New Year New Things

Last year around this time I discussed preparing for 2021 and (more relevantly) the direction of this blog. Well, friends, it’s still going to be a reading blog. In fact, I went so far as to plan out this post in my head to theme it around the books in my life all while nursing my toddler to bed. Yeah, that’s right. I’m owning this motherhood (about time). I’m sure there’s a book about that out there that I haven’t read.

Here are three books that will be featuring heavily in my 2022.

Started using this planner a couple days ago and honestly, I’m not a colouring person. Or at least, I wasn’t, until I bought the toddler a big set of markers, and now I look for opportunities to use them when she’s asleep (because she is still learning to share when she is awake).

I freaking love colouring with markers. The tiny details in Basford’s illustrations mean that there aren’t too many oportunities for streaky marker layering (you know, when your marker dries and then it’s obvious you weren’t able to get an even layer of colour in). I’ve also been colouring in between waiting for Jack’s turns at board games, and we try to do those regularly.

The bigger reason I’m using this planner is as a means to record what I’ve done with the toddler, in preparation for when recording homeschooling things actually matters. I’ve decided that the early years (where curriculum isn’t as big a deal) will be a good opportunity to figure out my own preferences in terms of record-keeping. Last year I kept things mostly digital but right now I’m sick of having to turn on my laptop for everything (school and work keep me on this thing enough). This year I’ll be keeping two planners (and that’s a first!): one to record what the toddler’s done and one for myself.

Now this I bought back in the summer when a friend was in Hong Kong. She did me a big favour in helping me find Cantonese resources for the toddler, but I also thought to ask her to help me find this.

I mentioned last year that my friends and I were reading through this Bible reading plan (it gets you through the Bible in a year) and now I’m doing the same reading plan again with one of the same friends! Except this time, in an effort to build my vocabulary, my Scripture reading consists of reading first in English and then following along with Youversion’s audio bible in Cantonese. More on this in a future post.

Finally, this book is one that I started last year. You might recall that I had bought another watercolour book but honestly, I should have purchased this one, because both were available at the time on Book Outlet. Or rather, I should say, I quickly progressed to this one. In that way, the first book I purchased was good, because it removed the intimidation I felt at beginning watercolours, to the point that I sought out a new text to follow.

Although my watercolour practice with this book has slowed significantly since school started again in the summer, this book has sat on my shelf because no one else borrows it at my library. It’s great. And I’m happy to say that this is going to be the second year that I stick with watercolour as the main hobby I want to keep developing.

You might have noticed that all of these books represent things that I began in 2021 and am building on for the following year, rather than starting something entirely new. This is a personal point of pride — I used to dart around from hobby to hobby without any real sense of what I wanted to achieve, but then I’d also grow frustrated with how I didn’t seem to be improving in any direction, too. So onwards with the same hobbies and interests, and hurrah for building up slowly!

Featured photo: The guy in this photo was a co-worker in Jack’s and my first year living in China. This was also the first big hike where I realized that I could do bigger things than I thought possible of myself. All I had to do, in this guy’s words, was to “keep putting one foot in front of the other and [don’t] stop for a break.” The word perseverance just bring sto mind this guy’s calves, because that’s all I saw in front o fme for the three-and-a-half-hour hike up the stairs of Huashan’s Soldier’s Route.


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