Reading Work

5 on a Friday: call edition

February 7, 2020

1- Content creation. Okay wow — thanks for the love and I promise I have no plans to sell out. I had a moment of self-doubt while listening to someone else, I guess. It’s hard not to compare sometimes! Or to be jealous when some people have made their blogs into their main (well-paying!) job. But I already have one of those and it actually is pretty great most of the time. So, yeah. I will remember what my goals are and keep doing what I’m doing.

Notably, my favorite blogs are all ‘life story’ blogs too. The most raw and honest, the better! The less SEO, the better! And somehow I feel fine about blog/podcast ads (like you see in the sidebar) but true sponsored content gives me the creeps.

(THOUGH I have thought about becoming an affiliate for products that I already love/enjoy. Hobonichi unfortunately doesn’t have a program though!)

2- Books read in January:

Well, I’m late on this! But here you go:

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by Ryan Stradal – enjoyed this novel about multigenerational family and breweries/beer and women. There is something about this author’s midwestern vibe (and apparent love for the region) that I dig. Reminds me of Fredrik Bachman, but less serious.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I am still haunted by this dystopian book (read at a bad/good time because of the recent 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak). I enjoyed it very much. But I still am torn over whether I’m glad to have read it.

Celine by Peter Heller. Interestingly this book felt quieter as I read it, but in retrospect was probably my favorite of the 3! (Though honestly, ALL were good). Celine is an aging private investigator who is witty and charming, but with a troubled past. This book is filled with gorgeous natural scenes, a mystery, and very compelling characters. I like it even more in retrospect.

That’s it! Apparently I was much faster reading my novels than my non-fic in January. Likely 2 NF titles will appear in my Feb list, though.

Look at that juicy treat on top waiting to be read!!!

3- January financial tidbits:

I started to make a pie graph, but that got to me more cumbersome than I have time for this morning! Perhaps that is something I will share in my newsletter.

Gross income saved: 15.6%. (About half of this pre-tax $, half of it post-tax $). This DOES NOT count 529 savings, emergency fund savings, or “savings for future purchases” types of things including boring things (disability insurance, camp or preschool tuition) or fun things (vacations).

Gross income outright SPENT and gone forever: 41%.

Fascinating! WHY HAVE I NEVER LOOKED AT THIS STUFF BEFORE!?!? I think Feb will be better and closer to the 20% goal because our 457 deductions will begin and I won’t be earmarking quite as much towards our emergency fund and other future purchases.

4- Podcast episode: Monday Hour One from The Life Coach School Podcast. Her planning methods sound a lot like mine.

5- Blog posts:

Ana’s Jan & Feb goals. Because I love reading other people’s goals and aspirational lists!

1500 Days to Freedom: Happiness isn’t about experiences either. I am not sure I entirely agree, but it was an interesting take.


Hours worked: 9:15 am – 7:00 pm – 40 min for lunch = 9 hours. The last 2 of that was running a residency recruitment event, not due to call. But it was still work! 0 new consults, 4 outpatients, 4 follow ups (2 that required long discussions w/ families).

Calls overnight: ZERO!!! OMG, what a great night! I feel rested.

Grade: B. I did fine but feel I did more complaining than was necessary about some things (mostly how our healthcare system works). WHY COMPLAIN SO DAMN MUCH? It doesn’t accomplish anything.


  • Reply Amanda February 7, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Books for February: “juicy treat” indeed! Awesome that you scored an early copy of Kimmery Martin’s new book. I have it in my library queue.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns February 7, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I agree with the other commenters – keep doing what you are doing. I know some blogs, like Cup of Jo, have to do sponsored content to pay their staff. But I’m not as big of a fan of that style of posts and often don’t read them or comment on them. I think affiliate links are a good idea to boost your revenue a bit. But maybe this is a place that is just for your enjoyment and doesn’t have to be about generating income?

    I love J. Ryan Stradal so much! I’m Minnesotan so especially love him since he features my state in his books. I live in Minneapolis and he tends to feature small town life so it’s very different from life in a big city – but the personality and tendencies of the characters are spot-on for what it’s like to be a Midwesterner! I heard him interviewed on a book podcast last fall and he talked about how he likes to feature characters who can be kind of ‘unseen’ in society – like nursing home employees. I think he said his grandma worked at a nursing home and they went to visit her and the residents every week and really got to know the residents. I thought that was an endearing story!

  • Reply Beth February 7, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    I think the whole blog economy is interesting. Personally I don’t like sponsored posts much so I never do them. I just put in Amazon affiliate links to items I like. I definitely try to keyword my posts because I really like writing those helpful/how to posts and want to get them in front of people! But as a blog reader, I really enjoy the day in the life type posts like yours (with some helpful ideas/tidbits thrown in)!

  • Reply Ana February 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm

    Yay for no calls, thanks for the shout out, and I just put “lager queen” on my library list! Also, I heard the “Monday Hour” thing & I do plan the same way, put on not upholder enough to actually FOLLOW IT every week! Things move around often.

  • Reply Kami Leishman February 7, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I am a new reader, found you through your podcast and I just have to say I love your blog so much! I enjoy reading it as is, much more than sponsored blogs!

  • Reply Shelly February 9, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I also love your current format! As a mom juggling work with many hats and kids I love the day to day details. My book club picked Station Eleven for this month and it is not a good choice with the corona virus. Especially when you have a kid that has virally induced asthma and flu season can already be stressful.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 9, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      NOOOO! Don’t read it!!!

  • Reply Elisabeth February 10, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    I hear ya on the complaining thing…I’d love for you to chat a bit more about your personality type. I know you’ve had some hormonal issues that are largely getting balanced out, but what do you do in terms of the managing anxiety/stress that seems to come along with being a Type-A, organized individual. I’m really finding it hard to balance feeling motivated by crossing things off a to-do list with being okay when it doesn’t happen.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger February 11, 2020 at 5:45 am

      Definitely an Upholder, and an enneagram 3 (though some leanings towards 1) if that tells you anything 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.