Books – May 2018

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Sometimes life gives you harsh reality checks.  I’m not sure how in the first month or two after baby B was born that I managed to read and finish any books.  Actually – that’s not true.  What happened was she was awake at all hours of the night, which meant I had the opportunity to listen to my audiobooks and not lose pace too much.  And then she started sleeping more, and it meant that I had the opportunity to sleep as well and I took it.  And B has become a better and better sleeper, which means that without my commuting time, my “listening to books” time has been diminished greatly.  And so I come to you this month, humbled…because I have finished zero books.

Part of it is my own fault.  Last month I started reading “Crazy Rich Asians”, and I was loving it.  And then I made the fatal mistake of having 20 minutes left of the book…and letting it expire.  I knew that I was in my last day with it, I guess I just didn’t think about when during that day the book would disappear from my phone.  And then I didn’t start anything for a while because there wasn’t really a point, and when I did start listening to a book (The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs), I haven’t listened as much as I should have (despite the fact that I purposely chose a shorter book), and we are at the end of the month and I haven’t finished it, and probably won’t in the next couple days (or might?  who knows???), and I still have half the book left with only 7 days remaining in my checkout.

I know I’m probably being too hard on myself.  If you go back to my previous posts about books/reading after the baby was born (and also into my twitter mentions), you’ll see that you all are telling me how awesome I’m doing in reading AT ALL.  And I should know that, and accept it, and not push myself.  I think the thing I feel most guilty about is that I am doing ok with reading, but failing to finish.  I hate the fact that book-reading is becoming another area of my life where I start a project, and then don’t finish it.  That baby blanket I made for B?  The ends are still not woven in.  Only two weeks ago did I finally spray a layer of acrylic gloss over top of the advent calendar I made with the girls.  Last week I started cleaning out the room we use as a closet for our bedroom, and while it’s certainly improved over what it was in the really disorganized days, there are still things all over the floor and stacked high in piles on my desk.  Smaller piles with things I know I want to keep and organize, but it’s a matter of actually DOING IT, and getting in and finishing the project instead of letting it languish.

As someone who has for a large part of her life defined herself by books and reading, I hate the fact that this area may too become an “unfinished project” part of my life.  I know that next month when I have a commute again and during lunchtime and pumping sessions I will start to catch up on myself and falling so completely behind will be nearly impossible.  But a part of me is afraid that I’ll find some other way to fill that time, and I’ll never be the same ambitious consumer of literature and non-fiction that I was before.  I know the most important thing is to allow myself to get back into a schedule where I have time for reading again, and to see how that goes.  But as a person who worries about silly things, I’m worried.  So maybe, those of you friends who find the time to read my blog – maybe you can help reassure me that it will be ok.  That there’s a chance I will get back into reading once I’m not tied to a baby all day long.

3 Comment

  1. Lauren says: Reply

    I think I commented on an earlier post of yours that I had a pretty extended reading drought after both of my kiddos. Fully acknowledging that I did nothing to counteract it – I simply let reading go, for a time. I didn’t care. There was so much else going on with figuring out how to manage my new life. It just wasn’t a priority for me. I have always loved reading, and I always will. But I didn’t have the mental capacity to even enjoy it at that point. And if it was going to be a chore…why bother?

    That being said, the drought ended. I can’t say I read now as voraciously as you used to, by any means, but I now manage to read a couple of books a month. (And some months, none, if I’m being honest.) I’m happy with that. I also used to force myself to finish any book I started, and I long ago abandoned that idea. I just don’t have time to waste time on books (or anything for that matter) that don’t feel like they’re worth the effort.

    You’ll find a balance. Having kids is all about finding your new normal over and over again. So maybe you won’t ever read quite as many books as you used to. Or maybe you will, but it won’t be this year. Maybe it won’t be until your little one is in college. Ha! If this is important to you, and I know it is, you’ll find a way to bring it into your life. My only advice is to cut yourself a little slack. Your whole life just changed. It’s inevitable that this would/will change, too.

    1. maggie says: Reply

      Oh, definitely trying to cut slack, but as you’ve said, this is a new normal, and I need to figure out how that’s going to look for me. I think once I go back to work I’ll have the time to evaluate properly how things will be, and I can go from there.

  2. […] on my Overdrive wishlist for a while, and I picked it because it was short and I needed a win after last month’s reading disaster.  Yes, I give myself slack because of the baby, but I’m a librarian – […]

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