January Reading List

January 2016 Reading List january reading

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I used to be a voracious reader. My nose was always in a book at times I should have been doing something else. I hear from teachers that my kids do the same thing I did…book in my desk at school faking like I was paying attention when I was really just reading. I always had a book in my purse, or bag, or car, just in case I could steal a few minutes and read a few more pages.

Then life happened…kids, job, other interests ate up all my time, but the piles of books I want to read never stopped growing. I’ve had to cull my stash and start selling them to used book stores…I have no more room and it makes me feel guilty to see them piled up, inside and outside my bookcases.

I have to do something about it. This year, I’m making a modest goal to read at least 2 books a month – 1 novel and one other book.

I’m also challenging myself and a friend to choose books from different buckets…this month, it’s a book you’ve started but never finished. I have hundreds! The one I’ve chosen is A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon. My friend is going to try to get through the first Harry Potter again.

Other books on my reading list:

It’s a hopeful list – mainly focused on the home and creating a place you love to come home to – even the novel is about addressing clutter. That’s something I’ve always tried to do, though sometimes it feels like I’m caught up in a revolving door: pick it up again, clean it again, didn’t I just do this? So far, I’m enjoying my selections (though I haven’t started Daring Greatly yet). With 12 days left of January, and a cold snap in Chicago which makes me not want to leave the house, I might actually finish 2 or 3!

How about you? What book have you started but never finished? Isn’t it time to give it another try?

My Word for 2016 – Passion

Passion – so many contexts, so much to offer in a word of the year

What is my life’s passion? Do I only get one? At a younger age, I’d have called myself a scatterbrain, but now, I just think I’m interested in lots of different things. I want it all and all the time in the world to do it.

I’ve tried to narrow myself down into a neat little path for myself, but this year is the year I stop doing that. It’s not me. I’m Auntie Mame!

“Life’s a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!”

This year, I will live passionately, try new things, follow a dream or two, love with my whole heart, and be the person I was meant to be.

If not now, then when?

Goodbye 2015…..


Every year, for the last seven years, on the last day of the year, I’ve selected a word to guide my new year. It’s a hopeful practice, one made popular by Ali Edwards and her One Little Word® project (OLW). In years past, I’ve chosen words that would help move me toward fixing something that I felt lacked in my life, past words included organize, improve, focus, and move. In 2015, I chose the word SPARKLE, and it has been my best yet.

What happened to my SPARKLE?

This seemed to be the year that people really seemed to get behind my word, or maybe it’s just that I shared it more than past words. Sparkle, to me, meant breaking out of my shell, the one I’ve been in for years, since my divorce (12 years!) and showing people what I had to offer.

Things I did to show my SPARKLE

  • I got up and sang in front of all kinds and sizes of audiences this year as I continued my journey back to performing. I sang in small theaters, large theaters, retirement homes and malls. I stopped (or suppressed) being afraid to look silly and just had fun.
  • I got my nose pierced! How’s that for literal SPARKLE right on my face! I’ve been threatening to do it for years, and finally found the courage to do it.
  • I opened myself up to friendship and find a great, supportive cast of characters who I enjoy spending time with.
  • I cast off several things that weren’t working for me in my life, which made me feel lighter and happier and … sparklier….

Things others did to support my SPARKLE

  • I received many gifts this year from people who “saw something and thought of” me….sparkly pens and pencils, plaques, mugs, jewelry…
  • My sister and my friends, the Jennifers, held my hand, and documented my piercing, or as another friend called it,  my “confidence button”

So many good things happened as a result of this One Little Word, that I couldn’t let it go on December 31st. Though I’ll pick a new word for 2016, I’m going to keeping on sparklin’ here at Joy of Sparkle, and on my Pinterest board OLW 2015 Sparkle.

Stop by soon for my OLW for 2016.