Turning the Page: Lessons from Week Two


For the past two years, I have helped plan and execute exercises meant to test organizations’ plans and policies in terms of emergency preparedness. After every exercise, an After-Action Report is developed. This report outlines the various areas that the organization could improve upon or perhaps is already really good at. The latter is called Best Practices, and the former are called Lessons Learned. The report helps the organization set up a plan of action for the future to continue their best practices, and improve upon those lessons learned to become the best organization they can be.

This evaluation is helpful to almost all aspects of life. Sometimes it’s difficult to self-evaluate, but when you are able to discern the areas that you could improve on, or perhaps document a lessons that you have learned, it may be easier to not repeat the mistakes or help guide others.

So after week two of having this blog, I have two more lessons learned that are perhaps so closely linked together they could be a single one.

  1. Reading is meant to be a hobby, not a chore. I have always read a lot, but with the need to have a review up on a certain day, a hobby can quickly become as stressful as a chore, or a part-time job. Instead of leveling up my new Skyrim character or getting sucked into the latest series’ obsession on Netflix while cross-stitching, I found myself finding that I had to read once I got home from work. If I didn’t, how was I going to keep up with all the books I have to read? Or the different book clubs I’m a member of? Now this is something I’m still trying to find the perfect balance for, but I think I’m closer this week than I have been the past two. Yes, instead of just posting reviews of the books I have read at my leisure on Goodreads, I now have more of a responsibility to have content sooner for the blog. However, there is a line that marks the ‘going too far’ point with anything. And as soon as you’re ignoring other parts of your life or other enjoyable activities because of the pressure, then you are quickly going to burn out.
  2. Review copies are meant to read not collected. I think there is this idea that it’s a really good thing to get a ton of new books every week. I know that for the past few months, it’s become almost a game to enter giveaways to see how big of a haul I get. I also just like getting packages in the mail… But sometimes I think the whole race to get your hands on the next great book, the one with the cool cover or perhaps one that you think might be that secret little gem, can take away from its true purpose. How much can one person really read? Everyone reads at different speeds. I read perhaps a little bit slower than some, but I’m not quite a tortoise either. Can I realistically read five books in one week? No. Three is probably closer to the max I can manage. As fun as it is to request books to review, to explore a new story that perhaps you might not have otherwise, it’s really only fair to truly understand your own capabilities.

Again, thank you everyone for helping move my blog closer to where I would like it to be! We have already reached over 300 hits since its creation! And since I got my act together by adding different ways to follow Playing Jokers, the number of followers has also increased! What I would really like to ask you all for is feedback. What would you like to see on Playing Jokers? What would you suggest changing, improving, or maintaining? Feel free to reach out to me any way you’d like, email or comment. I would greatly appreciate it!

Did you miss anything this week?

Visit the Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
New ways to follow!
Review: Hell’s Legionnaire by L. Ron Hubbard
Review: Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama
Book News: Goodreads Joining the Amazon Family
Meme: Friday 56 (1)
Review: Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl by Susan McCorkindale
Book Club: March’s Winery Tour and Tasting


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