Over the past year and a half little Abe and I kept track of all the books we read together in a book log from our local library. The log was supplied through a program called "1000 Books Before Kindergarten." I love reading to him (even though it takes carving out time to do). He loves books, discovering new books, and re-reading over, and over, and over all of his favorites. The book log was a fun exercise for many reasons but I really believe that keeping track of the books we read encouraged us to read more often.
I picked up a little journal from the dollar store after the "1000 books" log was filled. So I'm still recording all the books we read together. Some days we read upwards of ten. Some days we only read one story, a book before bed. I record each chapter we read from any chapter book as a single book since reading a single chapter takes considerably longer than reading a child's picture book.
On days that we've read only one or two books I always feel like such a slacker. Somewhere in the back of my mind I feel like we should be reading books all day long. I'm not sure how my mind sees that as a possibility since I do work, have to take care of our home, make meals, schedule play times for little Abe with friends, make sure he gets outside to play, let him watch television while he plays with toys, ect; Yeah, unrealistic mind of mine reading books all day long makes perfect sense!
While that little voice in the back of my mind is telling me that I've dropped the ball and we aren't reading nearly as much as we should our book log tells me that we've read 156 books in the past month. That averages out to almost 2000 books (or chapters read) in a year. Okay, so here's what I have to say to the unrealistic voice in my head saying "we need to be reading all the time," little voice, "We are rocking it. 156 books read in a month is better than 100, or 50, or 10, and I'll take it! I'll take it and I'm proud of it."
This past year, while I've dropped the ball in recording the daily spending, and I haven't been reading books to my kid every minute of every day, and I don't take the dog's for a walk every day as I'd like to... yeah, I could go on and on... I've also grown a lot in that I've started talking back to that voice of failure. My best, even if my best is far from perfection, my best is enough. I think I've been trying to tell myself this for a very long time but the failure voice has always been louder. This year I've really started to believe that I'm doing good enough. I am not perfect. I can't do it all. There will always be huge short comings but I keep striving, I keep trying harder, I keep setting goals I can't actually reach AND my best is enough. 156 books was last month's best and I think we rocked it.