Sunday, 24 August 2008

When does reading win?

I was reading some of my favourite blogs and came across a post at Lunaea Weatherstone's Blogue about time: 'In one of them, I found this lovely bit of legal-speak that set my mind to musing: Motions to extend or enlarge time. I want some of those motions! '. Isn't that lovely? So after reading her post, I began thinking about my day today. I had a really busy weekend, and this afternoon I was thinking of the cleaning that still had to be done, and I was feeling a sense of panic rise in me that I wouldn't get to do what I wanted to (I still think of housework as a duty and somewhat forced on me by public opinion. I like having a clean house, I just want it to take a flick of my wrist and presto! it's done) which was, of course, reading. I suddenly thought, no. I'm going to read for a little while, first. Not last, not after everything is done, but right now. And I did. I'm almost done my book! And I don't mind at all that the bathrooms still need to be done. Sometimes, I need a little breathing space, and the world just has to wait until I'm ready to get back into it. After a telemarketer phoned to ask if I would vote for our local Conservative if an election were called this fall ("no," I replied. "I voted Conservative once a long time ago and never since!"), I realized I didn't want to talk to anyone, either. I wanted to retreat into my home, and, as Lunaea says above, extend time. And see, it worked, because after losing myself in reading, I can feel myself unwind! I can face going to work tomorrow! Reading won today, and I am so-o-o much happier now!

So, when you feel that urge to retreat into yourself, and allow yourself the time - the luxury of time - to read, to give yourself the breathing space to read, do you, my blog friends? Do you let yourself relax and read? What is your cutting off point when you realize you have to take some time now, no matter what, or bad things will start to happen? And even though we love this passion of ours, why do we let so many other things come first? Do you make reading a priority in your life? I am beginning to think I have to make it more of a priority - I know that is a constant theme in this blog of mine, but it's a struggle, in the midst of raising a family, working full-time, and having some friends, to make an equally important place for reading. I'm nowhere near my goal of reading 100 books this year, again. I have already surpassed my total for last year, but that just shows how pathetic last year was. 37 books read last year! In terms of housework done or books read, I think I can say at the end of my life, I will be much more thinking about what I have read - and haven't - than how sparkling my bathrooms were.

I do wish there was a motion to extend or enlarge time, though!


Kim L said...

I would love more minutes in the day! There are always so many things I want to fit in... taking a walk when it is nice outside, reading, blogging, writing... I never feel like there is enough time!

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine once said that while he didn't mind doing housework it was having to RE-DO it that he objected to. And I know just what he meant. If you could do it and know it was out of the way and you could forget it for the next year or so, it wouldn't be too bad, but it doesn't work that way, does it? Another friend once had a decorative plate made to hand on her wall which had a depiction of a river and trees on it and round the rim Mole's immortal line from 'Wind in the Willows' - 'Hang Spring cleaning!' And she followed that rule. I'm not good at this. I do feel obliged to get through whatever tasks I've set myself for the day. Just occasionally I should break out, I know I should, but old habits die hard.

Susan said...

kim: yes, expand time....we need to find how to do that, definitely!

table talk: housework is never done, is it? I get exasperated when I'm finished my chores and suddenly something is spilled or already dirt is tracked in on the stairs, or the cat sheds right in the middle of the carpet. I like your friend who wants it done for the year! Yes, I could do it once a year! I could give up reading for a day if I could have the other 364 days to read!