Control, Plans and Reading

Hello! Sorry for the sheer radio silence this past year. I simply haven’t felt like I have anything interesting to say here and I’ve been focusing all my bloggish energy over on my Book Blog (Sifa Elizabeth Reads).

However, I was reflecting recently on choosing my next read, and it spiralled quickly into thinking about control. The full post is live over on Sifa Elizabeth Reads, but I thought I’d share a reduced version here, which is less book-ish.

For those not clued up on the book community’s short-hand, TBR means To Be Read. It’s the list of books you want to read.


Earlier this week, I realised how utterly insane my TBR was considering term ends in six or seven weeks. I had all these books I wanted to read, very little time and – to make matters worse – no idea which book I wanted to read next. Do I start with books that have been languishing the longest? Alphabetical order by surname?

I like to plan, really plan . What’s Plan A? Plan B? For goodness sake, make sure there’s a Plan C. Oh, and back ups for if those plans fall through. Great for board games, not so good for spur of the moment choices. Sometimes these plans can be vague, but I take comfort in knowing there’s strategies and routes to fall back on.

I like to be in control. I like to know exactly what’s going on, and what’s going to happen next.

Suffice to say accepting that God has control of my life is something I really struggle with. The times when I’ve taken the leap (university application and gap year), it wasn’t without plans. It was having several plan and saying “Alright, which one do you want me to take?”.

My gap year was the hardest, because God decided to upend my plans and extend my stay by five months. It was an amazing time and I’m so thankful I listened to that prompting, but it wasn’t easy. It probably looked easy as I internalised the struggle and then really pushed this new plan once I’d accepted it.

I’ve been thinking about this a bit recently. I know I’m only first year at university, but we’re being asked to think about our futures. There are some pretty important choices coming up next year. Do I want to take a year out and work in industry? Which subject do I want to specialise in?

Frankly, I don’t know what I want my future to be, and that’s a little unnerving.

In light of this, I decided to try something new with my TBR; spontaneity – or semi-spontaneity.

I wrote all book/series on a slip of paper and hunted for a jar. Unable to find anything pretty, I ended up with the pots I freeze orange peel in so there’s always some around for baking (told you I planned!). Yes, I’m one of those people who zests an orange before eating it.

This might seem like the silliest, most banal action, but I’m hoping that by taking baby steps like this, taking big leaps of faith will become easier.

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