For a few days, I have been mulling over my One Word.  I have been revisiting my 2017 Word, HOPE, and recapturing some of my posts about it.


Then I saw that Sheila, at Book Journey, was celebrating her One Word.  So my pondering turned to action.  I had been looking around my home for something that might illustrate the word I chose.  The little figurine (below) sits atop a stack of books.  Books are my inspiration, and are also great ways to jump start my journey with my word for 2018. 

The bears holding hands; the words Love, Joy, Family & Friendship around the base; the sheltering tree above, which symbolizes Life, Protection, Growth, and Nurturing…

So…I have chosen as my Word: CONNECT.  As we join in our journey, hands held, we connect.  We nurture each other under that Tree of Life…and we are stronger through our connections to one another.

As bloggers, we luxuriate in the connections we make as we visit other sites, communicating and forming bonds with each other.  On Facebook and other social media, we extend those connections.  But I want to take it all a step further In Real Life, and move outside my comfort zone.  I want to participate more in the world around me.

My realization:  I need to extend myself more, move beyond what is comfortable and “normal.”  Find new ways to grow.  In doing so, I can expand my horizons and find joy and peace in my Exterior World, to complement my Interior Journey.


What One Word have you chosen, if any?  What has inspired you?



Good morning!  It’s time to chat over coffee…and ponder the New Year ahead.  Check in over at Bookishly Boisterous to connect with others.

For the past year, I have focused occasionally on my One Word, that inspirational “token” that keeps me grounded.  For 2017, it was HOPE…

  • My book progress this week was minimal, once I finished the first one:  Dead of Winter, by Wendy Corsi Staub (click for review).
  • Currently reading my second book, a NetGalley ARC:  The Girls in the Picture, by Melanie Benjamin.  The story follows the lives of two women in Old Hollywood:  Frances Marion and Mary Pickford.  The pages are turning slowly, as I find myself easily distracted.
  • I have noticed that mysteries and thrillers keep me moving along, while other genres may or may not capture me fully.
  • Coming up this weekend:  First Book of the Year, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey.  On January 1, my selection will appear on that blog, and also here.
  • Check out my First Books of the Year page, which features books from 2014 and forward.
  • Now that Aubrey’s Prague semester is almost over, she occasionally takes time to kick back in PJs with her roommate.

  • New Year’s Eve:  before the big Take Down of the decorations, I plan to eat popcorn and watch movies…and at midnight, have some Champagne with Dick Clark’s Rockin Eve 2018…

  • Why was it fun to bring out the Christmas decorations…but now that the holiday is over, procrastination rears its head whenever I think about packing them away in the bins?


Here’s to a Happy New Year…and Peace on Earth…





It is time to assess my progress towards BALANCE!

One aspect of balancing my interior world is all about the books I buy, as well as those I manage to read.

Let’s look at my Compulsive Book Buying Disorder:




Here’s what happened so far this year:

Books Purchased in January 2016:  SEVEN!  (Not bad)

How about February?  – SIX!

March:  Uh-oh….TWELVE!

April:  TEN…So far.


Now let’s check my progress on the Read the Books You Buy Challenge:

Twenty-eight books read so far in 2016.  These are books that were purchased between June 2015 to the Present.


Now…this is all great, but what does it have to do with balance?   Let’s look at books that I’ve read from my Old TBRs…before June 2015.

Those numbers were harder to access, but I found them by going back through my written logs from the beginning of the year, and here they are:

TWENTY-TWO books read that were purchased before June 2015.  So…a little progress.


Balancing books read, books purchased, etc., is all good.  But I still have a ways to go to balance out the rest of my life.

My A Day in the Life post showed a somewhat balanced day.  I’m thinking I should do a similar post once a month.  What do you think?

Do you easily balance your days, your weeks, and your months?  How do you do it?









At the beginning of the year, I chose BALANCE as my One Word.  My goals for the year included finding a balance in my life…and in my reading.

Let’s assess!

Trying to cut down (just a bit) on requesting review books:

I received SEVEN review books in January, but only THREE in February.  None in March so far.

Good, right?

As for purchases:

SEVEN in January

SIX in February

THREE (so far) in March


Okay, not stellar, but here’s another fact:  I am participating in the Reading the Books You Buy Challenge, and so far, I have read and reviewed NINETEEN books (Purchased between June 2015 and Present).  Not bad, right?


Now, here’s the tough part.  What about the rest of my life?  Walking, leaving the house, socializing…

Well, let’s put it this way.  When I shop, I park a long way from the stores and walk that distance, and then walk all around the shops.  LOL

I do get out of the house more, mostly alone, to have lunch or dinner and read.  Usually with a cocktail.


lunch and reading - 128

My regular get-togethers with friends and former colleagues are the highlight of my months.

But I also enjoy eating and reading alone in a restaurant.  I read…and people watch.  Old habits die hard (former social worker!).

Progress, not perfection.


I have my annual physical today, and I know that she is going to scold me for something or other.  Usually it’s that I don’t get enough exercise.  Duh.

But so far, nothing too horrible has come of these events…so let’s see what happens today.

How are you doing on your One Word…if you have chosen one?






Earlier in the year, I chose my WORD:  BALANCE. 

How am I doing so far?  Well, I get up every day and go through my routines.  Nothing much has changed there, but I do try to get out and about more often.

Staying holed up inside was one of the ANTI-BALANCE things I did…

Reading and blogging are my two favorite things, but I can do them elsewhere…right?  The other day I took my book to The Elephant Bar, where I had lunch and continued reading A Man Called Ove.  Okay, maybe I should have made more of an effort to socialize.  But that will come.






I am trying to pick a more eclectic group of books this year, and I am steadily working on my Reading the Books I Buy Challenge.

So far I have read and reviewed NINE books from those stacks.  Last year, I definitely didn’t do that well in the first month.  I don’t have those numbers at my fingertips, but judging from how many 2014 and 2015 unread books I had, I can safely say…NO.

Does this mean I am achieving some kind of balance?  Maybe not, but it’s all about PROGRESS RATHER THAN PERFECTION.

I need to start walking more…and socializing more, and I don’t mean online, although that is my favorite kind.  I am an introvert, although I have my social moments.

Do you ever take those silly FB tests?  Here’s mine today, and it doesn’t prove anything at all…but I like the sound of it…LOL



Could I really be more well-balanced than I thought?  LOL


Despite the so-called “evidence” above, I know that I have a way to go in this journey.  Have you chosen a word?  What does your progress look like?




Ever since Sheila, at Book Journey, along with a few other bloggers, started pondering their One Word for the year, I’ve been doing a little thinking, too.

What word means something to me and can serve as my own personal incentive to make changes in this New Year?

Well, let’s consider how I am a bit compulsive…and how I tend to obsess about my blogs, my reading, my anything at all.  Can we say a little OCD?  LOL

What would be the perfect antidote for my tendencies to hole up on my couch and read, watch movies, and do little else?  Could that solution for me be to strike some kind of BALANCE?

Yes!  That’s just what I need this year….

Even when I was doing something positive, like purging and taking excess books to the library, I didn’t seem to know when to stop.  Until my shelves were down several hundred books.  A good thing, right?  But maybe a bit much, too.

Here is where balance would come in handy.  So I have found my One Word!  And now I will strive to achieve it.





Do you have One Inspirational Word for the Year?