It’s been quite awhile since I fired up the old blog but it’s been on my mind lately and the release of Anne Bogel’s newest book, Don’t Overthink It, seems like just the push I needed! I’m still reading as much as I ever have and we still, of course, deal with PANDAS in our life regularly. But, starting this past July, I began teaching English to Chinese students online through VIPKid and (while I love it) it’s consumed a huge chunk of my blog-writing time! I’ll be sure to do a post soon about online English teaching but, for now, I’d like to begin reinvigorating the blog with a post about what I’ve been reading and doing most recently!
As many of you know, I’ve been a Modern Mrs. Darcy/What Should I Read Next/Anne Bogel fan for years! I love Anne’s blog, her previous books and her podcast! In fact, you might remember, I was given the privilege of being a guest on her podcast in November, 2017 where we talked about Middle Grade titles and she recommended books for my son and I to read together! Time has done nothing to dull my enthusiasm for Anne’s work so, when given the opportunity to participate in the launch team for her newest book, I jumped at the chance!
What’s a launch team, you ask? Well…it’s a group of people who get early access to a book in exchange for reading it and promoting it among their social circles (IRL or online!) We were provided with an early digital copy of the book to read and, if we also pre-ordered the book (a big metric for authors who are trying to get their books printed and available in as many locations as possible!) we were able to access the companion course and audiobook version for free as well. Finally, as a last minute surprise, we were all invited to come to Anne’s home this past weekend for a nominal fee to celebrate the book launch with her! As someone who loves to read, and would definitely have read and promoted the book anyway, I thought it was all great fun!
I have to be honest though…I went into reading the book with a strong bias toward it ‘not being for me.’ I’m a very decisive (some say spontaneous…others say reckless!) person and I considered ‘overthinking’ to be the curse of the ambivalent and equivocal. I was really only reading the book because Anne wrote it!
Well…let me just say: I was wrong. No, I’m not secretly a waffler but I definitely had a very limited impression of what overthinking encompasses and the impact that it can have on my productivity, peace of mind and joy! I don’t want to give away the good stuff…because the book is definitely worth reading for yourself…but let it suffice to say that Anne’s book made me aware of how much control the auto-loop that constantly runs in the back of my mind has on my day-to-day serenity! And my perfectionism…it’s just overthinking in disguise! Bonus points…the book provided great insight into both topics (and more) and helped me better understand the changes I can make to improve my thoughts and my quality of life.
Anne is a very kind, thoughtful and well-spoken woman and her book comes off in very much the same way. Apparently, she is what’s known in the publishing industry as a ‘relatable expert’ and that makes a lot of sense to me. When reading Don’t Overthink It, I felt like I was talking to a friend who has struggled with her own thoughts and was sharing with me what worked for her. I didn’t have to wade through a lot of brain science and big words to be able to identify myself in many of Anne’s stories. And, I didn’t feel like I was reading a college textbook when I learned about what worked for Anne in addressing the issue!
The book is broken down into three sections: Section 1 focuses on laying the foundation for success while Section 2 highlights how to stop the negative patterns that are causing you trouble. Section 3 wraps up by discussing the positive habits that you can employ to use your thoughts to your greatest advantage. Each section contains great anecdotes that helped me relate the topics to my own experience as well as solid advice. Each chapter is followed by a short list of questions that helped me figure out how to best take action on the advice that that chapter provided.
Don’t Overthink It is an easy read that packs a major punch. I found myself highlighting, underlining and writing questions in the margins of the book. Having finished it a couple of weeks back, it’s one of those books that I’ve thought about regularly since reading the last page.
That being said, I can’t complete a post about Don’t Overthink It without also talking about my trip to Louisville this weekend. 3.5 hours from my house, I drove down Saturday afternoon and spent a couple of nights in a local AirBnB in order to be available to visit with Anne and her like-minded readers on Sunday.
I’ve always relished my alone time and loved to travel so two nights away from home to just read, knit and visit with folks like me was a dream come true. Saturday, I visited Anne’s local independent bookstore, Carmichael’s, took myself out for dinner and generally just relaxed and enjoyed some peace and quiet! Sunday, I headed out for brunch, took a nap, did some reading and knitting and then headed to Anne’s home.
While there, I met some wonderful women who, like me, love reading and really admire Anne’s work! We ate, chatted, listened to Anne give us some insight into the book’s history and process and took tons of selfies and pictures in Anne’s amazing home library!
The book is great…so helpful! Anne is wonderful and her readers are an incredible group of women that I am lucky to have met. The launch team experience is something I would do again in a heartbeat! And, my trip was relaxing and fortifying in all the right ways! It was just the right adventure for practicing the art of Not Overthinking It!
To get your copy of Anne Bogel’s latest book, Don’t Overthink It, click here.