Crushing anxiety and a haunting pile of TBR

How Out of Control Is Your TBR PileI was writing a blog post in my head on my way back from lunch to work, and low and behold I forgot what it was. Then I go into my feed for blogs, and there is one by Epic Reads and its 16 must read books releasing in July.  And I was just like, OMG, like I know I read more than the average reader, but 16 in one month, that’s a LOT!  That’s a book read every 1.875 Days.  There are no book hangover days in there, you finish a book, you pick up the next one.  No wonder I feel overwhelmed when it comes to reading.

And then I remembered my blog post idea.

It was about reading.

So at home, I have bookcases, like any good reader does. Notice that it’s plural, more than one bookcase.  My dreams is that all my walls are covered in them some day.  My dream is that I’ve read everything on my shelves.  My dream is that when a new book releases I can concentrate on that book, and not feel like there are a million books I haven’t read haunting me from my TBR shelf.   Seriously if unread books that I own where ghosts, I would have a serious problem.  I would be like Hogwarts dudes.  And I’m not sure all those ghosts are friendly like Casper.

However, sometimes I like to think of my bookcase and all of the books I haven’t read as comforting. I could literally finish a book, and I have soooo many options for what to read next.   Especially by favorite authors. Sometimes I like to keep a book as unread, because once you read it, then you don’t have more.  But sitting on the shelf unread, the author is an old friend, but the book is a new friend yet to be discovered.  There is a certain comfort to that.  I can curl up and know that I’m in good hands.  It’s kind of magical knowing all the worlds of possibilities I have yet to slip into.

But new book releases. Those things are the devil. I want to read them right now, but then I think at all the books I’ve shelved.  And I feel bad.  But read it now!  But old books!  It’s this infinite loop.  I try to balance an old book by a new book.  It just feels like this slow avalanche of never winning, even though I literally read 50+ books a year.

I don’t know how other people do it.

At some point though it’s like looking at your life at all the things you haven’t done, and being completely overwhelmed by that, but not taking into consideration all the things you have accomplished. Or it’s measuring everything you have done as being not enough compared to what you have yet to do.  At some point you need to sit back and be like, dude, stop with this madness.  Appreciate everything you have done.  That’s big on its own.  Relish in that.  It’s the same for the TBR pile.  Think of all the books you have read!

I need to stop and consider everything I have done as being enough. I need to enjoy that.  This driving myself crazy by looking at the list of never ending, it’s adding anxiety I don’t need in my life.  I think that’s also where I’m feeling panicked in my writing.  It’s all the things I want, and feeling like I should be doing more, and being paralyzed to act by how much there is still to accomplish compared to where I am.  Getting to where we want to be starts off small, and we have to learn that effort is worth it.  We have to appreciate the effort we put in, and we have to stop being so damned hard on ourselves.

This post started off inspired by my TBR pile bur really it’s about anxiety that we give ourselves over the things we haven’t done yet. You have to start somewhere.  You have to praise yourself for what you’ve done, instead of heaping on the pressure about all the things you haven’t yet.  We have to stop being so damned hard on ourselves. We have to appreciate where we are, and tell ourselves that as long as we are working on it, that has to be enough for now.  Our journey is our journey.  We have to stop comparing ourselves to everyone else, and only measure ourselves against ourselves.  The other way lies crushing anxiety.  Trust me, I’m on the other side with the anxiety pile on, trying to come back to the self-appreciation of I am enough.

Repeat after me. I am enough.

Let that be your mantra.

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