Rachel Discovers Happiness

my life and road to happiness

More time, please

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day?

Okay, that’s a rhetorical question. But still, the reason I ask is because that’s how I felt yesterday. Actually, that’s how I feel this week. I know it’s the holidays and that means that everybody is a little bit more stressed than usual, but it just seems like this holiday season snuck up on me and there aren’t enough days before Christmas (which, in my divorced family, is never a calm and relaxing day with family). Perhaps it’s because it’s the first time ever that I don’t have a winter break because I am no longer a student. Granted, my boss is giving me the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, but honestly I think I’d rather have the week before Christmas off… more time for shopping, wrapping, and relaxing.

Anyway, I’m not going to get into that right now. The purpose of this post is actually to tell you about one of the things I wish I had more time to do: reading. I’m not talking about the Freshly Pressed blog posts on WordPress (although I do love those, nor am I talking about articles I get from my daily news sites, Twitter accounts that I follow, or friends’ Facebook posts.

I’m talking about real-live, turn the pages (or click the “next page” button on my Kindle), smell the ink, crack the spine because you’ve read it so much, highlight the quotes, underline the passages that speak to you, absorb the stories, get lost in someone else’s world, books.

When I was younger I used to read all the time. In fact, my step mom, in an effort to get KB to read, decided she would pay us to read during the summers so that we would have money to spend on our family vacations every August. Well, it didn’t quite help KB (although in her recent adventures in Copenhagen she has developed a taste for reading, especially the Hunger Games series which I highly, highly recommend), but it was fun for the rest of us because Caitlin, Pookie, and I read so much that we each got about $100 by the end of the summer. (No, I don’t remember what the calculation for the money was.. maybe $1/hr?) But I digress.

The point is, I loved, and still love, to read.

I have an entire bookshelf of books that I haven’t read. I even had to get rid of a bunch of books on my shelf to make room for the books that I had stacked all over my room and in my closet that were taking up space and driving my step mom crazy.

I get books at every holiday. I get book recommendations from friends. I get lost in the book aisle in Target, or in the line at the grocery store. Every time I walk into a book store, used or new – it doesn’t matter, I find at least 5 new books that I want to read (well, 5 on the “new paperback” table…) And it doesn’t help that Caitlin, my step mom, and Caitlin’s friend Ayesha all have such wonderful book recommendations! Ayesha even has a book blog called Bound By Books (you should really check it out)!

Because I love reading so much but don’t get to do it very much anymore, I am making a vow to myself (not a New Year’s resolution, because really, when do those ever work?!) that I will set aside time each day to unplug from my computer, disconnect from the internet, put down the iPhone, and simply relax and read.

I really miss doing that.

Oh yeah, and you can view my list of books to read by checking out my list here: Books I Want to Read

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5 thoughts on “More time, please

  1. Thanks for the shout out! Rachel, I know I really had difficulty adjusting to my new schedule and finding time to read in the past six months. I realized that it was making me irritable to not have my reading time because I was so exhausted from my commute and work and missed my escape time. So, I just tried to make it happen. I know I’m not reading nearly as much as I used to and I would like to be. But here are a few things that help. I read on two of my five lunch breaks a week. I shut off the computer and/or TV by 8:30 or 9, and I open a book. It may only be 15 minutes before I pass out, but I get that time in. Also, when no one is home is a good time to read because there is less distraction. And lastly, as much as I love to be in a bookstore reading books and buying books, I have slowed down. I evaluate what I have waiting to be read (hard and nook copies). And I make a sort of plan (this helps for blogging). That way, I don’t feel entirely overwhelmed by the books all around me. I know I will get to them. And since you love lists, you will love tackling this fun list of reads. Also, don’t feel ashamed to not finish a book (just because Caitlin finishes all reads). Some just are not worth finishing when there are so many others to get to. I hope something in this very long comment is helpful to you. And I hope you get your reading groove back soon. I only just got it back, myself. =)

    • Thank you so much, Ayesha! I’m going to try your rule of shutting down the computer/TV about an hour before bed and just read. Lately I have been so tired that even that doesn’t work because I would have to shut off the TV/computer by 7! I think, come the new year, I will make myself a daily schedule and try to stick to it.

      Wish I was seeing you and E this holiday season! I hope you guys are doing well. Miss you!

      • I definitely know the feeling. You’re already making the right steps by identifying that you want to read more and working on a schedule.

        I wish I was seeing you too! You’ll have to come visit C sometime and we’ll all go out. For now, we can keep each other abreast of our lives through blogging.

  2. You owe it to yourself to fulfill your passion for reading. Life has a way of keeping us from pursuing the things that we truly desire. It is only when we ‘make’ time for something that we actually get around to doing it – ‘finding’ the time never seems to work out as planned.

    I wish you success with your New Year’s resolution to set aside some time and indulge in quality book-reading!

    Happy Holidays…

    Best,
    Kevin

    • Kevin,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I was lucky that I got to start a book today – although I was sitting in the gas station convenience store while my car was getting smog checked. I should also mention that, by the time I got settled and responded to an e-mail and text messages, I only got through 6 pages before my car was done. However, It was a lovely few minutes of getting lost in someone else’s world.

      I appreciate your encouragement and I will definitely try to find more time for reading in this upcoming year. Happy holidays to you too!

      -Rachel

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