January 2017 ~ Out With The Old, In With The New !

Inspired by O and Cirtnecce’smonthly posts, I’ve decided to try to follow their most excellent examples and join in the monthly fun.  Not only will these posts hopefully focus me on my reads, but also provide a general journal of the year’s happenings.  I truly hope 2017 will be a better year for all.

January not only brings us out of the holidays, but brings me to the realization that not only has the year hardly begun, but I’ve overcommitted myself in my reading commitments once again.  I’m beginning to read the histories with Ruth at A Great Book Study after we finished our Biographies project in 2016, starting with Herodotus’ The Histories; I’m trying to make my way through Anthony Trollope’s The Barset Chronicles— after spending two years on Framley Parsonage, I’ll be starting A Small House at Allington; I’m reading Don Quixote with Bookstooge; Dr Zhivago with a Goodreads group, O’s The Pickwick Papers read-along, and have been invited to be part of a Goodreads project to read through the Church Fathers starting with Clement I.  Add to these reads, yearly challenges: the Back to the Classics Challenge, a Russian Literature Challenge; the Deal Me In Challenge, not to mention my continuing Shakespeare Project, Great Ideas Project, and C.S. Lewis Project and I can be called insane.  Perhaps Don Quixote has affected me more than I wish to admit.


Madonna of the Book (1479)
Sandro Botticelli
source Wikiart

And since January is a month of new beginnings and resolutions, what would I like to see in 2017?  Personally, a more settled world would bring me great joy.  Does that sound ridiculous, like asking for world peace and an end to hunger?  Not really, especially if I see my wish as a journey rather than a destination.  Because really, change begins with people, and it can begin with one person: yourself.  So I’m going to strive to have more patience with what I see as stupidity and instead, try to see each person as someone who is simply at a different stage in their journey and attempt to be a good example.   On a less altruistic level, I would like to continue losing weight. I lost 22 lbs since the end of August and if I could lose another 20+ I would be thrilled; not probably a realistic goal as that might leave me too thin, but if I aim for it, hopefully I’ll meet a happy medium.  I also have plans to take up cross-country skiing!  I’ve always wanted to do kayaking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter, and the beautiful area where we live has plenty of opportunities for both.  I began this resolution a little early, last week in fact, and had a wonderfully exciting time, skiing for 4 hours, climbing up and whooshing down hills.  I can’t wait to return to the ski hill.  We’re in the middle of blizzard-like conditions so I don’t think a lack of snow will be a problem this year!

Skiers (1886)
Frits Thaulow
source Wikiart

Without dwelling too much on the pessimistic, 2016 really stunk as a year, but I have high hopes that 2017 will bring more peace and contentment even within the sometimes whirlwind that we call life.  Focusing on friends, reading and all the things that I’m thankful for, will hopefully help usher in a new improved year!  Wishing everyone all the best for 2017!

                                                               February 2017 ⇒


0 thoughts on “January 2017 ~ Out With The Old, In With The New !

  1. Ha. Overcommitted already. That made me chuckle.

    And great job on the weight loss. I joined weight watchers as my endocrinologist let me know that I was getting a bit heavy and for my diabetes I needed to lose some. So I am much more conscious of that type of thing in others now. Hope it continues to work well for you.

    And don't worry about Quixote. You really don't need yet another thing to be on your shoulders 🙂

  2. I just wrote a long comment on your post…..it seems to have disappeared! Rats! Well, what I said was how happy I am to read your 1st blogpost 2017 that is brimming with enthusiasm. You're moving and swishing in the snow. You're reading and posting on the blog. You're embracing all that is on you to-read-list with gusto! Looking forward to you monthly musings and hope you all the best in 2017!

  3. A most excellent post! Congrats on the weight loss and best wishes for active, healthy lifestyle to keep it going. I haven't xcountry skied in a long time, but it's an excellent winter activity.

    I hope you like Small House at Allington–I'm looking forward to finishing up Trollope's Barsetshire novel series, so I can start them all over again!

    I'm a devotee of Mr. Pickwick, so I hope you enjoy his company and adventures as well.

    Happy reading in 2017!

  4. Happy 2017, Cleo! That is so neat you started skiing – there's nothing like being out in the snow and forest to make you feel relaxed (even while getting in a workout!). Looking forward to all your reviews, especially of those more intimidating works (aah, Herodotus). It's going to be a great year of reading! 🙂

  5. congrats on the weight loss; i know how hard it is: i lost fifty lbs. last year and the only way i could do it was to write down religiously my calories every day… i'm going to have to start again as i have regained about 15… grrr… are these trials given to us to make us wise??? good luck on your complex and extensive 2017 plan!

  6. Happy New Year! Well done on everything you've accomplished so far 🙂

    Patience is something I need to learn – I can be pretty sarcastic at times with stupidity (or, yes, perceived stupidity)!

    Good luck with all your plans 🙂 Looking forward to joining you with a few of them!

  7. I'm so glad that I amuse you …. 😉

    Thanks! I tend to lose weight in the summer and when September hit, I was determined to keep going. I've fallen off the wagon the past couple of weeks, but I eat very well normally so hopefully it's not hard to get on again. I'm more excited to be exercising and fit again. 4 hours of cross country skiing (first time) and not an aching muscle at all. Awesome!

    Oh no, I committed to DQ and I'm going to finish it. I'm actually enjoying myself. Hopefully I can convince you to do one of my read-alongs this year!

  8. Thank you, Jane! 🙂 I was surprised at how much I like skiing. But the copious amounts of snow we've been getting cancelled my skiing plans this weekend. The roads were treacherous yesterday. Hopefully I can make it again next week.

    Have you read The Pallisers series yet? I've heard that it's not as good but I want to start it after I finish Barsetshire.

    Have a great reading year too, Jane, in 2017!

  9. Skiing was lovely, but we went on a day that wasn't busy so I'm not sure how peaceful it will be when we hit crowds. You're right, the workout is amazing.

    I've started your Holmes read without officially committing yet, but it seems doable. And I hadn't realized how much I'd missed Holmes. Fun!

    Happy reading, Marian!

  10. Fifty pounds is excellent! Good for you! I know first-hand all the hard work it takes. As I said above, I've let myself slide too these past few weeks so I'll have to start counting again too. If I exercise, I don't seem to have too many problems but, as you know, it's been a snowfest on the West coast so getting out hasn't been easy for me with icy streets.

    Thanks for the wishes. I'm already excited to be reading in a new year!

  11. Thanks, O!

    Isn't patience difficult to muster sometimes? I've been practicing with one particular friend and doing very well, but I'm not sure if the skill is transferable …. at least it doesn't seem to be transferring well for me. Oh well, just more hard work! 😉

    Thanks and I'm looking forward to more reading buddy moments with you in 2017!

  12. Hopefully I haven't tempted you too much this year! 😉

    There must be a story behind having cross-country skis where it rarely snows …. 😉 We don't get much snow in the city usually (this year is an exception) but you can always find it in the mountains nearby.

  13. I'm sorry you didn't like last year. Was it the election? Or course, you're not American, I forgot. For me 2016 was a roller coaster ride which allowed me to increase my faith in Christ because boy howdy! Humans are NOT going to save the world.

  14. No, I was disappointed with both candidates, but I'm experienced enough to know that just because a situation looks bleak doesn't mean that it will turn out terribly or that we can't learn something from it. Sadly, we seem to grow in character with adversity much more than in pleasant times, so I tried to look at it as an opportunity. For me, it was more friends going through some very rough times and it made me very sad. I know that God is in it all, but it's hard to watch people you care about suffer. And it was one thing after another which became overwhelming at times. But I did learn to be more patient and trusting, so there were positive aspects to it.

    LOL! No humans are not going to save the world. Our behaviour makes God's love for us absolutely amazing to comprehend even on a human scale. Boy, howdy is right! 😉 I hope you have a great year!

  15. First of all a big congratulations on making through 2016 considering it was a hard year! Second of all you made it through with losing weight! Now that calls for a second round of applause…most of us in times of crisis eat more, and gain more weight and you managed NOT to do that and that calls for like standing ovation! Yes, I agree we all need to have more patience with stupidity, though where am I supposed to dig it out from is a something for me to figure out! Cross Country skiing…very very cool!! Go Cleo!! Finally about over-committing ourselves in our reading projects…well, I think that's a lost cause!! Happy Reading Cleo and best wishes for a much happier and peaceful 2017!

  16. Aw thanks, for being my ever-appreciated cheering section! If you find a place to get the patience for stupidity, please let me know! 😉 I'll hurry there right away! 😉 Life always likes to change up what we're used to, to keep us on our toes and sometimes it's difficult to adjust. I hope life gets better for all my friends in 2017. Yes, I suppose you're right about the overcommitment ….. instead of dwelling on it, it's best to pick up our books and read! As for you, I am so grateful for your friendship and support, not only in reading but in life. All the best to you for this new year! 🙂

  17. Happy new Year Cleo! All the best with everything and I look forward to following your reading adventures in 2017. We could all use a fresh start and you have inspired me to push myself to read and blog more, so, thank you!

  18. Hey Jason, Glad to see that you're back for the end of the year and a start of a new one! I'm thrilled that I could be an inspiration and am looking forward to reading more of your insightful reviews in 2017. Here's to good reading times! 🙂

  19. Your reading plans are, as usual, inspiring. You've got some big ones there! Congrats on losing so much weight! I hope you can reach your goal this year. I lost around 35 pounds from Sep to December and I feel so much better so I can relate to that 🙂

  20. Happy New Year! Cross country skiing is great fun (and exercise). Hope you have lots of opportunities for that. (Do some for me b/c it never snows where I live. I have to stick to walking and rollerblading.)

    Anyway, I don't know how I missed this post, but glad I found it anyway. What is that Goodreads project group (Church Fathers)? That sounds interesting. Just curious if they have a book list.

    P.S. I came here to tell you that I missed out on that The Death of Ivan Ilyich was gone when I went back to the library. So bummed. Oh, well.

  21. Ah, another person inspired! I'm so happy because I always hope that I'm not giving people headaches! LOL! 😉

    Congratulations on your weight loss! That's awesome! I really need to get back to exercising. That's the key for me. If only we could get rid of some of this snow so things weren't so treacherous. It's been such an unusual winter.

  22. We are so lucky here to have mountains and ocean and a rather temperate climate (except with all the snow now, you'd never know it!). There are tons of outdoor activities to do.

    The Goodreads group is reading through the Church Fathers but going at a rather quick pace, so I'm pretty sure I won't be able to keep up. I might choose to read one here and there. They are using 9 volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers so it's a very large task. The group is here if you want to take a look: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/205891-reading-the-church-fathers There are some excellent theological minds to glean thoughts from though. I particularly enjoy Kerstin's comments.

    Well, at least if it's a library book it will come around again and the wait will just enhance the anticipation. I'm sure you have enough to keep you busy until then, right? (I'm thinking of that big volume of Herodotus' observations. 😉 )

  23. Thanks, I'll check out the link.

    The copy I was looking for at the library was used and for sale. It was there for a long time. But then when I finally decided that I wanted it, someone else obviously bought it.

  24. "I can be called insane. Perhaps Don Quixote has affected me more than I wish to admit."

    Hahahah! Count me in too! I won't be doing this monthly, but I will outline my goals for the entire year ahead of me very soon on my own blog (and then I'll be back from my hiatus!). Stay tuned…

    "I'm going to strive to have more patience with what I see as stupidity and instead, try to see each person as someone who is simply at a different stage in their journey and attempt to be a good example."

    I LOVE this. I subscribe to the Headspace meditation app and I've recently started on the "Patience" meditation pack. I believe patience truly is a virtue, and all of us can always use a little more.

    I cannot wait to see how you progress in your reading goals, as well as your athletic goals. And congrats on losing 22 pounds!! That's quite the accomplishment. I believe you should reward yourself with a new book… ;-D

  25. I'm glad that you're back! New plans?! That's so exciting! I'm looking forward to reading about them.

    Ah, patience is very hard to cultivate. It's a constant effort.

    I spent 4 ½ ice skating (and playing hockey) on a frozen pond yesterday, which was sooooooo much fun! With exercise and moderate eating hopefully the weight will continue to come off. Thanks for the congratulations! 🙂

  26. Well, when I say just a little too far south, I mean only about 25 miles! And the coincidence of the best skiing days also being work days. 🙂 We sometimes (maybe once or twice a year) get enough snow that I could go to the park within walking distance of home, but for the most part it's driving a bit further north.

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!