I had a meeting with a library vendor this week and she mentioned visiting my online portfolio. Despite being the owner, maker, and updater of said portfolio, it took me by surprise that someone actually Googled me.
I don't know why that surprised me. I created the portfolio specifically with the intent that people could find out more about me and see examples of my work. I often submit professional speaking and writing proposals, and having a portfolio can be useful to link to. Plus, I use it as a platform to blog and track my reading.
I'm an elder millennial (one of the Oregon Trail generation) whose had a blog since the early days of LiveJournal. But I can still clearly remember what it was like in the "before internet" times. I have no problem sharing online but I never think of myself as someone people actively look for. Heck, my newsletter only has 150 subscribers. I write it for myself but I love sharing things and going, "Hey! You might think this is interesting, too."
I think what I'm trying to say is that there is the "live" me and then there is the "me who happens to be online." I'm the same person, and yet I view these as two different things. There's this weird online extension of myself that I forget about when I close my laptop. But that online presence is always there and other people can access it whenever they want.
I am genuinely curious about how you view your online self. Have you Googled yourself? What do you do when you find out that people actually read/view/listen to your online presence? Do you actively curate your online presence or just let things happen?
This cold of mine is lingering but I am getting a little better each day. This was the sickest I've been in years and I am grateful that such occasions are rare. I am even more grateful that I can breath through my nose again. *deep inhale*
Here's what else was good in my week.
I started keeping a TBR list some time ago. I'm not exactly sure when it started, but the need to remember what I wanted to read finally outgrew my brain and landed on paper.
From a paper list, I moved to an Excel file, then a Google sheet, and, now, a Pinterest board. (Technically, two boards: one for personal reads and one for professional reads.)
Between these two boards, I easily have over 500 books on my TBR list. One of the reasons I moved from a Google sheet to Pinterest is because I didn't want to actually know how long my TBR list was. (Plus, it's easier to pick which book I want to read next when I can look at the pretty covers.)
On average, I read about 50 books a year. It would take me over 10 years just to get through what is currently on my lists. That means a decade of never adding new titles and only reading what I've found so far.
Not going to happen.
The joy of the TBR list is that it's aspirational. I know that I am never going to read everything on there. I know that every time I add a new book, it makes it far less likely that I will read a book that has been on the list for months or even years.
My TBR list is not something I ever want to "finish." If I finish it, it means that I've stopped coming across books that look interesting. It means that I've stopped exploring new topics, ideas, and stories. It means that I stopped caring about learning and experiencing things.
I don't ever want that to happen.
My TBR list is a living extension of what I find interesting. When I scroll back through it to find my next read, I love seeing the clusters where I binged on one topic, idea, or author. I love that it shows my evolution as both a reader and a person.
My TBR is a reflection of who I am and, while I do prune titles occasionally, I hope my list forever grows.
Short list this week. My attention has been almost entirely on recovering from whatever illness has laid me low the past week.
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story
edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake Silverstein
I listened to The 1619 Project podcast when it came out in 2020. It was one of the best pieces of history, analysis, and journalism I have ever encountered. (If you have not listened to it, I give it a 5-star recommendation.)
Since then, I have paid closer attention to Nikole Hannah-Jones’ work. Last week, my library request for the book based on the project was finally fulfilled. t’s a mix of essays, poetry, fiction, and photographs. This is not going to be an easy read, but it is a great piece of analysis and art.
Between being sick, having the kiddo home more than usual, and general busyness, I did not do too much beyond the basics of living this week. This is going to be a short post.
In the spirit of expanding this petite Wrap, what was the best thing you read, listened to, or watched this week?
Our kiddo needs to get (yet another) COVID test today. She's congested and has a touch of a runny nose. In this era, that means no childcare.
Luckily for us, her school was already closed today and Monday. Whatever crud she has, she gave to me - and I've rapid tested negative twice. I'm thankful that, this time around, her symptoms shouldn't interrupt our access to daycare.
Here's what else was good in my week:
I am writing this post much later than usual because today was just one of those days. A project took longer than I thought it would, there was an unexpected meeting, one of the websites I use to make things was not working, and the toddler got all yelly.
I am now watching the Olympics and enjoying a beer because I am very glad this day is almost over.
Here's what has my attention at the moment:
As I write this, I am sitting on a rather comfy couch in a house we rented for the weekend. Normally, we rent a huge house in this area with a bunch of our friends. Due to COVID, that hasn't happened for two years. This year, we decided to get out of town as a trio. Just the husband, the kiddo, and me.
In front of me is a large, plate glass window that looks out over an inlet of a lake. There are a bunch of other houses below and I can see smoke lazily drifting up from chimneys. The kiddo just went down for her nap, and the husband is on a run to grab more firewood. For the moment, it's just me sitting alone in the living room.
There are no city sounds outside. I can't hear the neighbors. I haven't heard a car drive by in hours. It's an overcast day and, while I can see birds flying around, they're not calling out. It's the closest thing I've heard to silence in a long time.
When I'm alone, I normally default to listening to podcasts or watching TV. I always feel like I have to "catch up." Not this time. I'm enjoying a serene silence that is oddly comforting. It feels like the world has hit pause. The only obvious passage of time are the cloud shadows drifting across the ground outside.
I know this respite is only temporary, but I am going to soak in it for as long as I can.
When was the last time you sat in silence?
This post is going up much later than usual because we are out of town. The husband wanted a change of scenery, so we rented a house at our usual winter haunt a few hours away. We grabbed the kiddo from daycare and hit the road just after lunch. It was a smooth drive and, for the most part, kiddo was in a good mood.
Here's what else was good in my week: