My 10 favorite posts of 2017

At the beginning of the new year I love to look back on where we’ve been, and blog happenings are no exception. Last week I shared the 11 most popular posts of 2017, as determined by pure numbers.

Today I’m sharing my favorite posts of the year, and as you can see, that isn’t the same thing as “popular.” There is ZERO overlap between the two lists.

These are the posts of 2017 that I personally liked the most, the ones that mean a lot to me, the ones I still think about, many months or maybe close to a whole year later. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Can I tell you one thing? “We need people in our lives who will actually say It’s not fine. Who will help us think through what we could be doing better, even if that situation isn’t as comfortable as I’m sure it’s fine. These relationships take time to build; it takes a lot of history and a lot of trust to get to Can I tell you one thing? territory. But we need to get there.”

2. Our home library. This is the story of our new-to-us home library, with lots of photos, specs, and answers to frequently asked questions. Most of the posts on this list are personal essays; this is one of the few exceptions.

3. 7 easy and free ways to support your favorite authors. My book Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything came out on September 19. Readers, I thought I knew a lot about how books get sold and promoted, and it turns out I knew just enough to be dangerous. In this post I share the big and surprising things I learned about how you can support your favorite authors (without spending a dime).

4. Turning the corner. “But all that training we’d been doing for many many months with seemingly little to show for it? It was working, all the time. We just couldn’t see it yet.”

5. This is why assumptions are dangerous. “I had always just assumed I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t strong enough, didn’t have what it takes. Nobody told me that but me. The first time I tried it, it was hard, and I just assumed I couldn’t do it. Fixed mindset.”

6. Double up the dental floss. A metaphor from the dentist’s chair. “Reader, I don’t think “stingy” is a key character trait for me, but I am stingy with my dental floss. I treat it like a game I’m trying to win, a precious commodity I’m hoarding—how little can I get by with today? And guess what: I hate flossing. It’s awkward and a little gross. But I never noticed the obvious: that dreaded task would be easier if I unspooled an extra six inches.” The 100+ comments on this one are GOLD.

7. Sometimes it doesn’t get easier. “We put things off because we think it will be easier later, whatever it is. We’ll have more cash to fix the roof leak, or more motivation to move the 401k, or more energy to find a math tutor, or more inclination to finally kick that habit. But over time, some things—maybe most things—don’t get easier.” Click to read more good stuff in the comments section.

8. Ask for the &[email protected]%! mug. “This was a revelation, albeit one that made me feel like an idiot. I’d been wanting to know how to get a mug, and here was the answer: ask for it.”

9. What’s saving my life right now. Readers, for many years now we’ve been coming together on February 2, the longest day of winter, to answer this question: What’s saving your life right now? It’s already on my calendar for 2018; please mark it on yours. This post contains my 2017 list.  

most productive thing

10. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is … “And what I’m finding—as I sink into a season where I’m intentionally taking walks with no headphones, and going to the bookstore just because, is that these intentionally unproductive hours are actually opening the door to all kinds of good things.”

A special note about the book lists on Modern Mrs Darcy: I love putting them together, and I refer to them often, but they don’t usually stand out in my mind as favorites. But these are worthy of special mention for 2017: 15 short audiobooks you can listen to in 6(ish) hours or less, 7 books I wish I could download into my brain, 25 great stories about the immigrant experience.

P.S. My favorite posts of 2016, my favorite posts of 2015, and 10 things that worked for me in 2017.


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  1. I think about your flossing post every time I floss. I have taken to flossing daily, after years of lectures from dentists and their hygienists. I use the extra floss, and I’ve finally, for the first time in my entire life, used a whole container. I bought floss last week. =) It makes a huge difference to use that extra bit.
    Also, of your two lists of favorite versus popular posts, this list contains more of the ones that I’ve thought about over and over again.
    Thanks, Anne.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    I’ve been using longer pieces of dental floss, too, after reading your post. How crazy is it to cheat myself with minuscule strings to save a few pennies? Thanks, Anne. You’ve provided me tons of reading inspiration as well, but the dental floss also counts as important. 🙂

  3. Tania Moore says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs for over a year, eagerly looking forward to your various book lists, and I even made your Sweet and Spicy Nuts this Christmas – delish!! But – I have never commented! So this is my first blog comment ever! Thanks for loads of fun, informative, and thought provoking blogs! I just reread “Things Don’t Get Easier” – perfect New Year’s Day read!! Here’s to you and many more MMD posts in 2018!!

  4. Terry says:

    Happy New Year, Anne! I really enjoy your podcasts and your posts – you’ve given me some great advice and ideas this year. Keep up the good work!

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