Wow… 6 years!! How has it been 6 years?!?!? This past year has been… busy and crazy and chaotic and insane and just… Basically, not much has changed since last year. So if you read my “Pandora’s Books is 5-Years-Old” post, you’ll have a pretty good idea what I’ve been dealing with in the last few years. As usual, I don’t want to get too personal or go into too many details, but… TL;DR: My life is still chaotic. I’m still working full-time. I’m still caring for both my sick parents full-time. And I’m still dealing with stress/depression/anxiety from all the above.
And I’m still trying to blog, among other things.
My schedule is very busy, and I’m super stressed and often exhausted, so I’m not reading OR blogging the way I used to. But I’m still trying. I still love it, and still consider it one of the few things I do for myself, for my self-care. I still love promoting amazing authors, and shouting to the rooftops about amazing books. I might not have as much time to do all that now, but I won’t stop unless it gets to a point where it’s no longer enjoyable. I won’t stop unless it starts to feel more like a burden than a fun hobby. I won’t stop unless I reach a point where it hurts more than it helps.
With that said: When it comes to reading and blogging, I DO need to start practicing some self-care. Looking back on the last six years, I feel like blogging HAS begun to effect the way I read and what I read. Because of the aforementioned lack of time/energy, I’m down to reading 1-3 books a month (I used to be able to read 6-8). And since I host the adult AND YA book clubs at work, at least 2 of those books each month are for work. All my review books are ones I’m DYING to read – I wouldn’t have requested them or picked them up at a convention if I wasn’t dying to read them – but I DO feel like I’m CONSTANTLY reading review books over “me” books (books I bought myself). It’s time I start mixing in some “me” books and reading what I want, when I want, without feeling guilty.
So as I reflect back on the last year of blogging, and look forward to what’s to come, I want to focus on myself and go Back to Basics when it comes to blogging. I still enjoy blogging, but I want blogging to BRING me joy again. To accomplish that, I just have to do a few simple things:
-Request fewer ARCs
-Read more “Me” books
-Find time to post all the fun, amazing posts I alluded to in last year’s post.
-Stop apologizing for things out of my control
-Stop feeling guilty when I have to say no to something
It’s that simple. Basic self care. I want my 7th Blogoversary post to be a celebration, to be filled with accomplishments, looking back at all the posts I shared and loved. I don’t want it to be ANOTHER reflection on how crappy life has been for me and my family. I don’t want it to be me chastising myself again, filled with regret and apologies and promising a better year. I just want it to BE a better year. This is my challenge to myself. It’s going to be a process – a journey – and I hope you lovely people are still willing to take this journey with me. You have been here for me through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and sorrow. And I hope you’ll continue to be there for me, and I promise to do my best to be there for you. I can’t predict how my life will go, but I’m going to hope for the best and try my best. Because that’s all I can do. So…
Sooo… Once again, that was WAY too personal and ranty and rambly and if you’re still reading this, THANK YOU. Thank you for everything. To show how grateful I am for everything, I have TWO giveaways.
US Giveaway: ONE winner will get to choose ONE book (under $20) from Amazon
International Giveaway: ONE winner will get to choose ONE book (under $20) from Book Depository. Book Depository MUST ship to your country for free.
To enter, fill out the appropriate Rafflecopter below!
US Giveaway Raffllecopter:
INTERNATIONAL Giveaway Raffllecopter: