I have a confession to make. This may come as a shock to you, so I hope you’re sitting down while you read this and not standing in line at the grocery store with a cart full of Corned Beef and Irish Whiskey. I’d hate to be the cause of embarrassment when you gasp in horror, as if some rando sent you an unsolicited…you know.
“Ok. Out with it.” I’m getting there!
I believe I have noticed something about myself lately. I hate to even type it.
Here it goes…
I use reading as an excuse to avoid real work. THAT’S why I get through so many books. THAT’S why I’m always posting about a new book I started. I may be upping my reading stats, but I’m not getting anything else done, let alone getting much out of the books I read.
This morning, I finished reading Attached by Levine and Heller. I could not put that book down, wolfed it down like a starving animal. I made some notes, mostly highlights and ah-ha comments. I like to get the big picture of any book and then go back through for the details.
I tell myself I have big plans for those notes.
Then I went through some of my morning routine; an hour in my book, yoga practice…then I remembered. I’m hungry! As I sat there eating my breakfast, with my finished book nearby along side my notebook, I thought, “I should sit here and go through this, make some comprehensible notes, and write something brilliant.”
Tick. Tick. Tick.
“Or I could get a cup of coffee and read that novel I wanted to start. I can think and write later.”
That’s when it dawned on me. I’m reading to avoid real work! I’m not gathering information and processing it. That’s hard. I’m not sitting with what I’ve already read and making sense of it. I’m just wasting time, avoiding anything difficult or deep.
I’m more obsessed with racking up progress, putting “finished” next to the title, than getting anything out of what I’m reading. Something needs to change.
Writing is hard. I’m not even sure it’s what I want to do, but at the moment I’m not sure there are any other options. I think I’m having some sort of mid-life crisis. I’m bored, I complain a lot (much to the sadness of my husband who is trapped here with me), and I’m not getting anything done, other than read books.
Hmm…so much to think about.
That’s all I have for you today. I messed around all morning, lost track of time, ate some lunch, and watered the yard. It’s almost 2pm and I haven’t accomplished a single task…not that there is much to get done. You think with all the time I have on my hands I’d have the whole house clean and organized, the remodel projects done, the yard tip-top, books read, sewing projects stacked up…
My mind is scattered. I have a lack of focus I can’t seem to resolve.
Knowing is half the solution. And maybe there is no solution. Maybe this is time for you to do what you are doing. We spend so much time doing because we think we have to that we exhaust ourselves. Besides, let’s face it, these last two years have left us all scattered! Cut yourself some slack and be glad you are able to sit and read. I sure wish I could!
Thanks for this post! You’re not alone ok, so please don’t be too hard on yourself. Just the fact that you’re reading is already a beaut! I find myself often staring blankly at screens or re-reading pages of the latest book I’ve borrowed from the public library because my thoughts have drifted to goodness-only-knows where and I’m not in the moment anymore. Sighhh…so don’t beat yourself up, especially not with the kind of world we’ve all been living thru these last 2 years! We deserve to be kinder to ourselves!