Hello readers of CompassionKnit! It is so nice to meet you, I have heard a lot about all of you and I know you have heard about me as well.
I am a knitter, reader, and Kathy B’s daughter, and as she announced last week I will be joining the blog this year to provide some readerly content.
I love the new year, to me it always feels like a fresh start, a new beginning, a blank planner. Sometimes my life is more like the 30 Rock episode where Liz Lemon buys out The Container Store, states “my life is going to be wonderful”, then promptly trips and drops all of her purchases; but I cannot help but love the feeling of opportunity the new year brings.
So what better time than now to discuss the perhaps controversial genre of “Self Help”, “Personal Growth” or “Self Improvement”. Whatever your preferred moniker, I know that some people avoid this section of the bookstore like the plague. But we’re not going to get too serious here, I’m just going to talk about a few self-helpy books that I enjoyed in the last year.
I loved Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives and its follow-up The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better. Rubin puts people into four categories: Questioner, Rebel, Obliger and Upholder; and believes that understanding which category you fall into can help you to make and stick to your habits. My best friend is an Obliger- which led to us creating a workout pact this past year. Knowing that she had to report her workouts to me made her stick to her plan. Discovering that I am a questioner helped me realize why I have never been able to stick to journalling- I do not have a purpose behind it so after the initial rush of a new notebook the habit falls apart. This year instead of journalling daily I am aiming to write 52 “Micro-Memoirs”, to help me notice the little things in my life and be able to look back on them at the end of the year (this idea was inspired by one of my favorite books of last year: Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro Memoirs by Beth Ann Fennelly). If you are curious about your tendency you can go to Gretchen Rubin’s website to learn more https://gretchenrubin.com/2015/01/ta-da-the-launch-of-my-quiz-on-the-four-tendencies-learn-about-yourself/#newsletter
Another favorite I read in 2017 was This is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. If you have been reading this blog for a while you probably know that I have moved across this country a lot in the last few years. After a few years in one place I begin to get restless, always searching out the “perfect” place. This book helped me embrace where I am- and led to a lot of tangible changes. I currently live in Oklahoma City, a place I did not choose and was not initially excited about but I have grown to love it. I have attended city council meetings, joined a book club, found a new place to volunteer, attended the OKC ballet and become an OKC Thunder fan in order to feel more like a part of the community. It has worked and made me happier to be where I am right now (even though this community is in mourning right now due to the stunning Sooner loss in the Rose Bowl last night).
What are your favorite self-help books?
What book caused you to make changes in 2017?
What is a favorite inspirational quote to start off the new year?
I think I’ll go with another thought from the immortal Carrie Fisher: “Stay afraid, but do it anyway”
Can’t wait to hear from y’all, we’ll talk in the comments and I’ll see you next week.
(I think I’ll end my posts with the books I’m currently reading and feel free to let me know what you’re reading as well)
Currently on my shelf:
- Lily and the Octopus (Steven Rowley)- has anyone read this? It is my book club pick this month and I am not sure I can finish it. The one thing that I really do not like to read are stories about animals dying.
- Parable of the Sower (Octavia E. Butler)
- The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You’re Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed or Desperate (Harriet Lerner)