At this time of year, we are thinking about all there is to do in the coming months. We know too well what needs to be accomplished when the cold keeps us inside. But, we also hope to free up some time for just being lazy, don’t we?
My first imaginary goal would be to set aside time every afternoon to retreat from the busy world and take a nap; not a long one but maybe a half an hour? The second would be to read a book for more than 10 minutes without falling asleep! There is nothing like a good book. It is an escape. It refreshes. We learn. And we are captured by a good read, looking forward to stealing a few minutes to see what’s next.
I picture myself with a cup of coffee or cocoa, sitting in a comfy chair, eating popcorn maybe, and reading. Well, something like that! I used to think about it when I was chasing little kids, and finding little time to just think. “Some day, I thought!”
I now find that during retirement, or whatever phase I am in, that nothing slows down. I don’t seem to have time to be that leisurely. Activity simply ramps up. How come? What about you all? Children, jobs, cooking, etc. take all the energy and time that one can spare. But, older age was not supposed to be this way. “Leave It to Beaver” didn’t teach us how life really works.
You see, the world spins. And so do we all.
But, darn it, we need to stop and get off that spinning merry-go-round, and one of the best ways is to read a good book! It’s an effort but very worth it. I read books, but not as voraciously as Fred. He is a busy guy, but he fits his reading time into the day. Here are some ideas for you if you are trying to find a slot for your reading pleasure.
1. Do not read at night. I try to read in bed. But, I read one paragraph, or maybe two before falling asleep, glasses still on my face, book in my hand, light still on. Then, the next night, I read the same paragraphs over again so I can remember what I read; then I repeat the pattern and fall asleep. A full week passes by and I maybe have read one chapter. Maybe.
2. Read in the morning while you are fresh. Read while you are eating your Cheerios. It doesn’t have to be a long read. Squeeze it in. I read the newspaper, but if I am involved in a great read, I often have a book in my face.
3. Have several books going. You know, a light one, and a more intense book. Vary them according to your mood.
4. Read while you are cooking; while you are stirring the food, while you are waiting for the cookies to get done, waiting for the oven to preheat. I detect some problems with this. I burn things, especially oven toast. Smoke everywhere. Fred remarks, “Annie’s done it again. Turn on the fans. Open the windows!” I have become a family legend. The stories will get better (exaggerated) when I’m gone.
On second thought, maybe not. I have burned a lot of foods like the chicken in the pot that I forgot. I came home and the chicken was a black hunk of bones, and the chicken was dispersed into the air, stuck in the ceiling plaster, molded into the drapes. Got a cleaning service for that little blunder.
So, reading while cooking? Better not. I know. Forget this idea.
5. This is where I think my little ideas work. Carry a book with you when you are waiting in the dentist or doctor’s waiting room. Read while you are at your kid’s soccer game or getting your car serviced. This practice has saved my sanity. It keeps me from thinking, “How much longer!” I’ve been trapped in examination rooms, where I thought they forgot me. How I needed my book!
6. Schedule your reading time. You schedule everything else, don’t you? Last season, I read at my granddaughter’s volleyball games. There’s quite a bit of down time to read. Reading also keeps my hands out of the popcorn bag.
7. And last. Read something you love. If I am reading a book and I am bored with it, I throw it in the trash! I hadn’t known I could do that before. Fred isn’t that way. Fred has rules. He says that if he starts a book, he HAS to finish it, regardless of how boring it is. And he keeps every single book.
Books have saved my sanity, I have enlarged my vocabulary, and I have found escape. It’s not fattening, and not expensive. So, now get going.
A Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She can be reached at email@example.com.