[I’m so stuck on this escalator that I started writing this post in early December.]
2014 has been a transformational year for me. You wouldn’t necessarily notice this on the outside. I regret to report that I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost late last year and earlier this spring. Despite taking a wonderful class that gave me all the tools and the “Whys” for getting healthy, I didn’t evaluate the changes I vowed to make against 42 years of habits and behavioral patterns. I wanted to do it all and do it NOW. As a result I find myself four months later doing absolutely nothing whatsoever. I had the vision of who I wanted to be and I was so freaking passionate about it that I’m sure I drove those around me nuts. You can only run on pure passion for so long before you burn out and returning to what your brain can do on autopilot. On autopilot, I tend to gain a lot of weight and it isn’t long before I find myself once again stuck on the escalator. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch this video. If it helps, I’m not even as capable as the first man stuck on the escalator. I’m pretty much exactly where the woman is, eye rolls, huffs, and all.
But my weight isn’t the only way in which I’m stuck on an escalator. I find that analogy works very well for my reading and blogging life, too. In 6 weeks I will have been a book blogger for 8 years. Right now that feels like at least one year too many. While there are many things about this life that make me get down on my knees and thank God for having this opportunity, I’m stuck. Over the past year or so I’ve tried various things to rekindle my love of book blogging, but thus far they’ve been no more successful than the people in that video. If the idea even makes it to my blog (most have not), I rather quickly end back up sitting down on the escalator stair waiting for the repair man.
Deep in my heart I love reading. I love just about everything and everyone associated that I associate with reading. More and more over the years reading and writing reviews has become a chore. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve written about this and I know that many others before me have some to this crossroads. Passion for anything can only take a person so far. Couple that with unrealistic vows and commitments and you find yourself right where I am. I’m not a 100+ books per year kind of reader, yet I have been forcing that upon myself. After all, I set my initial goal of reading 52 books because that was a stretch for me. After that, the joy I found in the community and its place in the publishing industry inspired me to read more and more books. Over the past few years there’s been this perverted Nwanda with his saxophone on my shoulder reciting, “Gotta do more, gotta be MORE!” and I’ve listened. Only there’s a problem. The longer I’ve tried to be who I’m not because I’ve been tempted to take on more than I can handle and enjoy, the less energy and desire I have for something that means a great deal to me. When I found myself sitting on that escalator stairs contemplating pitching all the books over the ledge instead of reading them, I knew it was time to take action. After all, when I pitch a book I want it to be out of the deepest rage possible, not out of boredom. What’s the point?
As I said, 2014 has been a year of transformation for me. I have come to see very clearly that I’m not only stuck but I am complete control over changing that. This post has been brewing for a long time now. Not only has my blogging slowed down considerably, I find myself less and less often engaging with Twitter. Still, I didn’t want to make any rash decisions. A couple of months ago I was prepared to write an “Auf Wiedersehen” post on my next blogiversary. Then something strange happened. I joined Sheila’s Harry Potter reading challenge and I found a joy in reading and sharing the experience with others that I took a step back. Because I wasn’t trying to devour one book because three others were impatiently waiting on me, I had time to read a book, write a post I was inspired to write and then *gasp* read and have a conversation with other readers on their blogs. Wasn’t that how this all started? That’s what I want back.
It was at this point that I got stuck writing this post. I began a paragraph about how I see 2015 playing out from a reading and blogging perspective. Now, a good month away on I can see why I couldn’t finish. Once again I was setting myself up to return to this very same place. I want to know all of the answers now. I want to fix everything now. No more. The truth is that I don’t know exactly what 2015 holds in store for me as a reader, a blogger, or an eater for that matter. The couple of sentences I wrote about how I would read and blog already sounded like they were written by someone else. Instead, while I’m keeping dust off this busted escalator, I’m going to take some time to make an honest assessment of myself and figure out what I want most out of life. I’ll know when I’m on the right track when I start feeling all of the passion about the vision I’m creating. This year I’ll play it smart, though. I’ll have my list of baby steps in hand to keep me going. After all, even when it’s operational, an escalator is simply a flight of stairs. The best way to climb it is one step at a time.