Happy New Year! and a big, fat TBR

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful 2023.

As the clocks chimed and we all sang Auld Lang Syne, this time I was sad to see the close of the old year. Although it wasn’t all easy, 2022 was the year when I got a lot of what I needed — not always what I wanted, but what ended up being good. I started in a demanding-but-invaluable project which ended in the spring, in time for some serious mumming through my children’s exams. In the summer, our family left primary school for the last time, which I imagined would be a huge wrench (Visitor #55 has left the building), but which actually allowed us to enjoy an awesome summer of travel and hiking in Iceland and Wales, and to focus on secondary education and university, which were warm, welcoming, and exciting. Autumn was spent rescuing our neglected home decor (decor, noun: cracked walls, loose windows and leaking ceilings) while working with some awesome long-term colleagues, a real privilege. We finished with a lazy, cosy family Christmas, and no — get this, NO — immediate plans for the New Year!

After years of hospital emergencies and almost constant overwork, especially the endless drubbing we all received in 2020 and 2021, this was… everything I could’ve asked for in a yearSorry, “Everything for which I could have asked.” (Thank you, Carol*.)

* “Out for what do you need that gun?” _min 21:10

Reading and writing?

Reading, writing, and many other things I love to do when I’m able, were all in short supply in 2022 — not because it was a bad year, but because I put the pressure on to achieve a lot of other goals, so I could decide in 2023 where I want to go next. “Clearing decks.” It… sort of worked (ask me in February?) — and I now have time to dig into the TBR.

The TBR

No, I didn’t keep my reading list up to date, and my STILL-growing TBR is a frightening-yet-alluring beast that will one day fall and flatten me.

Likewise, no, I didn’t finish reading my existing books before I bought new ones (not even close, and I have Kirsty Logan’s new one on order, because WITCHES, baby!)

Many of the books are unfinished reads-in-progress and I’m excited to get back into them.

Yes, I did receive Margaret Atwood’s Testaments for Christmas — whoop! — but no, I haven’t yet finished The Handmaid’s Tale – IKR? (Am enjoying it!).

No, I didn’t finish Shuggie Bain (Douglas Stuart) because even though it’s great, I was so knackered by 4q2022, the moment I relaxed at all, I passed out — so I ended up reading the opening pages many times in various stages of collapse. I’m going to restart it this week.

Yes, I did start Molly Keane’s Good Behaviour but again didn’t finish, mostly because I gave it to my Mum for her birthday and I was just snaffling a cheeky sneak preview — it’s now back with me to read so that we can pick it apart when we next get together, and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

I was also intrigued by The Sea Women by Chloe Simms — new to me, so looking forward to that. Also Superior by Angela Saini, a Christmas gift that I really want to read.

I also want to read Kit De Waal’s Without Warning and Only Sometimes which I don’t have and I’m pretty much guaranteed to buy before too long and will have to then keep in a drawer till Mother’s Day to justify the TBR thing, to myself if not to anyone else, especially since The Trick To Time is ALSO in my TBR, damn my tired eyes.

And there are about a hundred other books, gathering dust, tant-a-lis-ing-ly, while I work so that I can buy food and loo roll, and then wash and wipe things so that my children aren’t mouldy. Where’s the glamour?

Perhaps Audible could be an option — that could be blissful, right? 😁 (I’d never leave the house again…)

On the non-reading (running) front, also no, I didn’t lose the weight I put on in lockdown (even though I got back up to running 10 miles, STILL I ate enough to keep the podge — go me!)  

Christmas yummies – lucky me! So will be The Handmaid’s Tale, Shuggie Bain, then these 🙂

So, new year… I want to throw back a giant thank you to 2022 for being the best year I’ve had in ages, and for allowing me to approach 2023 with a sense of optimism.

OK, hands up, this might be misplaced optimism — because so far, 2023 has been shite. On the first day, our visiting rellies had to return home so I spent the day missing them, on the second day, someone’s dog bit me, ffs, and on the third day, at 2am someone broke a cupboard door. So 2023 can get right back into its box and we’ll kick it under the stairs to be returned when 2024 is available. On the positive side, I hear 2024’s coming in less than a year, so not too long.

In the meantime, there’s some reading to do, and some writing, and probably quite a lot of running. Also, I have a short fiction coming up for publication (more soon), so that’s a little twinkle of excitement and should inspire me to get on with my fiction-writing, while I have the chance.

Perhaps we can make something of this yet.

I reckon so — so here we go —

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope 2023 is a happy, healthy, and altogether glorious year for you

with

love,

peace,

and

all good things

🙏

 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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