Goals Habits life

So many great thoughts!

April 28, 2022

SO many great ideas, thoughts, and words of support (thank you, as always!) in yesterday’s comments.

I definitely agree that some of my ‘complaints’ stem from unrealistic expectations vs reality, often fueled by comparison (other people’s book lists, calm and zen-sounding bedtime routines, etc). This is something to continue working on, yet I think there are useful nuggets I can apply directly to my own situation as well.

Things to try, reading-related:

Better use of the library

Check out some ‘fun’ book lists (like this one recommended — ooh I spy one of Laura‘s titles in there, plus Cheaper By The Dozen which I read approximately 2983753 times as a kid/tween and What Alice Forgot, my favorite Liane Moriarty. So it’s got to be a legit list!)

ABANDON more books. I have to start doing this more. It absolutely goes against my nature. But I should try it anyway.

Not caring so much if it’s an off year/season/whatever for reading!

Things to try, bedtime-related:

Blackout shades (YES)

Bribery/rewards (have had mixed success with this, but also YES)

Different audio solutions (kids’ podcasts, audiobooks, etc). We have been using Headspace Sleep Stories (the kids’ Sesame Street ones) for Genevieve. Sometimes they work. She does like them.

More acceptance and realization that this might be a season . . .

Hiring/consulting experts — this was interesting timing because Dr. Becky’s paid parenting network subscription just opened up; I am considering giving it a try (though I was also considering Denaye’s Network — in part just to see how these network things work as it was something I was considering for BLP!).

Today is a bit of a catch-my-breath day (YES) and then the virtual conference begins this afternoon. I am, of course, EXCITED FOR A NEW MONTH!

(I am contemplating breaking into a different planner that I have laying around just for the thrill and mindset shift. BUT WHICH ONE is the question . . .)

I will end with more Floridian splendor:

don’t worry, it was in an enclosure.


  • Reply Amanda April 28, 2022 at 9:22 am

    As your friend, I share this observation with kindness…you embrace the idea of breaking into new planners when you need a change, yet you believe that abandoning books is against your nature. What’s the difference? 😉

    I am an upholder, too, and I embrace DNF-ing a book, especially when I get a large stack from the library. Since I realize I won’t have time to read all of them, if I’m not into it, I’m onto the next one. I want to be excited to read and not meh about a book. Just because it gets a lot of buzz doesn’t mean it’s for me.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2022 at 10:26 am

      My perceived difference is that a book just *might* get good or feel worthwhile even if i’m not enjoying in the moment 🙂 A planner I sort of know what is coming . . .

      all the same I totally get what you’re saying!!!

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 28, 2022 at 9:52 am

    The fun book list link isn’t working for me! I love looking at book lists, even though my TBR is already plenty lengthy!! 😛

    I love Amanda’s reflection above! I used to never DNF a book but after years of listening to Anne Bogel’s podcast and reading her blog, I’ve given myself permission to abandon books. I rarely find that I am glad I slogged through a book that wasn’t working for me. I think the author would rather we not suffer through a book? Or maybe that is just the spin I am putting on DNF’ing! I am totally slogging through a book right now (Matrix by Lauren Groff) but it’s a book club book and I really try to read them so I can be part of the discussion. But boy will I be glad when I’m done with the book.

    It was cathartic to read through the comments and hear about how many struggle with bedtime. Last night I was wondering if this was an issue with my parents or the result of more ‘hands on’ parenting? I can’t imagine my parents sitting in a chair in my room for 45-60+ minutes while I fell asleep! If you end up joining the Dr Becky community, I’d love to hear what you think. I’m debating doing a brief membership because the cost of a couple of months is < what we paid for one course and we found that course (managing meltdowns/emotional regulation) really effective and we are still using tools we learned during the course.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2022 at 10:10 am

      hahahah just slogged through that. i actually liked it DESPITE it being a slog! and i will work on the link!

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 28, 2022 at 11:18 am

        The host that picked Matrix also said it was hard for her to get into but that she liked it. I’m at about 75% and still feel pretty meh about it so I think it will end up being a low-rated book for me… I really liked Fates & Furies so had high hopes for this book! I went to see if any goodreads friends had read it. One had and she gave it 5 stars! It’s so fascinating how differently people can feel about a book!

        Thanks for fixing the link!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2022 at 10:12 am

      fixed and it’s here: https://everyday-reading.com/great-books/

    • Reply Amanda April 28, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      As a newer mom I’ve had this thought too. I’m pretty sure by the time I was 7 or 8 I just brushed my teeth and went to bed by myself, without my parents being involved. I can promise they did not use a “strategy” to make this happen, other than probably mild neglect lol. I think my “bedtime” was probably way too late, I had lots of cavities as a kid, and I’d like to be more nurturing to my kids than my parents were. But, I’d like to not still have bedtime battles 3 or 4 years from now…

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2022 at 2:10 pm

        my kids have cavities anyway . . . I am actually in the process of upgrading to electric toothbrushes! I do think cavities are also somewhat genetic (I and the kids have something the dentists call “deep grooves” which apparently is bad).

        • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 28, 2022 at 3:22 pm

          I have a lot of cavities, too, and I do think genetics plays a part! But I will show our 4yo my cavities and say – is this what you want – when I am telling him we need to thoroughly brush his teeth. At 4, I am still brushing his. This will backfire when/if he gets a cavity. My husband does not have a single cavity so I’m hoping our kids get his genetics!

          @ Amanda, I also want to be more nurturing/hands on AND not have awful bedtimes. I will say our bedtimes were mostly great until we went on a trip in Feb and shared a room with our son. He is a more anxious kid so I stayed in the room until he fell asleep and he then realized he could demand this going forward… Le sigh.

          • Amanda April 28, 2022 at 7:12 pm

            I trace our current bedtime battles back to a trip as well, plus then transitioning to a toddler bed… it is frustrating but I also want to give her what she needs so agree, le sigh. Just hoping it won’t be an issue when she is older, but after listening to/reading lots of mom blogs and podcasts I’m learning that laying on the floor seems to be in my future for years to come lol.

        • Reply Lara April 28, 2022 at 8:58 pm

          I have one kiddo with a history of MANY cavities and another with none. And the no cavity kiddo eats more sweets (she is in food allergy desensitization program which has involved 4 years of “dosing” nuts in chocolate and gummies.) so yes, genetic…

  • Reply Elisabeth April 28, 2022 at 11:08 am

    I have started to abandon more books. I ALWAYS feel FOMO, but…if it’s not good by 1/3 of the way through, I just have to move on. But a few times lately, I’ve only made it into the first few chapters before I can just tell the tone/pace isn’t the right fit for me. But it always makes me feel bad…I’m just getting better at forcing myself to live with the guilt/worry I’m missing some great life truth or perfect fiction by moving on.

    A friend just hired a sleep consultant and said it was life changing! Good luck!!

  • Reply Omdg April 28, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    Your days are so long and intense, Sarah. I remember finding bedtime to be torture during residency for my one easy child because all I wanted to do at that point was pass out in my own bed. I can’t imagine doing this with three of them. You don’t work resident shifts anymore, but you are still very busy. Maybe a sleep coach would help, but maybe this is a season. Both things can be true.

    I have such a hard time making myself read. Right before bed is usually when I spend time with my daughter and I usually just want to go straight to bed. If I read more then, I would spend less time talking with her, and I don’t want to do that. So the result is less reading. I’ve decided not to stress about it, but it’s not always easy to set those feelings aside.

  • Reply Jenny April 28, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    I used to be like you with regard to finishing books. When I was in library school, a professor introduced the class to Nancy Pearl’s “Rule of 50” and I’ve used it ever since. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/books-and-media/nancy-pearls-rule-of-50-for-dropping-a-bad-book/article565170/

    I also really liked this person’s method of writing down WHY they dropped a book. I think just the act of saying out loud why you’re not enjoying a book or it’s not working for you right now is really powerful in reinforcing the decision to move on guilt-free. https://lplks.org/blogs/post/nancy-pearls-rule-of-50-and-the-books-i-did-not-finish/

    • Reply Elizabeth April 29, 2022 at 1:26 am

      This is a great framework for deciding when to abandon a book. I love it! As a fellow upholder, I, too, used to never abandon books, but my reading life really took off when I gave myself permission to. Sometimes I do return to a book later and enjoy it—stopping reading doesn’t mean it’s not a book for you, just that it isn’t the book for you RIGHT NOW. I can’t recommend highly enough quitting a book if you’re not reaching for it, especially after 50 pages. It’s been life changing for me.

  • Reply Stephanie Gilligan April 28, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    This might be more of BLP question… but when you switch planners to try something new, do you transfer dates for the whole remainder of the year? I use a combo of paper and electronic, but I definitely write things down that are months away. This seems very tedious and I would be afraid of something getting lost in the shuffle. But maybe you enjoy it as part of the planning/review process??

    Just curious how this works!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 28, 2022 at 4:50 pm

      You are correct – it’s like the most fun zen activity for me 🙂 I totally agree it’s a lot to transfer but I truly enjoy doing it, with Amanda’s Favorites or a great podcast in the background!

  • Reply coco April 29, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    I’ve also started to abandon more books… life is too short! very hard for me, but I’m doing it more 🙂 And fully agree to be kind/less demanding of our attention during busy season.

  • Leave a Reply

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