – reading. To be honest, I don’t really have any deep significant reasons as to why reading is one of the goals. There isn’t some deep heart issue I’m trying to address or an internal battle I’m wrestling through. For example, with rest and balance, I’m fighting the deep lie I often believe that my worth is tied up in how much I do. Or with clean eating, working through the battle and practice of self-discipline to eat in a way that is sustainable and allows my body to function at its best.

None of that. Rather, reading is a goal for the year because I desire to be a reader. A reader that reads to learn, to allow my brain to create and imagine, to recapture the joy of getting lost in a really good book, and to grow as a person and writer. 

1. I want to be a learner and to be in a posture of constant learning. I want to learn more about the different cultures, histories, regions, religions, politics, and viewpoints, here in the US and globally. And sometimes it’s not just a want, but a need. I need to learn more about different cultures, histories, regions, religions, politics, and viewpoints, and the stories and people that accompany them, so I’m allowing myself to be in a posture of learning and humility. I tend to like to think I’m always in the right, and my husben, in his kind gentle way, needs to remind me that I’m not always. That sometimes the way I think and the perspectives I have, are based on assumptions I’ve developed or subscribed to, without actual education or learning on my part. But reading helps put me in a position of learning, to be challenged, to read other viewpoints and to think through other ideas. It doesn’t necessarily have to change what I believe or how I think, but it does place me on a path of growing as a person and in humility to know, sometimes I don’t know it all.

And I don’t want to just read the books that are super heady and textbook-like as a means to learning, but to also read the stories and dreams of people from the different cultures, histories, regions, religions, politics, and viewpoints. These stories help bring the personal to ideas, concepts, and viewpoints that I sometimes have a hard time understanding or learning about. 

2. I want to grow in my vocabulary, grow as a writer and grow in the way I write stories, compose ideas and share information. The best way to do this is by reading other peoples’ writing, to learn how other people compose and convey information. I remember one of my English teachers telling me that the best way to develop your own writing style is well, to write, but also to read others’ writing. 

3. But if I’m really honest about why I want to be a reader, it’s because I want to recapture the joy it was to find a book you loved and couldn’t put down. I want to give my brain space to disconnect and disappear into imagination and daydreaming. I want to be able to go back to a time when I could disappear into another world for a while through a book. Did you ever have any of those moments? When you would be so engrossed in a story and another world that it was almost painful to put the book down? 

These are my reasons for why I want to read and to make reading a goal. They may not be the most in-depth or insightful reasons, but they’re reasons enough to help me pursue reading in 2020. One book a month, that’s the goal. 

And this week it won’t be about the tips or suggestions we have for you, because I’m not great at it so I don’t have any solid evidence-based ones. Instead, it’ll be about sharing. Sharing the books that have captured our hearts and imaginations, books that have made us think deeply, books that have made us cry and laugh, and books that were just plain fun. Ready?”

So friends, what book suggestions do you have? 

Oh, PS: also, the people-pleaser-approval-seeker in me wants to read more so I reduce my screen time so I can tell my eye doctor that instead of seven hours of screen time a day, I only have five. Yes, this matters to me. 

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