Monthly Wrap-Up | July 2020

Happy end-of-July, everyone!

This is a brief wrap-up post that I’ve been meaning to publish for the past week.

Since I moved across the globe with my cat, things have been busier than usual. Jet-lag, a 14-day quarantine, grading, settling in, among other things, have kept me occupied.

But all is well.

Although I haven’t had the opportunity to write and publish a lot, I’m excited about my upcoming projects for Reading Under the Olive Tree!

On that note, I have read only two books this month, A Door Between Us by Iranian American writer Ehsaneh Sadr and The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness by the wonderful Andy Puddicombe. This means that I haven’t been able to catch up with my reading goals this month. I also have left a couple of books unfinished and learnt that it is okay to do so.

As a professional who reads and writes for a living, not sticking with my reading goals used to bother me. A lot. Sort of like leaving a book unread or not finishing a book, you know? I’m sure you know (especially if you’re a bookworm). But as I transition into my new life, I’m learning to find joy in leaving a book unfinished.

As comedian and writer James Colley has wisely put it, “We are here to fart around and enjoy ourselves not be guilted by books that were more dynamic and exciting when they were still trees. They’ve already lost you. It’s over. Let them go.”

Joking aside, the metaphor in Colley’s statement is powerful.

There’s so much to unpack here, but for now, I will just say that learning to stop feeling guilty about not finishing a book is a practice–one that makes it easier (and meaningful) to let other things that don’t serve you go.

I hope July has been kind to you.

What have you read this month?

What have you written?

Feel free to drop links to your posts and/or favorite pieces.

-Neri

6 replies

  1. I wrote this post: July 2nd, it kind of reminds me of a similar feeling of expecting myself to live at peak performance always but learning to make peace with the ebb and flow of what I can really do when the amount of “fires” to put out always varies a bit:
    https://bubblegummonkey.com/2020/07/02/life-as-a-sine-curve/

    I also finally listed the posts I’ve written in the past year (before they were broken and hidden) https://bubblegummonkey.com/

    I was about to ship a dog to Hawaii when COVID happened, so the rabies titer and those things were done, but we backed out until things “go back to normal”.

    I was kind of surprised that you were forced to move at this time, it seems like an oversight to make someone do that right now, but kudos to you for the positive attitude.

    It’s hard to learn to leave books unfinished, but there is only so much time and energy, it can be a smart move.

    Anyways, here’s to you fellow migratory humans! 🥂

    Like

    • Hi Sakura, thanks for sharing the links and for your insight.

      I love your positivity about helping out your daughter with math right now (I, too, have always been bad at math. Or rather, it was never taught the right way).

      It can be difficult to be productive when there’s too much going on. But I used to be hard on myself. After years and years of trying to do too many things at once just to be productive on so many levels, I am now accepting that it’s okay to slow down. I’m also enjoying the mental and emotional freedom that this mindset brings. Of course, it’s still very much a process 🙂 And I’d love to read the book you mention “Permission to Feel”. Sounds like an important read.

      It was an interesting experience to relocate with a pet in the middle of all this, but I’m so glad I’m “home” where I feel safer, and the kitty is adjusting quite well. Best of luck taking the puppy to Hawaii!

      And yes, you said it well— here’s to you fellow migratory humans! 🥂♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this quote about not feeling guilty about books that remain unread. Likewise this idea of just being in the moment, not trying too hard to do everything. Recently I have also been trying to do this and it is very calming 😊 So glad to hear you are settled and safe now in your new place ❤😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Neriman!
    This month I read “Spinoza” by Stuart Hampshire; then Spinoza’s “Ethics”.
    Next came: Kant’s “Critique of pure Reason”; “Critique of Judgement”; “Lectures on Ethics”.
    “Kant” by Roger Scruton; and “Hegel” by Peter Singer.
    Not exactly Summer holiday reading, but someone has to do it! LOL!😁

    Liked by 1 person

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