When I was young, I read all the time.
Everywhere. Everywhere, all the time.
At breakfast I read cereal boxes. In my grandparents’ basement, I read (really) old Life magazines. At the dentist, I read Highlights magazine. During non-school, non-play, non-homework time, I could be found with a new book in my hand just about every other day. I read under the covers at night; I even woke up early so I could finish another chapter or two before school.
Can you say nerd? Yeah, that’s me.
I even read in the bathtub. I read until the water was achingly cold or my mother dragged me out. Almost all of my books had wrinkly edges and water stains on the pages. I can’t imagine what the librarians said about me after I returned some of the books. I checked out The Yearling at least a dozen times – why I never thought to buy it, I don’t know – and added more water stains each time. The Maitland Public Library probably threw it away shortly after my last checkout.
Moral of the story, I loved to read.
And I still do. I just don’t have as much time as I used to have.
Or… I don’t make as much time as I used to. You know, babies, laundry, flossing, jobs, gardens, sick pets, blogs, painting the porch floor; the things I never had to do as a 9 or 12 year old kind of get in the way. So when I have downtime these days, I sometimes spend it doing some of the other things I stopped doing when I grew up. Like painting or writing. Lately though, I’ve really tried to read more, because I love losing myself in a good story, be it fiction or non.
I don’t know what it is… but, even though I still have responsibilities, I’m trying to get back to a simpler life.
Less social media, more books.
Less TV, more time in conversation.
Less reaction, more planning and prioritizing.
Less processed, well… anything, and more genuine, make-it-myself food, gifts, home remedies, etc…
Fewer “to-do” lists, more “get-to-do” lists
Less “have-to-be” and more “want-to-be”
Less worry, more prayer.
If not necessarily rediscovering things that brought me calm and happiness when I was younger, at least, making time for them.
Like baths. Taking long baths with a bath bomb spent soaking while reading. (My daughter says that being able to have a huge bowl of assorted LUSH bath bombs would be the measure of her success. Filled with all sorts of minerals and gorgeous scents, it really is like having a spa in your own home. It relaxes me like little else.) To allow myself uninterrupted time in a bath, with a book is one of those simple things that bring me joy.
It’s definitely a “get-to-do.”
And, um… it’s a cheap, stressless “get-to-do.” In other words, it’s the best kind.
For some people, the “get-to-do” is playing with their dogs. Working in the garden. Laying on the beach. Grocery shopping without the kids. Licking the cookie batter off the beaters. Staying in a hotel.
I wondered… what are some of the things that you look forward to doing? If you really, really think about it, your life is actually littered with “get-to-do’s.” What are they?
This weekend, look around and pay attention to them. I guarantee your weekend will be a little brighter and you’ll feel happier.
Maybe even as happy as a 9 year old kid reading until the bathwater is the temperature of a glacier!