Last December, I made four bookish goals for 2021. They are:

  • Read at least 24 books.
    • I kept this lower because of my other goals.
  • Read at least 50% of my IRL book club books.
  • Read a book for each monthly tag hosted by my Goodreads group: Play Book Tag (PBT).
  • Participate in the Unofficial Trim Challenge hosted by PBT.

It’s time to evaluate how I did with each of them:

  • I only read 12 books this year.
    • This is the lowest number of books I’ve read in a year since 2007.
  • I read five out of the 15 books we read in book club.
  • I only read a book for two of the 12 tags for 2021.
  • I only read one of the 12 books I chose for the Unofficial Trim Challenge.

As you can tell, I didn’t accomplish any of my goals. This year wasn’t a good reading year. It started out good, though. I read four books in January and two books in February. And, then it all just kind of got thrown for a loop in March because my priorities changed.

Even though I only read 12 books this year, I’m not upset because I accomplished other things. I also enjoyed most of the books I read, as my most common rating was four stars, which I think is the most important thing to remember.

My favorite new read of the year was THE FLATSHARE by Beth O’Leary. It garnered five stars. I also reread my all-time favorite book this year, DUNE by Frank Herbert, after watching the new movie a couple of times.

My least favorite read was THE WIFE UPSTAIRS by Rachel Hawkins. It’s her first foray into adult mystery. It’s a retelling of JANE EYRE. No spoilers. I’ll just say that I only gave it two stars.

Next year, I have similar goals. While I want to make reading a priority, I’m in school and I need to make it a priority as well. Because of school, some of my reading goals are lower than last year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to exceed my expectations. My goals for 2022 are:

  • Read at least 24 books.
  • Read at least 50% of my IRL book club books.
  • Read a book for 50% of the monthly tags hosted by my Goodreads group: Play Book Tag (PBT).
  • Participate in the Unofficial Trim Challenge hosted by PBT.

I’ll keep track of my progress over on my 2022 Reads page.

How did you do with your goals this year? What are your goals for 2022?

May your new year be merry and bright and full of wonderful books!

At the end of each year, I like to reflect on what happened during the year. Trigger warning. Only continue reading if you’re in a good space.

On March 1, I overdosed on Lithium and ended up in the hospital for a week. I was very lucky that with the amount of Lithium I took, I didn’t damage my kidneys. It was touch and go for many days. It was also a very hard recovery, but it opened my eyes and I realized that I never wanted to end up in that situation again.

My psychiatrist and therapist at the time pushed me to find a Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program as I had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder about seven months prior. Thankfully, I found a program fairly quickly and I’ve been working with Doug since the end of March.

DBT and Doug have been the greatest blessing in my life. Without DBT, I wouldn’t have been able to navigate this year. With Doug’s guidance, I’m back in school working toward finishing my BS in mathematics and I’m moving toward several of my other values (compasses that guide me in building a life worth living). It has been hard. It’s still hard. Sometimes, I want to quit. Sometimes, I still want to hurt myself AND I now have the skills to help me not act on ineffective urges.

I still have 4 to 4.5 months left in the program as DBT usually lasts for a year. I have a lot of anxiety that I won’t be ready to navigate the world by myself at the end of the program and like the DBT manual says, I try to be mindful and:

Rivet [myself] to now. Be completely present to this one moment. Throw [myself] completely into activities of the current moment.

It’s hard to do, and I know I can do hard things.

I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished this year. I’ve come a long way from where I was on March 1. And, for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to the new year and the opportunities the future holds (better mental health, progress in school, quality time with family and friends, etc.).

One of the opportunities I’m taking advantage of is resurrecting my book blog. Well, I’m starting a new one, anyway, as there’s nothing left of the old one. I’m looking forward to connecting with other readers and bloggers.

Are you looking forward to 2022? Do you have any resolutions?

Here’s to many wonderful possibilities! May your new year be merry and bright!

Hello there!

I’m Jenni Elyse. I created this blog on June 23, 2007. Due to severe depression and anhedonia, I stopped blogging regularly around three and a half years ago. I’ve changed my blog’s concept more times than I can count during the 14.5 years since its inception. I’ve finally realized this is because I was trying to work through my anhedonia and keep my blog alive.

In the last three years, I’ve attempted to start my blog up again and again. However, I didn’t have the proper tools to fight my mental illnesses and they prevailed against my need to express myself creatively. Near the end of March, I started a new therapy called DBT (Dialectic Behavioral Therapy) that’s specially designed for individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). I was diagnosed with BPD a little over a year ago. I can definitely tell a difference in how I’m dealing with distress and depression.

In one of my sessions with my DBT therapist, Doug, we figured out that creativity’s very important to me. Now that I’m able to focus on more than just crises and/or my depression, I feel like my creativity is waking up again. Doug pointed out that I talk a lot about blogging even though I wasn’t currently blogging, so he challenged me to start up my blog again. He told me that not only would it help me fight feeling depressed all the time, it’d also be a good way to use the skills I’m currently learning in DBT as I’m going to feel self-conscious or not able to continue at some point. Instead of giving in to my uncomfortable feelings like I’ve always done in the past, I can use my skills to work through my feelings and keep going.

I’m excited and nervous to be back since this is like take 5,003 on my blog. I hope you decide to join me and share this ride along with me.