One of the best things about 2014 was that the new friends that I made were all so very much smarter than me. Well, that’s kind of good. A little disheartening at times, but overall good.
More or less.
There are times, of course, that I have to Google things before replying to texts from my platonic soul mate (who has about five million degrees in such diverse things as [I am now commencing the “making shit up” part of this paragraph] in nursing, biology, literature, comparative religion, underwater basketweaving, nuclear physics, necromancy, Swahili, and general awesomeness).
And my fellow writing group members are pretty freaking smart, too. They are also highly degreed (I have a BA and an MS, and am the least educated in the [admittedly small] group).
I read book. A lot of books. I read 134 (I think, I’m not going back to look) new books in 2014. I probably read about that many in re-reads. Maybe more. I finish a book every 1-2 days on average.
However, most of them are not…intellectually challenging. Not that you can’t learn new things from paranormal romance or urban fantasy – you absolutely can. Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid series is phenomenally researched, and Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy send me to the Google almost as often as Cat’s texts.
But, a lot of what I read is not quite as much of a brain workout. Which is AOK. It doesn’t need to be. My brains work a lot when I’m at my job. And whoa! It’s been a workout there lately, too. I have a couple new projects that have really been
making me feel idiotic taxing my mental limits.
Now, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I hate (HATE!) feeling stupid. It’s my least favorite feeling (well, maybe tied with nausea). So, I either need to (a) dump my smarty-pants friends (not an option! I mean smart people AGREED to be friends with me, so if I were to get rid of them, I’d just be reinforcing my own stupidity) or (b) do things that make me feel smarter.
So, in 2015, in addition to (and adjacent to) my goals I listed last week, I have these three caveats and addenda:
- Fifty percent of the new books towards my 150 book goal must be vampire and werewolf free. (I will honor the spirit of the rule, and not just seek out witch books, either.)
- I will listen to podcasts that keep me abreast of current events on a regular basis PLUS one educational lecturey type thing a month (TED-Ed type things). And I will report on it.
- I have a burning desire to become conversational in another language. I have the Swedish Rosetta Stone (because there wasn’t Norwegian). I will Rosetta Stone and learn me some Swedish so that by the end of the year, I can have a conversation with an attractive Swedish person that I will import for that very purpose.
Hopefully this will cause my brains to embiggen.
2015 is my year of pushing though my comfort zones. Putting myself out there. Putting my brains out there. (Not literally, though. Don’t worry!)
After spell-checking this post, I wonder if one of my addenda should be to stop making up words? Ha! Never going to happen. It’s not wrong if I’m doing it on purpose. (That would be an excellent motto, although not one that would generally go over well in court.)