As usual, the daily sketch:
I am, as a whole, happier with this figure than I was with yesterday’s. As odd as it sounds, I think the shading/shadow under her chin and along her throat is my favorite part? I’m just really pleased with the facial contours, even though I know they aren’t perfect. For a quick sketch, I’m strangely content with it.
I’m struggling today with accepting that the spirit of some of my goals is, in fact, more important than the letter. Meaning, the spirit of my 2020 goals is to lead a healthier, happier, more balanced life, right? To enjoy things more, expand my horizons, break free of my particular, frustrating brand of inertia. For example, I went from someone who would read sometimes dozens of books a year in their early twenties to someone who last year, read one (and only then to encourage a student who was reading the same book).
So it made sense, to me, to make “read 50 books” a bucket list goal, the unstated but implicit limitation being, obviously, that meant 50 books in a year. A lofty goal, probably, given my recent history. And I knew that when I chose it. But I wanted to push myself. I wanted a challenge.
But then I was listening to some of the back catalog of I Don’t Even Own a Television (because, as established — crushing hard on Jay), and they were discussing people who listen to podcasts at 1.5x speed, and Collision (being magnanimous) admitted that while he wouldn’t begrudge people who truly enjoyed listening to podcasts that way, it did seem to him that people who did that more wanted to be able to check “listened to podcast” off some kind of To-DO list, rather than listen to a podcast for the sheer enjoyment of it.
I will admit, I felt kind of called out. I feel like I’m already, six days into the new year, doing that with books. I’m eeking out the time I can to read, in between work, and house work, and parenting, and drawing, and sign language, and cooking, and working out, and writing, and… it feels like all the benefits that I’m supposed to be reaping from reading — escapism, insights, knowledge, whatever — we’re being sacrificed for the sheer attitude of Get It Done. I’m rushing through pages and having to go back and consciously re-read it more thoughtfully, more slowly, until I’m actually paying attention and not just letting my eyes flit over the letters on the pages. I’m turning pages for the sake of updating my page count on GoodReads, you know? And while I do want to eek out time to read every day, and I do want to aim for at least a couple of books a month, maybe I don’t need to lean so heavily on the specific number. Maybe it’s ok — better — if I just read.
I’m going to have to be more conscientious about what other things in my life I rush through just to say I’ve done them. What other supposedly enjoyable activities might I be sabotaging?
I got in a 20 minute workout on the elliptical at home today while Bear did yoga on my yoga mat, and made this spicy Thai basil chicken with baby spinach and rice, which was very satisfying, and actually managed to get up to Lesson 8 of 10 in my ASL review (I’m going to go through all 10 lessons again this week before moving on). All this on top of working all day after getting up at 4:30 am, and I am beat. I’ll probably get in my last two ASL lessons in tonight and then read some magazine with Andy in bed.
Oh, also, my first micron pen project is complete! I’m going to open a gallery on the blog as soon as I have a few more pieces. This is a bit of a reworking of a watercolor I did a while back that I was wholly unhappy with. I’m much happier with how it came out this time.