Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: new years day

Mistakes and Buffer Zones

Mistakes and buffer zones. Greg McKeown has some wise words for us to carry into the new year, but first…

Happy Birthday, 2022!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I do feel like it’s a new start. Something about everyone celebrating one more revolution around the sun at the same time is energizing. I mean, the whole world does it on the SAME DAY! You can’t say that about Friday’s or the first day of any month.

How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? We went into town and brought Popeye’s chicken home for dinner along with a big bottle of rum (and yes, I sang “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum..” on the way out of the store). We snuggled up on the couch with chicken and…mmm…biscuits…and watched “About Time” on Netflix. Party animals!

On any given evening we watch one or two series episodes before bed, but since it was a holiday we decided to watch a movie. But which one? Flipping through titles doesn’t help and the descriptions…well, they just don’t grab me. I wish they would play a couple random movie trailers that you cannot skip before everything else I watch, unrelated ones, not something similar to what I’m watching or the same trailer over and over like they with commercials on other channels.

Last night, we chose “About Time” because the title looked like it was funny and cute, different than what we usually watch, and it turned out to be so beautiful I cried and laughed and cried again the whole way through. I’m tearing up just writing this right now! So, if you haven’t seen it, go watch it. You will NOT regret it. It’s the perfect movie to start the year with.

PS If you’re reading this, Netflix, please find a way to help us see a better assortment of movies to watch. ‘What’s Trending” and “Based on What You’ve Watched” butters no parsnips!

And now, without further ado, some brilliant insight from yours truly. Two more of my favorite quotes from my latest read.

mistakes and buffer zones

“There should be no shame in admitting to a mistake; after all, we really are only admitting that we are now wiser than we once were.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

How’s that for an idea? If we drop the ego guard down for a moment, after every mistake we make we can think, “I’m am now wiser than I was. Yay, growth!” Much more useful than, “Well crap, I made a mistake. I must be stupid and I need to hide it better.”

“The only thing we can expect (with any great certainty) is the unexpected. Therefore, we can either wait for the moment and react to it or we can prepare. We can create a buffer.” From Essentialism by Greg McKeown

mistakes and buffer zones

By “prepare” he doesn’t mean have enough money, be smart enough, plan what’s going to happen and be ready. He means prepare yourself, be emotionally ready for anything.

I’m a naturally reactive person. I get very excited, very easily, and my emotions can run away with me. That’s great when things are going as I had hoped, not so much when I’m surprised by something I didn’t want. My space between stimulus and response has been microscopic.

Meditation has helped me increase that space. Like driving, the more space I have between me and other cars, the more time I have to reflect and then respond. This coming year, I hope to increase my buffer space even more and then (wait for it) remember that it is there so that I don’t jump to react at the first sign of a problem, like that guy that slams on the brakes when he sees a yellow light a mile ahead.

Ok, so here we are at the end of my first post of the year 2022. I debated whether I should skip the quote commentary and create a special post just for New Year’s Day. I do have my 2021 reading stats to share with you. I know you’re dying to know! But I decided to stick with the flow and combine things a little.

I’m still working on one more post about Essentialism. I finished reading it yesterday and this morning started reading, “The Path of the Human Being: Zen Teachings on the Bodhisattva Way” by Dennis Genpo Merzel this morning. It sounds like a great way to start the year off, don’t you think?

Go back to my first post, “Essentialism by Greg McKeown” to read more quotes from the book.

The Great Annual Reading Tally for 2019


Year Three of combining my love of books with my obsession with making lists and the numbers are in!





31 books

49 books


71 books

376.24 hours

432.05 hours


694.95 hours

10,133 pages

14,309 pages


23,948 pages

1.03 hours per day

1.84 hours per day


1.9 hours per day

12.14 hours per book

8.82 hours per book


9.79 hours per book

If anyone wonders if I have a slight obsession with books, just look at this photo and you will be left without a doubt.


This year past year, my goal was to get to an average of two hours of reading per day and I almost made it. Of course, are days that I just don’t get a chance to read, so I try to read for three hours on the days that I can, to make up for those missed ones, but it just wasn’t enough. Maybe next year!

On New Year’s Eve I had a wild idea to go around and gather up all the books I read this year and make a big pile of them. I got my reading notebook out and went on an Easter Egg Hunt around the house. A couple books I couldn’t find and I can’t remember what I did with them. A few a let my son borrow when he moved to Virginia earlier this year. And a couple I read on my Kindle, so I don’t have the physical book, although I may go back and buy them.

It was fun hunting them down and an interesting thing happened while I was searching the shelves for the titles. First of all, I realize that I need a better shelving situation. My shelves are overloaded and, although I have gone through and organized them by genre before, they soon end up all shuffled again. I add books over the years and don’t want to spend the time moving everything around to accommodate the new books or books that should be shelved with others of its genre are too big to fit on the shelf the previous books were given. I’m not sure what I can do about that other than marvel that I have so many wonderful books. And it does give me the opportunity to happily hunt through the shelves from time to time, so there’s that.

The other interesting thing that I didn’t expect was how exciting it was to see those books again and remember them. It’s one thing to see them written out in a list, but another to see the cover in your hand. It’s like seeing a friend in the grocery store verses reading their Facebook posts. Memories came flooding back and I’d flip through the pages and see my notes. “No, Michelle, we have to stay on track. This is a gathering mission. You can read and reminisce later.” Seeing them all on my dining room table at once made me proud of my work. And it was infinitely easier to pick out my favorites!

Something that I would like to do this year is keep track of books that I’ve bought for future reading, whether or not I have the book in possession or if I loaned it or gave it away for whatever reason. It drives me bonkers not knowing what has become of my precious babies!

Fiction: 34

Non-Fiction: 37

Novel: 16

Biography/Memoir: 5

Historical Fiction: 3

Essays: 2

Short Stories: 4

Sociology: 9

Classics: 4

Self-Help/Spiritual/Religion: 11

Thriller: 6

Writing: 4

Fantasy/Sci-Fi: 1

History: 4

DNF (Did Not Finish): 4

Economics/Politics: 2

As I flipped through the pages making compilation lists of genre, pages, and hours read, I started to think maybe I should make up an Excel spreadsheet and tally the books as I read them throughout the year. It would make this part of my hobby much simpler, but then it probably wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

Yes, I’m a little strange, but I can’t think of a better way to spend New Year’s Eve and Day than going through my notebooks and visiting with the friends I made this year.

2020 is going to be an amazing year for books. I’m continuing to use my Instagram page to post pictures of the books I’m reading and quotes I find in them. I’ll keep sharing my own work on my blog and Medium. Facebook is a good place to keep up with what I’m posting anywhere else. If you find anything share-worthy, please do so! Sharing my posts really helps widen my audience and I appreciate all the help I can get.

I’m excited to keep reading and writing more this coming year and I hope you’ll enjoy what I find! If you want to see the titles, check out my READING LIST page. You’ll find them there in the order I read them and which ones were my favorites.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading, my friends!

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: