Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reflecting


Happy New Year, friends! When we cross over from one year to the next, most of us like to reflect back over the past 12 months and acknowledge accomplishments, and look forward to the future, making some resolutions and setting goals to improve ourselves. For me, it has been a good year. My family has been generally healthy, we've been able to pull through the economic downturn intact, and have spent quality time with our loved ones. I've taken four trips to Indiana to see my parents, spent two weeks in Poland this summer visiting my in-laws, and reconnected with old friends who I hadn't seen in 25 years. This is the fifth year I've been out of the workforce and able to focus on my husband and children, and feel that I am very blessed.

With regards to blogging, this was my first full year of nurturing my hobby. I feel I've made great strides, considering my technological ineptitude and my already-crazy life raising kids. Here are some blogging highlights for 2009:

* Started rating my books in April on a scale of 1 to 5
* Hosted two read-alongs (Wuthering Heights and Rebecca)
* Participated in the annual BBAW festivities, and was nominated in a handful of categories
* Featured a "Best Of" series for several months starting late summer, in which I solicited top 10 lists from friends and family from all walks of life
* Reviewed a number of ARC's, with author interviews and guest posts
* Participated in several interviews with other bloggers, including Nymeth @ Things Mean Alot, Jackie @ Farm Lane Books, and Wendy @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty
* Collaberated on several projects with C.B. James @ Ready When You Are, C.B., including a book/movie cross-post on Blindness
* Hosted some book giveaways
* Participated in a long list of reading challenges
* Walked almost 180 miles in a three month time period via a blogger fitness challenge
* Discovered a community of good souls with huge hearts that all love books

What changes would I make in 2010? Personally, I know I need to focus more on healthy habits. I've always exercised, but also love to eat and drink wine. This is starting to catch up with me now that I am over 40. I am hoping to start off on the right foot with the next 100 Mile Fitness Challenge running from January 1st through the end of March. Recognizing that accountability keeps me on the straight and narrow, I am also competing in the Game On Diet with a great group of women bloggers for the month of January.

My vision isn't quite as clear for my 2010 blogging goals. I am actually pretty happy with my weekly structure of book reviews, memes, and miscellaneous posts. I'd love to learn how to make tabs on my webpage to better organize my information. I'd like to post more discussion starters. I would also love for my daughter and I to participate in a 24 hour readathon. I need to find a better way to balance my blogging time as well. I'm moving in the right direction...I basically am posting into late January right now, which makes things much more relaxed. And I guess I need to reinforce to myself that I DON'T HAVE TO COMMENT ON EVERY POST I READ (even though I like to). I think I need intervention on that one!

Hope you all had a safe, festive new year, and I look forward to another fun year of blogging!

33 comments:

Alice Teh said...

Ahhhh... the last one on commenting on every post is a hard one to do. I know how it is because I tend to comment on every single post I see.

All the best in your goals, Sandy! I think we share similar ones. I am also focusing more on fitness and the 100 mile challenge is definitely timely. I'm glad we're doing this together!

Here's to a spectacular 2010 for all of us! CHEERS!

Susan said...

Well, the commenting thing is something that drives me crazy! I love commenting on everyone's blogs, but sometimes I just don't feel it, you know? Does it hurt your feelings when I don't comment on every one of yours, Sandy? Because I don't mean anything by it. You know I love you. I do look at every one of them, but if it's a book that I know I'm never going to read, then I'm probably not going to say anything. Or I'm just really busy and only have time to take a look. I'm not quite sure how I could ever possibly be busier than you, but I'm older so I'm using that as my excuse! :)

So, if you don't feel like commenting on my posts sometimes, I won't hold it against you! :) But I have missed you the few times that you haven't been there! Could I BE more ambiguous? Or do I mean ambivalent? I always get those two mixed up! LOL

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

You have a great list of accomplishments. I agree that you have a healthy mix already. Just keep it coming!

Kaye said...

I think you have had an amazing year blog wise. The Rebecca discussion was fun. All your pics from Poland were so interesting.

Just keep it coming, kiddo.

have a great week and happy reading.

Book Dilettante said...

The Blogger Fitness Challenge sounds great! Happy New Year!

bermudaonion said...

We love your comments so much because they are so thoughtful!

I haven't set any blogging goals because I really don't know what to do - I think blogs just evolve naturally. Good luck with your goals.

Molly said...

I think your blog is just great the way it is --- and I love all your blogging ideas for 2010. I too would love to learn how to set up tabs for easy reference (right now I just have links in my header)... and I would love to have more discussion starters as well (although I am not terribly creative in this way).

I am so glad I found your blog in 2009, and I look forward to following all your posts in the years to come :)

Beth F said...

I love your blog -- you have a great balance of posts. Commenting . . . I love commenting and getting comments, but yes it takes time. I promise I won't think you abandoned me, but don't stay silent too long!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

2010 will be great for you, definitely starting tomorrow with GameOn if not before!

Meghan said...

I need to work on commenting more! Your 2009 was great - hoping for even better for you in 2010!

Lisa said...

You've had a great year!

Amy said...

Happy New Year, Sandy! I am glad to read that you had a pretty good 2009! I love your positive outlook and happoy personality. I very much enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your posts every day. Thank you for your support and friendship as I move into the second half of my first blogging year!
I understand how you feel the need to eat healthier and try to live a little healthier. Being about the same age as you, I feel the same way. And living a basically sedentary lifestyle makes living healthier a bit of a challenge. So, please, walk a few blocks for me this year! LOL

I cannot wait for your reviews on "Fingersmith" and the Haruki Murakami book you are reading now. I am planning to read - I should say, hoping! - to read both this year!

Happy New Year to you and your family, Sandy!

JoAnn said...

What a year, Sandy! Happy 2010...

April said...

It looks like you've had an awesome year :-)
180 miles is definitely something to take great pride in. Here's to many more miles to go :-)

Also, I do hope you have another readalong as I greatly loved participating in the Rebecca readalong and would love to participate again :-)

Literary Feline said...

Happy new Year to you too, Sandy. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog. You've done a wonderful job with it.

Finding the right balance is something I struggle with constantly. I wish you luck in achieving your goals for this year.

Have a great week, Sandy.

Frances said...

You should be pretty happy about what is going on here, Sandy. You are a marvelous blogger, and I often marvel at what a machine you are, your organizational abilities. With new Netbook in hand, the future looks especially bright. The consummate multi-tasker with new equipment! Happy reading, friend!

Nymeth said...

Sandy, I can barely believe this was your first year of blogging. You are a pro! I suspect that the balance thing doesn't ever quite get easier, but we learn to fret less :P

I loved our interview - not only because it was a lot of fun, but because thanks to it we became blogging friends :D

Gavin said...

What a great list of accomplishments, Sandy! The comment question is hard but something we all struggle with. I know I try and leave comments when I visit my favorite blogs, even if only to say "Hi". Happy 2010!

Carrie K. said...

Happy New Year, Sandy - I hope 2010 is full of blessings for you - both in the real world and in the blogging world. :)

Melody said...

You had an amazing year, Sandy! And I love reading your blog, you're doing so well on it. Keep those posts coming!

Kathleen said...

Your year was amazing Superwoman! I'm with you on the fitness thing. I'm almost 47 now and it is time for me to get my extra 20 pounds off! Too much good food and wine has done me in!

ds said...

Sandy, you have had a fantastic year, and I'm impressed by the goals you have set for 2010! You ARE a pro! (I'd like to put tabs--or the equivalent on my blog too, but am way too technologically challenged)
As for comments, you are one of the best out there, and it is wonderful to know you have visited--you always leave a smile behind!
But you can't be everywhere at once (though I think if anyone could, it would be you)...I know there are times when I long to leave a message at someone's blog but can't find the words, and sometimes there are discussions that are simply beyond me. I think we all just do the best we can.
You set the bar so high for yourself--and you reach it every time. I am awed by that!
Best of everything to you in this new year--I'm excited to learn about all of your new adventures, literary and otherwise!!

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Happy New Year, Sandy! I've loved reading your posts (and yes, I'm the one who needs to comment more!) throughout the year and love your reading tastes. Thanks for taking us on the Wuthering Heights and Rebecca adventures this past year....I hope you try more of those in 2010....I'll be right there with you!

Ti said...

Commenting is hard sometimes. I was away for the weekend and had 160 posts to read upon my return. I cannot comment on all posts, but I do try to visit blogs that I love regularly and post something meaningful (that is, if my brain is functioning on more than 2 hours of sleep).

Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

It is no wonder you won commenter of the year when you comment on every single post you read! There is no way I could manage that. I don't think anyone would mind you commenting a little less - we love you however ofen you decide to comment.

Good luck with the rest of your goals - I hope you have a fantastic 2010!

Iliana said...

Hee,hee... I understand the commenting thing too :)

Happy New Year, Sandy and wishing you a wonderful reading year ahead. Hope you reach your goals!

The Bumbles said...

Keep up the variety in your reading - your reviews always convince me to pick up something I'd normally overlook.

I'll give you a commenting challenge - skip commenting on our blog for a period of a week - just read the posts, don't comment. Use us as your practice to discover that you don't have to comment on everything and actually survive! Then maybe you will be able to peruse blogs without feeling so guilty. We love your comments - but don't want you to burn out!

Serena said...

I hope that you meet all your goals in 2010, though I know you will!

I love commenting too, but its been harder as more book blogs rise up!

Zibilee said...

It sounds as though you've had a wonderful year, and I hope that you continue to be happy and healthy in the New Year as well! I also know what you mean about the commenting on every post I see..I just can't seem to stop myself sometimes! I am glad to have met you this year, and to have discovered your wonderful blog. I look forward to spending some more time here in the upcoming year.

mattviews said...

Commenting can be very time-consuming business. I try to read all the blogs on my list but only manage to comment on a few. I think bloggers understand that we're all on a time budget. But I do have to congratulate you on being one of the most interactive and thoughtful new blogger in the past year! :) I'll continue to host read-alongs and have to come up with some book ideas.

Melissa - Shhh I'm Reading said...

You do such a wonderful job with commenting! It can be time consuming though.

I need to get back to writing reviews as soon as I finish a book and scheduling them. The procrastinator in me has taken over and I can't seem to get any scheduled, but it does make things much more relaxed!

Thanks for your support and prayers on my review today, and I will be sure to keep you updated!

Anna said...

You accomplished so much in one year. Congrats! Wishing you all the best in the new year.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Trish said...

I found myself commenting on every post I read, finally burned out, and haven't blogged in two months. Just the thought of coming back to that pressure sends me into hiding again. Isn't that sad? When did blogging become such a chore? I've told myself that I can come back when it doesn't feel like a chore anymore but it's hard to ignore that compulsive feeling to comment on everything (I've always thought--if people don't leave comments, how do they know we're listening?). Woops, sorry for the mini-rant. :)