Tag Archive | Thich Nhat Hanh

52 Books


Behold! A selection of watches! Just kidding! It’s books. But not 52. Only 24.

I have had an ongoing love affair with the written word since I was 6 years old. In my life BC (that is, Before Children) I easily churned through 2,000 pages per week. It is very safe to say that I have missed reading more than I have missed regular meals and plenty of hot water for showering. It seems that there has been a shift in household dynamics in the past 6 months or so. All my children are now readers. They get the concept of, “just a sec, I’m reading.” This is new and different. It’s been roughly 25 years since I was able to say that and get the desired response, which is….waiting just a sec without whining or pouting. I’m able to read again.

In 2013, I read 50 books. I eeked the last one out on New Year’s Eve, but eek it out I did. This year, my goal is 52. Magazines count, as long as I read the whole thing. Textbooks count, with the same caveat. Books that I pick up, read 10% of and then discard also count. Because if the author doesn’t have my attention 10% in, if I am not emotionally invested or at least curious by that point, he/she hasn’t written a good book and life is too short to read crappy books. There are so many good ones out there waiting for a little love. There were 2 such discards last year.

I’d like, at least for the first 6 months of the year, to read primarily paper books, and ones that may or may not move with me. I gathered these up last night from various nooks, crannies, and shelves. Then I added them to my currently reading list at goodreads. Yes, I currently have 28 books in my “currently reading” list. Too few you say?

You will probably note the Holling C. Holling selections in the back. Yes, kid books count too, depending. I have many books here that I used when I homeschooled my children. When we stopped, I kept the ones that I wanted to read myself and I think it’s time I allow myself to do that.

Anyway, these are the ones I plan to start with. Some of them are underway already. My plan is to start a new one each Wednesday so I can talk about it on Thursday. Because, do you remember this?

Last night, I started You Can’t Keep a Good Woman Down by Alice Walker. This is a collection of short stories, and they are short shorts. The longest so far is about 15 pages, and the shortest was two paragraphs. Interestingly enough, it’s the two paragraph story that is still blazing in my mind this morning. It’s called “Petunia.” Read it if you get the chance.

This week’s BTT question is: “What were your favorite books last year?”

In fiction, History of Love , by Nicole Krauss. It is a beautiful story beautifully told, and earned a spot on the permanent shelf alongside The Time Traveler’s Wife. I also greatly enjoyed The Book Thief.

Nonfiction, Tao Te Ching and Thich Nhat Hahn’s Peace is Every Step. Both of these were game changers for me, and I plan to read them once a year every year for the foreseeable future.

Money, but also other things


So, it’s 2014. How did that even happen? If you are like me you have spent some time in the past couple of weeks thinking about your life in general and specific. You’ve probably made a list of things you want to change or improve, even if it’s only a mental list. One of the things I want to improve this year is cash flow. I have other goals and intentions, and we will get to them over the coming days, but I wanted to get this one done first for a couple of reasons. The most important is that I want to earn a little bit of money *every day* in 2014. And for it to happen every day, it has to start on the first, yes? Yes.

Also, you will note that I took a picture of actual money so that I could talk about it. That’s something else I want to do every day: take a picture. Some of you may remember my old blog digicass, and the photo a day. The blog is long gone, but the photo idea is still a good one, so. Project 365, anyone? Or here. Or here. Or hell, all three. Rumor has it there are even apps for this, and I will probably look for one later. It could happen, because Lord knows. Social Media is king, right?

Ok, back to the money part. Ya’ll know I have a love/hate relationship with money. I consider it a tool, a means to an end. The end, for me, is comfort and lack of stress. This year, I have another end. I am moving. Now, I am moving for many reasons, and those are beyond the scope of this blog post. But I don’t yet have financing for this move, and it’s going to take a nice chunk of change. And that’s why I intend to earn a bit of money everyday. Part of that will be a return to blogging, using this platform as a vocal microphone. Like singing for my supper, only typing instead. I want to pad my paypal account so that in June, when I am ready to go, I have the funds to do so. BTW, the padding part won’t be so hard. Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to learn that I have misplaced my paypal card. Yep, can’t spend the money. So, there’s that. I know it’s here somewhere. I activated the damn thing. I distinctly remember doing so. But after that? Who knows.

So, enough about that. I want to talk about something else now. Before I meditated this morning, I read a bit of Peace is Every Step. Thich Nhat Hanh reminded me that I am what I feel and perceive. Now, I knew that I was going to be blogging as soon as I was done, so perhaps I should not have read until after the meditation, because my brain started chewing on that. It was hard to still my mind. Sheep bouncing alllll over the meadow. I had to repeatedly bring myself back to the pillow, the beads, the candle. His words resonated. How often do I feel stressed? Pressured? Broke? How often do I perceive evil, malicious intent on the part of others? According to the law of attraction, when I allow myself to continue in those feelings and perceptions, I am actually drawing more of the same to me. Let’s stop that, okay? What I want to feel is calm, loving, provided for, safe. What I want to perceive is goodness and joy. That’s what I choose.

I can hear some of you now: I can’t help what I think and feel. Yes, you can. It’s not always easy, but it can be done, and it is a very profitable exercise. It changes your locus of control. It empowers you to set intention to change the things that you do not like. And intention….intention is a very powerful thing. Intention is what sets change in motion. Intention changes circumstances. And even if we cannot change external circumstances, the ability to change the impact they have on our internal lives is valuable.

Wow. Guess I had stuff to say. And I feel like I have barely scraped the surface. But I guess I need to save something for the next 364 days, right? I’ll try to be a little more lightweight tomorrow, but I ain’t making no promises.


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