Chitter-chatter

Chitter-Chatter: Blogging Goals – Less in the World of More

CaféLatte

Welcome to the ‘Chitter-Chatter‘ series. I’m so glad you are here

In case you have missed previous posts in this series, we are still talking about:


In today’s Chitter-Chatter series, I would like to chat about setting goals. Before I do that, let’s start with the more vs. less concept.

Do you sometimes feel you need to or should do more?

When applied to the blogging community: do you feel you should read more books, write more posts, engage with more bloggers, have more social media platforms…?

If you have been following my blog for a while, you may know that I call myself a minimalist.

Minimalists like to talk about less being more. I know, it is an oxymoron. But when we think about what is behind ‘less‘ – it may start making sense.

As an example: if I want ‘less’ things, I may be able to work ‘less’ hours as I need to earn ‘less’ money and therefore have ‘more’ non-working time to spend.

Even though I fully believe in less being more, I still notice that need for more sometimes lurking in dark corners of my mind and when I don’t keep an eye of it, it starts making its way to the surface.

Recently, I have noticed a shift in my mentality about blogging. I started to feel I needed to do more.

I felt I needed to read more. And write more, visit more blogs, and generally make more of an effort. Do you notice how exhausting it sounds?

And do you know what’s interesting about it? That nobody told me so. It all came from me – those were my own expectations I ruthlessly put upon myself.

We may set goals for different reasons:

  • We may set them because frankly, we want to. We are in a state of ‘happy dissatisfaction’ with a mindset full of abundance, kindness and love and want to evolve.
  • Or we can also set them because we may feel we ‘lack something’. This mindset is about scarcity.

The first category makes us feel content with failing, the second category hates failing. The first category promotes self-love and self-compassion, the second one fear and shame. The first category wants us to do something, not because how we are hoping to feel afterwards, but because it is something we are interested in doing. The second category is all about how we will feel afterwards… and the answer is: we are hoping we will feel better than how we are feeling right now.

Brooke Castillo did an entire podcast on ‘goal setting’ in which she talks about how we could set goals we have already achieved alongside those that we are still hoping to achieve. It’s absolutely fantastic and you can listen to it here.

The first time I heard it, I thought: ‘Whaaat? Why would I set goals I have already completed? Isn’t that a bit counter-intuitive’?

Thinking about it for some time led me believe that setting those goals we have achieved, alongside those, we are yet to achieve, not only shifts our mentality into that first category, but also enables us to want less as our goal list is already partially complete.

Okay, it may be a bit abstract, let’s pick an example:

Let’s say I want to write three posts a week and make this my current blog goal.

I can also want to ‘have a blog’ (which I have) and find a group of people on blogosphere I enjoy interacting with (which I have found and am extremely grateful for).

Looking at it this way, I have already achieved two of my three goals. And it feels good. Side note: those two goals are something I very much wanted at some point. And I have achieved them. I included them because they once were something I truly desired.

Wishing for something using an example above makes me feel like I am not lacking anything, but rather have an abundance of opportunities in my life.

If I don’t achieve my three posts a week goal,  I won’t make it mean all about me because I have already achieved those other two goals… do you see what is happening here? I have three goals and my goal list doesn’t feel short, I have also achieved two of those so I am not feeling stressed about the incomplete goal.

You may argue that this way, you will achieve less. I politely disagree. I think wanting something, which we already have, ensures we are likely not to give up when things become challenging.

I also think it may reduce our overall anxiety and feelings of: ‘there’s so much to do, I don’t know what to do first, I’m so busy, I am so overwhelmed’…. As these can result into us not taking any actions at all. I usually start procrastinating whenever I am thinking those thoughts.

I believe that wanting something we already have can also help us start cultivating gratitude. And gratitude could invite inner peace.


Do you feel like there is just so much to do and you don’t know what to do first?

How about you chose the most important goal you currently have and add a few goals to your goal list, that you once really wanted to accomplish, and which you have achieved?

You don’t need to pick one incomplete goal nor use the 1:2 ratio. It’s completely up to you. We are all different.

Trying this experiment may be fun and if you do decide to give it a go, please let me know. I would love to cheer you along! 🙂

My parting comments are following: we can all feel sometimes that we need more. But I wholeheartedly believe that the answer is always less.


Let’s talk!

  • What do you think of the ‘wish for something you already have’ concept?
  • And do you also sometimes feel like you need to do ‘more’?
  • And what do you think about minimalism? 🙂

As always, I would love to know what you think. I do appreciate all your comments.

Non Fiction

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

we should all be feminists

We live in a society where shame can cause us to put on so much emotional armour that we are no longer connecting with others. You can call it fear, self-doubt, insecurity… whatever we call it, it’s than feeling we may get from time to time thinking we may just not be good enough. And all we do want is to hide. You may know by now, that shame is something Dr Brené Brown’s books talk about and I did explore it a bit in this post.

Why am I talking about shame whilst analysing a book about feminism? You see, how we perceive shame has something to do with our gender.

As Brown says, women tend to experience shame mostly about appearance – if we are thin, young or/and beautiful enough. Side note: of course, appearance shame is not limited to women only, men can experience it as well. It is however the number one shame trigger amongst women.

Adichie says: “forget the history of the word and the baggage it carries and think about the idea of it”.

And I agree. But before we do that, let’s address shame first.

Let’s say I tell my friend I’m a feminist and he looks at me and laughs whist saying back: “so you are telling me you stopped caring, won’t use deodorant and won’t shave your legs?”. Side note: that actually happened to me, admittedly it was more than a decade ago and had a lot to say about that certain individual rather than me… but the memory of it still stinks sometimes.

If the baggage around the word feminism targets a lack of interest in women’s appearances… then by default, it is used to instil shame in women. In other words, if you are a feminist, you clearly don’t care about your appearance, shame on you!

It bothers me.

That baggage is heavy, and I admit there were times when I would rather use a label of a ‘human activist’. Which is not a lie as I wholeheartedly believe in equal rights regardless of one’s gender, age, ethnicity, political, religious and sexual preferences etc.

But that didn’t specifically address the gender issue.

And I admit I was afraid. I didn’t want to be perceived in a certain way where I would have to defend myself. And I didn’t want to feel ashamed.

“My own definition is a feminist is a man or a woman who says, yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better. All of us, women and men, must do better.”

Not only we can start viewing that word feminist as something both men and women could use, but we can also address how we raise our children – and that applies to raising both girls and boys.

Side note: this is not to shame anybody’s parenting skills, I believe we all do the best we can. I’m talking about more general issue that goes very deep into our origins and roles we all play in this, regardless if we are parents or not.

In general, girls tend to be taught to be careful, to stay away from danger so they won’t get hurt. Boys are encouraged to be brave, to go out and seek adventures. If a boy gets hurt, he will be clapped for being the daring one, if a girl gets hurt, she will be scolded for being reckless and told not to do it again… Boys are encouraged to be loud, angry at times. But girls.. not so much. Pleasant is a word I personally cannot stand but sadly is the one sometimes used to describe a ‘nice’ woman. Why is it that if a woman is angry, she may be perceived as hysterical whereas a man may be perceived as passionate?

What can we do about it?

“Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.”

And I could not agree more.

To make this world a different world, we must think about how we interact with each other, and that includes children, and how we rise up to challenges that will then shape our future. Using shame to solve a certain issue is not a way forward, it is an easy way out that doesn’t create such world.

We Should All Be Feminists is a short essay. I listened to it as an audio book and found Adichie to be a phenomenal narrator. Her beautiful voice talked about issues I really needed to address.

It’s a thought provoking piece that is extremely digestible as it is told via stories. And there is no judgement or hate attached to it. Just an open mind and a vision for better future.

I recommend this short book to everyone.

It’s an important topic and it gave me many thoughts that still linger days afterwards.

I understand the word feminism a bit more and sincerely hope that we all can be feminists

Verdict: Hot Beverage on Apple Hot Beverage on Apple Hot Beverage on Apple Hot Beverage on Apple  Hot Beverage on Apple  (5/5)

About Me, Bookish

Book Blogger Insider Tag

#Tags

I’d like to thank Ashley @ Ashley in Wonderland and Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky for tagging me in the Book Blogger Insider Tag. I enjoy connecting with them at their blogs. If they are new to you, please go and say Hi as they both write some interesting reviews.

RULES:

  • Answer the questions below
  • Credit the creator: Jamie @ ALittleSliceofJamie
  • Tag at least 5 people
  • Have fun!

1. Where do you typically write your blog posts?

Usually in my home office on our PC. We painted the tiny wall behind the computer midnight blue and I love staring at it whilst formulating my thoughts. I really want to add a floating shelf and some fairy lights to it so my staring into nothingness gets some ‘texture’. 😉

2. How long does it take you to write a book review?

It depends. I usually write a draft first, which takes anything around 30 – 60 minutes. Then I like to sleep on it and edit it on my iPad. I usually don’t post straight away, but rather a few days after my initial draft.

3. When did you start your book blog?

In February 2018.

4. What’s the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

All those passionate and wonderful reviews my fellow book bloggers write. I somehow want to read all of those books immediately. Don’t take me wrong, I love being inspired.. but..  I sometimes feel I need to read everything straight away. And I am the only one to blame for that …  #bookishproblems 🙈

problems

5. What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

I would say it’s the blogging community, discovering alike minded bloggers and sometimes expanding my reading horizons because of that has been tremendous fun and I am so grateful for all those interesting and kind people I got to meet so far. 🙂

blogging community

6. What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

Top 5 Wednesday Ideal Mash-Ups. Mostly because it turned out to be a creative thing I discussed with my boyfriend and his family and was a lot of fun in general.

7. What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

I enjoy deconstructing books – I am fascinated by human behaviour and love analysing characters wondering why they did what they did and how it got captured in a book. So I would say book reviews are probably my favourite posts to write.

8. When do you typically write?

Before I start working in the mornings, usually after I walk my dog and have some good coffee. Side note: I am seriously turning into a coffee snob these days buying freshly roasted coffee beans that I grind and all that jazz… 😉

9. How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddledup with your fur baby?

I don’t have a routine. I may have some coffee, my dog likes to hang around with me in the study unless some cats and squirrels pay him a visit in our garden which triggers his guardian alert and requires his attention downstairs… I sometimes burn an intense stick (much to my dog’s annoyance) and really enjoy watching trees outside or stare into that dark wall mentioned in point 1). 🙂

10. When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

I usually wait at least a few days, sometimes a week or two. I mostly formulate my thoughts whilst walking my dog and let them brew a bit. I tend to copy quotes whilst reading a book but don’t take notes. I probably would benefit from that though…

11. How often do you post?

I don’t have a fixed schedule, I tend to do regular #T5W posts and ideally would like to post at least one book review a week. But if that doesn’t happen, I won’t stress about it. I have also started a Chitter-Chatter series but again, no fixed routine there yet. It may be a Friday thing but don’t hold me to it.


I think most of the bloggers I interact with has done this tag by now.

If you haven’t done it yet, consider yourself tagged and if that is something you would enjoy doing, please let me know as I would love to read your answers. 🙂

Before I go, I have one question I’m desperate to know though:

What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

Fancy sharing that with me? 🙂 Thanks. 🙂

Monthly Wrap Up

April Wrap Up

In my March Wrap Up, I was somehow processing how quickly that particular month went by. I must admit this trend continues and I am still wrapping my mind around the fact that we are in May. 🙂 🙂

March was a fairly slow month reading-wise and April felt somehow even slower. It’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy reading at present. I just simply can not decide what I want to read, which usually results in me staring into nothingness and day dreaming instead. Not that I mind, it’s just a bit hard to write book reviews when you are actually not reading anything🤔

Anyhow, James and I took a week and half off work at the end of April and enjoyed our time off in Dartmoor National Park – a vast moorland in the county of Devon, in southwest England. It was a serene experience, we would wake up to bird songs, enjoy the tranquillity of moors where wild ponies kept us the only company. Our dog loved it as well and keeps on telling me that we need to book another holiday sometime soon. I better listen! 😉


I managed to read three books in April. I must admit that I loved them all and despite my slow reading pace, there were highly enjoyable reads.

  • Educated by Tara Westover, 5 stars  Review here

This was the book of the month for me.

Educated is a powerful testament of how we can choose to stop being defined by our past. It is a thought provoking memoir that left me with a strong feeling of unease long after I finished reading it.

I’m still thinking about this book and have a feeling it may become the book of 2018. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves… there are still many months to go… 😉

  • Tangerine by Christine Mangan, 4 stars  Review here

Tangerine is a psychological thriller that made me pause sometimes to fully digest what I just read. The relationship between two female protagonists was highly toxic and reading about it was unsettling at times. There were many mind games involved and I was engaged till the end.

  • The Year of Less by Cait Flanders, 4 stars  Review to follow next week

The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store” was another enjoyable read.

It is not a ‘How to’ guide but rather a memoir documenting a year long journey of a self imposed shopping ban. I have been following Cait’s blog for some time and really enjoy both her writing as well as her thought provoking topics. Its review is to follow next week, promise!


And that’s April done and dusted.

Now over to you my friends.

What was your favourite book you read in April?

Chitter-chatter

Chitter-Chatter: To Be Read (TBR) Lists

Chitter Chatter

I’ve been thinking about TBR lists for a while and decided to create a ‘Chitter-Chatter‘ series where we can talk about book related topics and which I can kick off with a TBR list discussion.


Some of you may recall that in my previous post, I mentioned my approach to owning things is in line with a philosophy of minimalism, I talked about mindful consumerism and how I’m trying not to feel owned by the things I own.

What I noticed whilst I was writing that post was that being owned by things may actually not mean only physical things. I think we could end up being owned by things that don’t physically exist or rather by certain expectations.

Closer to the end of last year, I started feeling uncomfortable about my TBR list.

Just looking at it started causing me anxiety. I felt like I could possibly never ever finish reading all of those books on that list. Rather than making me inspired and bringing me joy, my list became this dark and looming presence that screamed at me: “read faster, read more, keep up, you should add more books – you may be missing out”. I started that list when I joined GoodReads in 2012. And it grew since then. It grew much faster than what my reading pace was.

I started going through it in greater detail early this year and did not understand why some of those books actually made my list. It may have been a fear of missing out, it may have been an excellent review or a friend’s recommendation… or simply, my reading taste and preferences have just changed.

The list, with over 400 books on it, had to be minimised so I could feel I was in charge again.

I started deleting books one by one and it was a tedious process. And then I just could not be bothered anymore, took a deep breath and deleted it. Yes, very dramatic, I know. 🙂

I admit it was a radical solution and probably may not be for everyone. I reasoned with myself that if a book is meant to be then it would find me. I also rationalised that the amount of anxiety it would cost me to filter through that list, as I would end up obsessing for a long time if a particular book should go or stay, was just not worth it. It seemed like a sensible solution at the time.

Side note: I wonder sometimes if I accidentally deleted ‘The Book’… but at the same time, I got rid of that anxiety and that made it worth it overall.

What can you do if you feel like your TBR list is getting out of hand?

You could try following suggestions but ultimately, it is all an individual choice.

  • If you like a balanced approach, you could start with spring cleaning. We are now in the midst of spring so why not to prune your list a little via starting with your oldest titles (from the date you added them) and asking yourself – do I still want to read this book?

There are some great blog posts out there that talk about TBR lists’ spring cleaning.

One of my favourite ones has recently been written at The Orangutan Librarian’s blog  And if you don’t know that blog, I wholeheartedly recommend it for its wonderful posts. 🙂

  • You could also create several TBR lists.
    • You could create a short term TBR list, where books you want to read in the near future can wait.
    • Then you could have a mid term TBR list, where books you want to read in the next year or so can live.
    • And then there could be the one day TBR list. You know that day, when you will have lots of time and no work to do. 🙂

You could move books around these lists. Let’s say your short term list is ‘to read in the next three months’. If a book stays there longer than those three months, you could move it to the mid term list or even the one day list as it may just be something you are currently not keen to dive into.

And vice versa. Your one day book may become your short term book if it all of sudden starts appealing to you and you want to read it now. You could also put an arbitrary number on how many books you want to keep in those first two lists that is in line with your reading pace / time to read.

My inner organiser screams in delight about this idea. I like colour coding and organising everything. I may create different reading lists at some point but right now,  I have a relatively short list (under 20 books), which I constantly evaluate, so I am, rather than my TBR list, in control. 😉

  • Or you could just delete it and start a new one or…. not even have one at all. 😉

The idea of not having a TBR list somehow fills me with dread. Maybe I will do it one day so I could prove my TBR list that I am that BOSS I keep on telling it about. 😉


Whatever you do – there is no right or wrong way.

We, book lovers, know how precious those lists can be as books mean a lot to us. I am reminding myself that the purpose of my TBR is to serve me. As long as it does, it can stay. 😂

Happy reading everyone. ❤️


Chitter-Chatter Time

What do you think about TBR list?

  • Do you have one?
  • If you do: Do you maintain it or do you allow it to grow?
    • Do you spring clean?

Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

Fiction

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

what alice forgotI didn’t know much about both the book and the writer beforehand. The lovely Norrie from Reading under the Blankie recommended me this book.

Before I tell you what I think of this book, let’s take a look at what GoodReads says about it first:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. 

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over. 

Imagine waking up one day with no recollection whatsoever of your last 10 years.

Imagine finding out you have three children, who are strangers to you, and whose births you don’t remember.

Imagine the love of your love despises you and is divorcing you.

Imagine travelling to your future.

I was intrigued by the concept.

I don’t own many things but I love collecting experiences and memories. I cherish all adventures I have had with my loved ones.

I equally love learning and growing.

It would be devastating having the memory of my last 10 years wiped out in an accident. Yet unfortunate accidents happen and the book’s realistic premise was something that drove me to it.

What Alice Forgot is primary narrated from Alice’s third person perspective as she is trying to piece together the last 10 years of her life. I enjoyed the aspect of her self-discovery as she is forced to look at herself from another perspective. She is a fairly naïve time traveller, who just cannot comprehend why and how she has become the person everyone keeps on telling her about.

Apart from Alice’s voice, there are two other narratives that I enjoyed as well.

We get to know Alice’s sister, Elizabeth via her diary, which she writes as a part of her therapy assignment. Her voice is so different to Alice’s. It is sarcastic, dark and sometimes brutally raw. I could understand the walls she built around herself and how much pain she must have been in.

And then there is Frannie, Alice’s granny. I loved this character. She sort of reminded me of my witty ‘cool’ grandma. We get to hear her voice via her little blog entries, which ended up being one of my favourite parts of the book.

I love stories that made me think and this one did that job magnificently.

As I read What Alice Forgot I tried to look at my own life through the eyes of my younger self. I kept on asking myself: ‘what would my younger self think of this?’.

I had to pick one thing that I would personally prefer to be a bit different, it would probably be the ending. It was just a little ‘too neat’ for my liking.

Despite of that, I loved the book and would recommend it to everyone, who enjoys character driven books and who is fascinated by ‘time travel’.

Verdict: : Hot Beverage on Apple  Hot Beverage on Apple  Hot Beverage on Apple  Hot Beverage on Apple (4/5)

Monthly Wrap Up

February Wrap Up

MonthlyWrapUp @ UnfilteredTales

Hello fellow readers,

Can you believe it?

We are in March already!

I know, I know… how very observant of me…. 😉

Still, how is it possible that this year is literally flying by. 🙂

Hope you all had two wonderful winter months and that, like me, you are ready for the Spring. 🙂

“Dear Spring, whenever you are ready, I will really appreciate your warmth and sunshine!! Sun With Face on Samsung Experience 9.0

For those interested, here is what I read in February:

 

YA / Fantasy:

Crime / Thriller:

Non Fiction:

February was a busy reading month.

What definitely stood out for me was both Heartless and The Smoke Thieves.

Both very different yet utterly indulgent reads I did not want to put away.

Unfortunately Wintersong was a bit of a let down despite its gorgeous writing.

What stood out for you in February? And did something disappoint you?

Here’s to another great month of reading!Books on Apple iOS 11.2