Hello, friends! I've been silent longer than I meant to. Not for any particular reason. In fact, I had good intentions of completing a blog post almost daily. I even have a couple of saved drafts of bits of things that flew through my brain that never got fully fleshed out saved in my queue.
But here I am, not to share anything groundbreaking or life changing or breathtaking. Just to say hi and to tell you that I did something today I have not done in a really long time. I got so wrapped up in reading a book I could not put it down and spent three hours laying on my couch, absently stroking the purring kitty in my lap, letting my coffee go cold in its mug while I raced through the pages and read on to completion.
It was not my intention. Today is my day off from the day job that enslaves most of my waking hours. I had a mental list of things to complete. Menial tasks and greater more important things like writing more of the book I am authoring myself (hence the lack of blogging).
It got me to thinking. I started writing a few years ago because of my love of reading. I can tear through books at a clip. I love everything about reading. The escape from reality. Meeting people and visiting places I would not otherwise have the chance to experience. Sure, they're fictional. Or fictionalized versions of real people and real places. I stray toward romance and happy endings. But since I have started writing I have read less and less. And sometimes it takes a lot for me to get into a book, to even have the energy to read until the end of the story.
Sometimes this has nothing at all to do with the books I am reading or how they are written. I just can't shut off my own mind long enough to enjoy something. Above all I have guilt that something I am doing for sheer pleasure is taking up the time I should be using to do something else. Like writing.
I haven't abandoned reading. I have good intentions. My Kindle is loaded with books that I purchased that I intended to read "one day." Once in a while I scroll through them, trying to figure out which one I will try to read in guilty little snippets while I'm supposed to be doing something else.
This week I dove into this stock pile. I needed something to occupy my mind. I promise, this isn't a post about politics, I've tucked myself into a turtle shell trying to shelter myself from anything political in the last few days. But, I'm also having a hard time writing this and not mentioning politics at all.
You don't need to know my political views (although, I am sure they are leaking out in what I'm writing in this post) and we don't even need to agree on any issues at all for you to read my blog and this post in particular and take something from it. I'm just merely painting a picture of events of my week.
My spirits have dipped. My otherwise sunny outlook and bright optimism in the face of any situation has been tested. I'm tired of thinking about things. About this world and politics and the future. I hate feeling hopeless and defeated.
So I thought, what should I do? I'm going to go back to that tried and true pastime that I've been ignoring and brushing off as unimportant for too long. I'm going to find myself a book and I'm going to exist on another plane for awhile.
I scrolled through my collection of books that I found worthy enough to download but had not yet been cracked open. I stopped on one. Looking at the cover, reading the author's name, an author I had never read. And trying to remember why I purchased it.
Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker. I read through the blurb again, remembering that one of my friends, who I trust in all matters of book suggestions, told me to read this one. To be honest I thought I was going to begin reading and it wasn't going to hold my interest or meet my expectations or bring me to the appropriate levels of distractedness that I needed. I dove in fully thinking I would end up being too despondent and depressed in my own mind to get fully absorbed.
And then I timidly dipped my toe in the opening chapter. I met the two main characters. A total of eight lines of dialogue were exchanged between them. It takes place at a deli counter between Elan, the butcher, and Tzipporah, the college professor. But it didn't, it all played out in my living room as I laid on my couch with my sleeping cat, wrapped in a cozy blanket on a gorgeous autumn morning.
I was tempted to say I had wasted my morning. I whiled away about 3 and 1/2 hours of time I meant to spend doing other things. I came away feeling refreshed. Even hopeful. How could that be wasted time?
I went to the gym on Wednesday even though I had gotten a total of four hours of sleep the night before and had worked a full day. Why? Because I mentally needed it. Yes, exercise is good for the body. But it helped my soul. It was a terrible workout, but I felt better when it was done.
Reading is important too. Getting lost in a good book, even when we're neglecting our to-do lists and life obligations. I'm going to stop thinking of reading as something I should not be doing. A guilty pleasure that achieves nothing. I should be reading. We should all be reading. We should all be taking care of our minds and our souls.
So I'm starting a new to-do list. I'm going to be kind. I'm going to be thoughtful. I'm not going to lose the hopefulness that was always ever-present inside of me.
Because love will always win and I don't think anyone's politics can change that.
I'd be grateful for some book suggestions. Have you read a book lately that might help me escape for a bit?