I’ve just started reading another memoir, after having already completed three since the beginning of the year.

I love books, I always have. But I had somehow fallen entirely out of the habit of reading for pleasure on a consistent basis. As a teacher, I read daily by way of necessity. This is a very different gesture than crawling into a good story by choice.

Last spring, newly quarantined and in need of a screen-free distraction, I picked up a book that had nothing to do with Waldorf education. For years, I would only allow myself this indulgence during the summer because at some point, I’d developed this false idea that I must always be studying during the school year. That meant curricular reading only from September-June. The first week of summer vacation was always celebrated with a work of fiction, preferably something spectacular. A Pulitzer Prize wining novel usually fit the bill, and I’d eagerly anticipate that first morning when I could wake up, sip my coffee, and leisurely pore over every masterfully crafted word

By abolishing the arbitrary parameters I had established around what I would permit myself to read (and when), I inadvertently gave myself permission to begin reexamining all of my idiosyncratic habits and rituals and decide whether or not adherence serves my best interest. In the instance of reading, for example, I discovered that the inspiration I derive from devouring books of all genres is a far more potent supplement to my work than restricting my literary diet.

Also, full disclosure, I discovered the ability to check out audiobooks from my library through an app on my phone and literally my new favorite thing in life is listening to books read by their author. (A girl can dream.)

I mentioned before how setting a goal on goodreads gave me something to work toward when there wasn’t much else happening. My plate is decidedly more full now than it was then, but I’ve still upped the ante on this year’s challenge because I believe in capitalizing on strong momentum.