I did it! I’m as inspiring as the Olympians winning medals a world away. Did I train daily and not eat anything tasty for decades to achieve greatness? Um, no. But! I finished my Goodreads challenge for 2018. I know — YAY ME! How did I do that just a month and a half into the new year? Well, winning this wordy challenge turned out to be all about the numbers.
I set my goal to one.
One book. For the whole year. I aimed to read one book. And I did.
Cue the Rocky music!
Just the one, you say. Yes, just the one. A long one? Not particularly. It’s I’m Just a Person by comedian Tig Notaro, which clocks in at… *checking*… 256 pages. And not only just the one, but a book on which she based her show One Mississippi, which I watched, which meant I skimmed through some of the book as well.
So how was this a challenge exactly? Well, I’ve written about this before, and how we who take up this challenge put pressure on ourselves, and some of us felt bad when we didn’t reach our goals. We’re lovers of words! This shouldn’t be difficult.
It’s good to have goals, but when setting goals, I easily forget about life and how that adulting nonsense can get in the way. That’s why I was a Goodreads’ challenge loser in 2016 and 2017. Yeah, I used to always have a book in my hand when I was a kid, but wee ones notoriously lack the responsibilities of adulthood whilst also having seemingly boundless energy. Adult me, of course, has those qualities in reverse.
In 2017, I set a goal of 12 books, but didn’t reach it. Unlike 2016, when I set my goal at 35 (WHAT WAS I THINKING? Yes, I “lost” that year), as I realized I was going to “lose” in 2017, I didn’t even bother with the search for short (picture) books and pamphlets just to get to the goal of 12. I just let the year and the challenge expire.
And it was OK.
When I finally popped into Goodreads for a visit in 2018, it asked me to set my challenge for the year, and so I did: 1. And now, I’m free to read or not read books. To count or not count the books I read.
I’ve decided that the Goodreads challenge should be for people who DON’T usually read books, not for those of us with a longstanding relationship with words that life sometimes gets in the way of now (kind of like therapy should be for people who AREN’T self-aware but desperately need to become so).
I’ll still log in and see what friends are reading. I shall (probably) record any books that I read and (perhaps) write a review or two. But now I don’t have to. One of the benefits that comes with adulting and getting older — I don’t have to do one damn thing I don’t want to.
I’ll give THAT five stars out of five.
*I am aware that this thing that irks me may not irk others, just as things that irk others many not irk me. If it works for you, I’m happy for you. 🙂