Dear Cassie,

I guess I should be one to talk – most of the time I feel that I don’t read enough because I don’t; Life always gets in the way. Most people refer to this as “making up excuses,” but sometimes, you just really don’t have time to do anything! I guess when you start living with a significant other, whether it’s your boy/girlfriend, husband/wife, responsibilities begin to pile on top of each other and more often than not, we get overwhelmed.

I started taking steps to balance out my life so that I can have time to do things that I want and to make me happy. And it’s about time I did so too! Last year, I read a total of 1 book! How jawdroppingly sad! I’ve also noticed that I have gained a lot of weight over the years because again, when I’m done with work, there’s always grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, folding laundry, feeding, cleaning and taking care of our cats. There’s always something to do, right? Because what normal guy likes to do any of that stuff? So I’m the lucky one with all errands being mine. Yippie!!

Luckily, bullet journaling is becoming a fad, and I decided to pick up on it. Of course, mine isn’t all fancy schmancy like many of the users on Instagram or Pinterest have been able to make it out to be – but, it’s helping me keep organized. I have one for my daily things and reminders (i.e., read for 30 mins, lunch with friends, etc.), and I also keep one for daily/weekly/monthly cleaning tasks. This way, I don’t overwhelm myself with trying to clean everything at once and end up taking a nap instead. Because, we’ve all been there before, right?

Sure, there are days where I remind myself to read for 30 minutes, and it ends up not getting done. I’m still trying to build up this routine, but having made progress is better than not. Thanks to the super cool photo you submitted to the Book of the Month (BOTM) contest, it inspired me to join and be able to read some more. After all, other people’s stories, be it fiction, nonfiction, noir, sci-fi, fantasy, whatever it may be – takes us out of our own reality for just a small amount of time and lets us enter a different realm, another world and drop our day-to-day worries. What better way do we have of experiencing someone else’s adventures? And, that’s what inspires writers to write I think. We enjoy the beauty of language being put together to be able to tell a story, that we want to do the same and share ours with the world. I don’t think it’s the fame that comes with becoming an author, or the fortunes, hence there’s the all but too familiar term the starving artist.

Currently, I’m reading your copy of Lab Girl that you so generously lent me. A book I would have never picked up on my own, but glad I began to read it. Today, my first month’s order from BOTM shipped from New York! Hopefully I can finish reading Lab Girl and get started on my new book as soon as it arrives. I chose Since we Fell by Dennis Lehane. Should be a nice, interesting read. Seems to be a book that’s outside of my comfort zone, but that’s what I have been wanting to do for a while now – to expand my horizons in reading. I usually enjoy reading Memoirs, Paranormal (NOT Twilight), Fantasy, Young Adult/Teen Fiction books. What about you?

Once I get my reading schedule rolling, I will work on my workout routine next.